Voter Registration List Maintenance

10/7/2021

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Introduction

Voter registration lists (lists of eligible voters) form the foundation for everything else in election administration, and they are ever-changing as new registrants are added and existing registrants move or otherwise become ineligible. Because of the importance of the lists, and the constant movement on them, all states take steps to keep their voter registration rolls accurate and up to date. This is called list maintenance.

This webpage provides details in the following sections:

  • List Maintenance and Why It Matters
  • Changes to Voter Addresses
  • Removing Voters for Lack of Voting-Related Activity
  • Removing Deceased Voters’ Records
  • Removing Voters Convicted of Disqualifying Crimes
  • Removing Voters Adjudicated Mentally Incompetent
  • Questions Legislators Can Ask About Voter List Maintenance
  • Additional Resources

List Maintenance and Why It Matters

List maintenance is the process states use to keep their voter registration records accurate and up to date. A variety of state and federal laws govern the process.

Keeping voter registration rolls accurate and current is an important part of holding efficient and secure elections. The benefits of having accurate registration lists include:

  • Protecting against fraud by ensuring only eligible electors can cast a ballot.
  • Informing planning for Election Day, including accurately budgeting for ballots, voting machines, polling places and poll workers.
  • Minimizing wait times at the polls.
  • Simplifying postelection procedures by reducing the number of provisional ballots cast.

List maintenance is not a simple process, though, and there are several ways a voter’s registration may become inaccurate or ineligible. It is rare that voters who move consider their registration status. A short move across town may merely require an updated address in the voter registration database, but a move to another county or state may require a cancellation of the previous registration—something voters rarely do—and a new application to register. Election officials need systems in place to keep track of these changes, as well as other changes that may render a registered voter ineligible. For example, incarceration for a criminal conviction renders voters ineligible to vote in most states, and in many, an adjudication of mental incompetence does as well. Election officials also need to keep track of death records and promptly remove deceased voters from the registration rolls.

What role does federal law play in list maintenance?

Federal law places strict limits on how states may conduct voter registration list maintenance. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) both provide a floor for state actions on list maintenance.

The NVRA, or “motor voter” law, plays the biggest role. It is best known for broadening opportunities for voter registration by requiring states to offer it at driver’s license bureaus and other state agencies, but another important part of the NVRA deals directly with list maintenance. It requires states to conduct list maintenance in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner in compliance with the Voting Rights Act and prohibits the conduct of list maintenance verification activities within 90 days of an election. You can learn more about the NVRA here.

The NVRA also limits the reasons a state may remove a voter from the rolls. States may remove a voter at the voter’s request, due to a felony conviction or mental incapacity, or because a voter has moved to an address outside the voter registration agency’s jurisdiction.

All but six states are subject to the requirements of the NVRA. North Dakota is exempt because it does not have voter registration, and Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Wyoming are exempt because they offered Election Day registration at polling places at the time the NVRA was passed. (Maine was initially exempt for the same reason but later it repealed its Election Day registration. Even though it has since reinstated Election Day registration, Maine did not regain its exemption from the NVRA.)

The NVRA does not outline specific procedures states have to follow to remove voters for death, felony conviction or adjudication of mental incapacity, but rather sets a regulatory floor. It does prescribe a notification process that states must follow before they can remove voters who have moved and failed to update their registrations, and most states have language similar or identical to the NVRA in their statutes. The process involves mailing a forwardable notice with a preaddressed, postage-paid return card to registrants whose address has changed. If the voter returns the card, the registration record is either updated with the information the voter provides or, if the voter has moved outside the jurisdiction, deleted. Jurisdictions have the option to designate a registrant who fails to respond to this notice as inactive. Voters who fail to respond with an updated address can be removed from the rolls only if they fail to vote or appear to vote in an election during the period beginning when the notice is sent and ending after the second federal general election occurring after the notice is sent.

Learn more about how the NVRA impacts state voter registration list maintenance processes here.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 required states to develop a computerized, statewide list for voter registration (in the past, many states had collections of local lists rather than a single, statewide list) and to coordinate voter records with those from state departments of corrections, vital statistics and other state agencies to keep voter records current. HAVA also clarified the language in the NVRA that prohibits removing a voter solely for failure to vote. The HAVA language allows for the removal of voters who do not respond to an address confirmation mailing and subsequently fail to vote during the period comprising two federal general elections, and it outlines the removal process.

What are typical list maintenance practices?

All states remove from the active voter list electors who are deceased or who have moved to an address outside the jurisdiction. Voters may be removed from the voter rolls due to other reasons, too:

  • In 20 states, voters who fail to vote or otherwise engage with election officials for a specified period of time can be removed from the rolls.
  • In 48 states, people convicted of certain crimes are disqualified.
  • In 34 states, people who are deemed mentally incompetent by the courts are disqualified.

Several state laws also specify that voter registrations are canceled upon receipt of notice from another state or local elections official that an individual has registered outside the jurisdiction, or if there is evidence that a voter is not a U.S. citizen.

States have a variety of methods for identifying voters who fall into these categories, detailed in other parts of this webpage.

Changes to Voter Addresses

In most states, when election officials become aware that a voter has a new residential address within the same jurisdiction, they update the address in the voter registration system and send a notification to the voter, giving the voter an opportunity to correct the change if necessary.

When election officials have reason to believe a voter has moved to a residence in a new jurisdiction, most are required to follow a confirmation process laid out in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 before they can remove the voter from the registration rolls. (Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming are exempt from the NVRA and thus are not required to follow this process.) Officials first mail a nonforwardable address confirmation card to the voter at the old address. If the voter returns the card verifying that they still live at their old address, then no change is made to the registration record. If the voter returns the card verifying a new address outside the jurisdiction, the old registration is canceled, and often election officials send information to the voter about how to register in the new jurisdiction.

Voters often fail to respond to address confirmation mailings. In these cases, election officials may designate the voter as inactive in the registration system. If a voter remains inactive through the next two general elections—four years—only then can election officials remove them from the rolls.

Election officials have several sources for keeping address information current. The most used source is the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address (USPS NCOA) program. In all, 30 states require the use of NCOA, three states receive NCOA through ERIC membership but don't require it, and in 12 states NCOA is an available, but optional, resource.

Well over half the states also belong to the nonprofit Election Registration Information Center (ERIC), with the number of member states increasing annually. ERIC’s mission is to assist states in improving the accuracy of voter rolls and to increase access to voter registration for eligible citizens. Member states share their voter registration with ERIC, and ERIC provides them with monthly reports on voters who have moved or died as well as on duplicate registrations. In addition to state records, ERIC uses resources such as the Social Security death index and NCOA data, which means it can be a one-stop shop for many list maintenance and data comparison activities.

Other commonly used sources of data to detect invalid addresses are changes to driver’s license and state ID addresses and election mail and jury notices that are returned as undeliverable.

Sources for Maintaining Accurate Addresses for Voter Registration

State

ERIC Member?

USPS NCOA?

Other Sources

Alabama

Yes

No

A family member of an elector, an election inspector, a judge of probate, a sheriff, and a clerk of the circuit court can report that an elector has become a nonresident to the board of registrars (Ala. Code § 1704-6.1). In January of every fourth year, boards of registrars mail a nonforwardable notice to all registered voters in the county. If it is returned indicating the voter has moved, the board sends a forwardable notice on which the voter may confirm their current address (Ala. Code § 17-4-30).

Alaska

Yes

No

Mail from the election division returned as undeliverable (AS § 15.07.130(a)).

Arizona

Yes

Yes

Return of any nonforwardable mail by the postmaster (ARS § 16-166).

Arkansas

No

Yes

The permanent registrar is authorized and may be directed by the county board of registration, to determine by mail check, house-to-house canvass or any other reasonable means at any time whether active record registration files contain the names of any persons not qualified by law to vote. Any qualified voter may make an affidavit to the county attorney (Const. Amend 51, § 11).

California

No

Optional

Before a primary election, county election officials mail a nonforwardable address confirmation notice to every voter but may except voters who have voted within the past six months and voters who have confirmed their records on the secretary of state's website in the past year (Elec. Code § 2220). USPS NCOA information may be used in lieu of mailing (Elec. Code § 2222) or may contract with a consumer credit reporting agency (Elec. Code § 2227). Department of Motor Vehicles reports address change to the secretary of state (Elec. Code § 2263).

Colorado

Yes

Yes

Clerk marks the record “inactive” and sends a confirmation card. If the voter responds confirming the change, the registration is canceled (CRS § 1-2-302.5).

Connecticut

Yes

Optional

A driver’s license change of address serves as notification of a change of address for voter registration (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-19i). Registrars conduct an annual canvass, either house-to-house, by mail, using USPS NCOA data, by telephone, or by any combination of these methods, to identify electors who have moved (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-32).

Delaware

Yes

Yes

Notification that a voter has obtained a driver’s license or ID in another state, returned election mail (Del. Code tit. 15, § 1704).

District of Columbia

No

Yes

Address changes filed with DMV, returned election mail, voter may update address at the polls with ID and proof of address (DC Code § 1-1001.07). Returned jury summonses (DC Municipal Regulations § 3-519.6).

Florida

Yes

Optional

Circuit court clerks send a monthly list to the department of state of jury notices that are returned indicating a change of address (Fla. Stat. § 98.093(2)(b)). Supervisors must use one or more of the following in their biennial registration list maintenance program: USPS NCOA information, sending nonforwardable return-if-undeliverable mail to all registered voters in the county, sending nonforwardable return-if-undeliverable address confirmation requests to all registered voters who have not voted in the last 2 years and who did not make a written request that their registration records be updated during that time (Fla. Stat. § 98.065).

Georgia

Yes

Yes

(Ga. Code § 21-2-233).

Hawaii

No

Yes

County clerks are authorized to use “all reliable and pertinent information,” including but not limited to requesting information from utility companies concerning commencement or changes of service, and from residential apartments, cooperative apartments, and condominiums as to changes of occupancy (HRS § 11-20). Notification that a voter has turned in their driver’s license or information from other agencies that a voter has moved outside the county (HAR § 3-177-157).

Idaho

No

Not specified 

Any registered elector may challenge the entry of an elector’s name in the register (IC § 34-431). The clerk may inquiry into the validity of any registration at any time (IC § 34-432) Clerk mails a written inquiry to each challenged elector. Elector may respond within 20 days. If clerk determines the challenge is not satisfied, there may be a hearing. If the clerk determines that the registration is not valid, or the elector fails to respond or make a statement at the hearing, the registration is canceled (IC § 34-432).

Illinois

Yes

Optional

County clerks may obtain information from utility companies, city/town records, the post office, or other sources regarding removal of registered voters (10 ILCS 5/4-16).

Indiana

No

Yes

Jury notices that are returned because of an unknown or insufficient address, return of a mailing sent by the county voter registration office to all active voters because of an unknown or insufficient address, the bureau of motor vehicles concerning surrender of an Indiana driver’s license to another jurisdiction, the return of a mailing sent to voters advising of a change of precinct boundary or polling place (IC § 3-7-38.2-2).

Iowa

Yes

Optional

Change of address form submitted to the office of driver services of the state department of transportation or to a county treasurer is considered a request to change a voter registration record (Iowa Code § 48A.27 and 48A.28).

Kansas

No

Optional

A notice of disposition of an application for voter registration is returned as undeliverable (KSA § 25-2316c). Once a year, voter registration records are compared to NCOA files. County officials may complete additional checks. As an alternative to the NCOA program, a county election official may conduct mass or targeted mailings to voters to obtain information upon which to base confirmation mailings (KSA § 25-1354).

Kentucky

Yes

Optional

USPS NCOA data or “other sources” (KRS § 116.112).

Louisiana

Yes

Yes

Clerk of court notifies registrar on a monthly basis of any returned jury duty notice or questionnaire indicating a person is unable to serve because they no longer reside in the parish (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-192).

Maine

No

Yes

Motor vehicle change forms (Code Me. R. 29-250 § 505(1)(1)). At least once every 5 years, one of the following methods must be used: first class mailing to all registrants; non-forwardable, targeted address verification notice confirmation mailed to those persons who did not vote in the most recent general election (Code Me. R. 29-250 § 505(1)(2)).

Maryland

Yes

Optional

A local board may receive change of address information from an entity approved by the SBOE (MD Elec. Code, § 3-504).

Massachusetts

No

No

Change of address notifications from registry of motor vehicles (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 51, § 38). Lists of residents must be provided each year to election officials by licensed innholders, keepers of lodging houses, multi-dwelling unit owners, administrators of nursing homes and reset homes. Fraternities, dormitories, condominiums and apartment complexes of eight or more units are included (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 51, § 10A).

Michigan

Yes

Yes

“Other reliable information received by the clerk that identifies registered voters whose addresses may have changed” (MCL § 168.509aa). Secretary of state notifies each clerk of driver license or state ID card changes of address and the names and addresses of persons who have been issued a driver license in another state (MCL § 168.509z).

Minnesota

Yes

Yes

The secretary may also periodically obtain a list of individuals who have applied to the Department of Public Safety for a replacement driver’s license or state ID card with a different address, and a list of individuals for whom the Department of Public Safety received notification of a driver’s license or state ID card cancellation due to a change of residency out of state (Minn. Stat. § 201.13).

Mississippi

No

Yes

Filing of a deed with the county, change in a homestead exemption, jury summons returned as undeliverable, mail sent by circuit clerk returned as undeliverable (See MS SOS Guidelines for Voter List Maintenance).

Missouri

Yes

Yes

(Mo. Rev. Stat. § 116.179, 115.189).

Montana

No

Optional

Election administrators must complete at least one of the following in very odd-numbered year: compare entire list of registered electors against NCOA file and send a confirmation notice to those whose address has changed; mail a nonforwardable notice to all registered electors to confirm their addresses. Alternatively, administrators may verify only those electors who failed to vote in the preceding federal general election, applicants who failed to provide required information on registration forms, and provisionally registered electors by sending a nonforwardable notice followed by a confirmation notice to those electors who have moved, comparing the list of nonvoters against the NCOA files and sending confirmation notices to those who have moved, sending forwardable confirmation notices, or making a door-to-door canvass (Mont. Code. Ann. § 13-2-220).

Nebraska

No

Optional

USPS NCOA data or a biennial mailing of a nonforwardable notice to each registered voter (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-329).

Nevada

Yes

Yes

Census, house-to-house canvass, or any other method (NRS § 293.530 and 293.5303).

New Hampshire

No

Yes

Department of safety (NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 654:35-b).

New Jersey

No

Yes

(NJ Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19:31-15).

New Mexico

Yes

Yes

Returned election-related mail, periodic mailings to voters to verify continued residency (NM Stat. Ann. § 1-4-28).

New York

No

Yes

Affidavit ballot envelopes with a new address, notices from any state agency which conducts voter registration, returned election mail with a forward address, national or state voter registration forms, confirmation mailing response cards (NY Elec. Law § 5-208).

North Carolina

No

Yes

Data-sharing agreements with other states, reports from dept. of transportation or other voter registration agencies, notice of cancellation from another county or state. Forwardable confirmation mailings are sent after every congressional election to any voter whose address has not been confirmed by another means (NC Gen. Stat. § 163-82.14).

North Dakota

n/a – North Dakota does not have voter registration.

Ohio

Yes

Yes

(ORC § 3503.21).

Oklahoma

No

Yes

Returned election mail, voters who have surrendered their driver’s license upon being issued a license in another state (26 OS § 4-120.2 and 4-118.1).

Oregon

Yes

Yes

(ORS § 247.295).

Pennsylvania

Yes

Optional

Annual address confirmation program may use USPS NCOA data, and/or commission may send a nonforwardable address confirmation mailing to all registered electors in the county. In conjunction with the aforementioned program (but not as an alternative), commissions may conduct a door-to-door canvass or may send a cancellation notice to any registered voter who has not voted or appeared to vote during the previous five years (25 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1901).

Rhode Island

Yes

Yes

Mailings by the jury commissioner to a voter that are returned as undeliverable, an official election mailing sent to at least a majority of registered voters in a city or town is returned as undeliverable (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-9.1-26 and 17-9.1-27).

South Carolina

Yes

No

Various state agencies are required to provide information and data to the State Election Commission, but that data cannot be used to update electors’ addresses. “The name or address of a registered elector only must be updated as a result of the elector's actions in filing a notice of change of name, change of address, or both.” (SC Code Ann. § 7-5-186(A)(2)(b)). If a notice of registration is returned as undeliverable, the voter is placed in inactive status (SC Code Ann. § 7-5-330(E)(2). Dept. of Motor Vehicles is required to furnish the executive director with a monthly report of all persons age 18 or older who have surrendered their driver’s license or ID card and obtained the same in another state (SC Code Ann. § 7-3-70).

South Dakota

No

Yes

(SDCL § 12-4-19).

Tennessee

No

Optional

County election commissions are required to conduct an address verification program that conforms to NVRA at least biennially, but may do so annually. Commissions may use any of the following: the return of mail sent by the election commission, USPS NCOA, and information received as a result of a comparison of voter registration addresses with the residential addresses of record with the department of safety (Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-2-106).

Texas

Yes

Yes

When a voter applies for a “limited ballot” because they have moved to a new jurisdiction, or requests a ballot with a federal postcard application that shows an address outside the voter’s current county of registration, the clerk is required to notify the clerk of the voter’s former county of residence (Tex. Elec. Code § 15.022 and 112.012).

Utah

Yes

Not specified

Not specified

Vermont

Yes

Not specified

Not specified

Virginia

Yes

Yes

Driver License Compact set out in 46.2-483 (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-427), “other reliable sources” (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-428), if a voter provides an address on a candidate or referendum petition that differs from the address on the voter registration system, or if any of certain official election mail items are returned as undeliverable (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-428.1).

Washington

Yes

Yes

Mail sent by the county auditor that is returned as undeliverable without address correction information; change of address information received from department of licensing, or another state agency designated to provide voter registration services indicating that the voter has moved out of the state (RCW § 29A.08.620).

West Virginia

Yes

Yes

Comparison by the secretary of state of county records with the data records of the division of motor vehicles and any other state agency that maintains records of residents of the state (W.V. Code § 3-2-25). Election mailings returned as undeliverable (W.V. Code § 3-2-26).

Wisconsin

Yes

Yes

“Reliable information”; all municipal departments and agencies are required to notify the clerk or board of election commissioners when receiving information that a registered elector has changed their residence (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.50(3) and 6.50(8)).

Wyoming

No

No

The county clerk may investigate the qualifications of any voter registration when he has reasonable cause to believe the voter may be unqualified. The criteria used for investigation of qualifications are location of dwelling of registrant and family, occupation and location of employment, location of vehicle registration, Wyoming driver’s license or tribal ID card, property owned, and any other residency qualifications either provided by law or deemed reasonable by the clerk to render a judicious determination (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-3-105).

 
 

Removing Voters for Lack of Voting-Related Activity

Following a process required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, in all states, inactive voters can eventually be removed from the registration rolls. In most states, an indication of a voter’s ineligibility—generally a move to an address outside the jurisdiction—starts a years long process that can result in the removal of the voter from the registration list. States must first mail an address confirmation to the voter. If the voter fails to respond within a specified period, in many states the voter is placed on an inactive list. If the voter fails to vote, update his or her address, or engage in other election activity such as signing a candidate or initiative petition for a period including two federal general elections, only then can election officials remove the voter from the registration list.

The initiation of this process as the result of an address change is key: The NVRA explicitly prohibits states from removing a voter from the registration rolls simply for failure to vote.

Ohio put this rule to the test in 2011. Like many states, Ohio relies on the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address program to identify voters who have moved. Since some people move without filing a change of address with the Postal Service, Ohio implemented what it calls a “Supplemental Process,” which relies on voter inactivity as an indicator of potential ineligibility.

Laid out in an updated 2021 directive from the secretary of state rather than in a statute, Ohio’s Supplemental Process directs county boards of elections to mail address confirmation notices not only to people for whom they have an indication of a move but also to voters who have failed to engage in voter activity for four years. “Voter activity” could include not only voting, but also signing a petition (as of the 2021 update to the directive) or updating a voter registration record. This is similar to the process by which notification of an address change triggers confirmation notices. If the voter fails to respond to the notice and fails to engage in voter activity for an additional four-year period, including two general elections, the voter is removed from the registration rolls. The process rests on the concept that an elector’s failure to vote or update his or her voter registration may be an indicator that the elector has moved.

After Ohio’s initial implementation of its Supplemental Process in 2011, voting rights advocates sued, alleging that the process to remove voters begins with a failure to vote, which is prohibited by the NVRA. Ohio maintained that it is the initiation of the Supplemental Process, not the initiation of a removal process, that is based on voter inactivity. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ohio.

Ohio continues to operate the Supplemental Process, and at least 19 additional states have a process for flagging and eventually removing registrations based primarily on voter inactivity. These states vary in the steps required before a voter registration may be canceled for inactivity, and in how long that process takes.

  • In eight states (Alabama, Alaska, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin), a voter has to remain inactive for eight years before his or her registration is canceled. Election officials send an address confirmation notice to any registered elector who has not voted in the past four years. Elector who fail to respond are placed on an inactive list. If they remain inactive through the next two general elections, they are removed from the registration list. Note that Wisconsin is exempt from the NVRA and is thus not required to follow eligibility-based criteria to trigger an address confirmation process.
  • In Florida, Maine, Missouri and Montana, the total period of inactivity is eight years, and election officials have some discretion in deciding whether to send address confirmation cards to inactive voters (see the table below for details). Voters who do not respond to an address confirmation request are designated inactive, and are deleted from the registration rolls if they remain inactive through two general elections.
  • In Georgia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, the process is similar, except that the initial period of inactivity triggering the address confirmation mailing is five years, rather than four, for a total period of inactivity of nine years before a voter is removed from the list.
  • In Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota and New Hampshire, election officials cancel the registrations of voters after their failure to vote in the past four years. Unlike the other states, there is no period during which a voter is designated inactive before they are removed. Note that Idaho, Minnesota and New Hampshire are exempt from the NVRA and are thus not required to follow eligibility-based criteria to trigger an address confirmation process.
  • Wyoming’s removal process is the quickest: Failure to vote in a general election results in the cancellation of an elector’s registration. Wyoming is exempt from the NVRA and is therefore not required to follow eligibility-based criteria to trigger an address confirmation process.

Note that nine of the states that use voter inactivity to initiate the process of canceling a voter registration also offer registration on Election Day, and Montana permits registration throughout the early voting period. A voter whose registration was canceled for inactivity in these states would have the option of reregistering on Election Day (in Montana, during early voting) and casting a ballot. Voters in the other states would have to meet the state deadline for registration prior to the election.

State Practices for Removing Voters for Lack of Voting-Related Activity

State

Summary

Alabama

Any voter who fails to vote for four years is placed on an inactive list by the local board of registrars (Ala. Code § 17-4-9). The name of a registered voter who does not vote in the next two federal elections held after his/her name is placed on the suspense file shall be removed from the voter list (Ala. Code § 17-4-30(c)).

Alaska

Each January, the election director is required to send a nonforwardable notice to anyone who has not voted or appeared to vote in the previous two general elections. If the notice is returned as undeliverable, a forwardable notice of pending inactivation is sent. If the voter does not respond within 45 days, their registration is marked inactive (AS § 15.07.130). Inactive registrations are canceled after the second general election that occurs after the registration becomes inactive if the voter does not contact the division or vote or appear to vote (AS § 15.07.130(b)).

Florida

County supervisors are required to conduct list maintenance using one or more of three specified procedures. One procedure involves sending a nonforwardable address confirmation to all voters who have not voted in the last 2 years and who did not make a written request to update registration records (Fla. Stat. § 98.065). If the voter does not update his or her registration information, request a mail ballot, or vote by the second general election after being placed on the inactive list, the voter’s name is removed from the registration system (Fla. Stat. § 98.065(4)(c)).

Georgia

In each odd year, secretary of state identifies voters with whom there has been no contact (voter has not updated registration, voted, signed a petition or responded to a mailing) in five years. A nonforwardable mailing is sent to these electors. If it is returned as undeliverable, a forwardable confirmation mailing is sent. If there is no response within 30 days, the elector is placed on the inactive list (Ga. Code § 21-2-234). If an elector makes no contact during the period beginning when they are placed on the inactive list through the day after the second November general election held after that date, they are removed from the inactive list of electors and a notice is mailed to the elector (Ga. Code § 21-2-235).

Hawaii*

No later than 60th day after each general election, clerk removes the names of any registered voter who did not vote in that election or in the general election proceeding it as well as both primaries and any special election during that time (HRS § 11-17).

Idaho*

Within 120 days of each general election, county clerks cancel the registration of any elector who did not vote at any election in the past four years (IC § 34-435). Idaho is exempt from NVRA’s prohibition on removing voters for inactivity because they had Election Day registration at the time NVRA was enacted.

Iowa*

Commissioners using NCOA are required to send a forwardable notice to each registered voter whose name was not reported by NCOA and who has not voted in two or more consecutive general elections and has not registered again, updated their registration, or responded to a notice from the commissioner or registrar during the period between and following the previous two general elections (Iowa Code § 48A.28). If a confirmation notice is returned as undeliverable, the commissioner makes the registration record inactive and mails a forwardable notice to the voter’s most recent address (Iowa Code § 48A.29). When a record is inactive for two successive general elections, it is canceled (Iowa Code § 48A.30(1)(g)).

Maine*

A municipality may send a nonforwardable address verification mailing to voters who did not vote in the most recent general election (Code Me. R 29-250 § 505(2)(B)). A registrant who fails to respond to a change of address confirmation card within 20 days may be designated as inactive. Inactive designation is removed if registrant votes, changes address within municipality, responds to an address confirmation card, signs a petition or nomination paper, or otherwise makes their residence in the community known (Code Me. R. 29-250 § 505(1)(3)). If an inactive registrant fails to engage in any of the above activities for a period of two consecutive general elections, the registrant may be removed from the voter list (Code Me. R. 29-250 § 505(1)(3)(D)).

Minnesota*

After the close of the calendar year, the secretary of state shall determine if any registrants have not voted during the preceding four years and change the status of those registrants to “inactive” in the statewide registration system. Registrants whose status was changed to “inactive” must register in the manner specified in 201.054 before voting (Minn. Stat. § 201.171). Minnesota is exempt from NVRA’s prohibition on removing voters for inactivity because they had Election Day registration at the time NVRA was enacted.

Missouri

At the discretion of the election authority, the canvass that is required every two years may be made by including only those voters who did not vote at the last general election and those who registered since the last general election (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.181(2)). An inactive voter is removed from the register if the voter fails to respond to a notice and has not voted during the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the second general election that occurs after the notice (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.193).

Montana**

As part of the required biennial list maintenance practices, administrators may conduct a targeted program that confirms the addresses only of electors who failed to vote in the preceding federal general election, applicants who failed to provide required information on registration forms, and provisionally registered electors (Mont. Code Ann. § 13-2-220). The registration of an elector who is placed on the inactive list and who fails to vote in two consecutive federal general elections is canceled (Mont. Code Ann. § 13-2-402).

New Hampshire*

Every 10 years, people who have not voted in the previous four years are notified and if they fail to reregister within 30 days, they are stricken from the checklist (NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 654:39). New Hampshire is exempt from NVRA’s prohibition on removing voters for inactivity because they had Election Day registration at the time NVRA was enacted.

Ohio

Lack of voter activity, including voting or filling out a registration form, for a period of two years is used to identify voters who may have moved. A confirmation notice is mailed to these voters. Voters who do not respond, or whose notice is returned as undeliverable, are designated inactive (Secretary of State Directive 2021-03, page 3-56). A voter’s registration is canceled if, after having been mailed a confirmation notice, for a period of four years after the notice was mailed, the voter fails to respond to the notice, update their registration, update or confirm their address with the bureau of motor vehicles, vote or engage in voter activity, or respond to a “last chance” notice of pending cancellation (ORC § 3503.21).

Oklahoma

An address confirmation mailing is sent to any registered voter who did not vote in two previous general elections or any election conducted during that time and who has not initiated a voter registration change. Voters who do not respond are designated as inactive 60 days after the mailing. An inactive voter who does not vote in any election beginning on the date of the confirmation mailing and ending on the day after the date of the second successive general election for federal office is removed as a registered voter (26 OS § 4-120.2, Okla. Admin. Code § 230:15-11-19(a)(3)).

Pennsylvania

In addition to address confirmation procedures, commissions may send a cancellation notice to any voter who has not voted or appeared to vote during the previous five years and for whom the board of elections did not receive during that period any information confirming that the elector still lives in the district. A voter who fails to respond to a cancellation notice is marked inactive. If an inactive voter fails to vote in an election during the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the date of the second general election for federal office that occurs after the date of the notice, the voter's registration is canceled (25 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1901).

Rhode Island

Annually, each local board of canvassers sends a nonforwardable notice to every active registered voter who has not voted or otherwise communicated with the board in the past 5 calendar years. This process is not required if the state or federal government fails to appropriate necessary funds (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-9.1-27). Voters who fail to respond to a confirmation notice within 14 days are placed on the inactive list. If the voter fails to vote by the second general election following the date of the confirmation mailing, the voter is removed from the voting list (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-9.1-26).

South Dakota

Every odd-numbered year, county auditors send a nonforwardable address confirmation to any voter who has failed to vote, update their registration, or reply to a confirmation mailing in the last four years. The mailing may be omitted for voters who the county auditor can determine have moved via NCOA data (SDCD § 12-4-19). If the voter fails to return the card within 30 days, their registration is made inactive (SDCL § 12-4-19.1). If a voter placed in the inactive file does not vote by the second general election following the confirmation mailing, the registration is canceled (SDCL § 12-4-19.4).

West Virginia

Once each four years in the year following a presidential election, all counties using NCOA data mail a confirmation notice to those persons not identified as potentially ineligible through the change of address comparison procedure but who have not updated their voter registration records and have not voted during the preceding four calendar years for the purpose of identifying voters who have become ineligible. If the notice is returned as undeliverable or the voter fails to respond, the record is designated inactive (W.V. Code § 3-2-25). Clerk of the county commission cancels the records of all voters on the inactive file who have not responded to the confirmation notice, otherwise updated their voter registrations or voted in any election held in the county during a period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the date of the second general election for federal office which occurs after the date of the notice (W.V. Code § 3-2-27).

Wisconsin*

No later than June 15 following each general election, commissions examine registration records for each municipality and identify each elector who has not voted within the previous 4 years and mails a notice of suspension of registration. If the elector does not respond within 30 days, their registration status is changed from eligible to ineligible (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.50(1)). Wisconsin is exempt from NVRA’s prohibition on removing voters for inactivity because they had Election Day registration at the time NVRA was enacted.

Wyoming*

A registered elector’s registration shall be canceled for failure to vote in any general election (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-3-115). Wyoming is exempt from NVRA’s prohibition on removing voters for inactivity because they had Election Day registration at the time NVRA was enacted.

* State offers Election Day registration.
** State offers registration throughout the early voting period, which ends the day before Election Day.

Removing Deceased Voters' Records

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires states to coordinate voter registration databases with the state agency responsible for recording deaths, most commonly a bureau of vital statistics or health department. The deceased voter may be removed from the rolls by the chief election official, or the information may be forwarded to county or local officials who remove the deceased voter’s name.

States may use additional sources of information beyond official vital statistics to identify deaths and remove voter registrations, including:

  • ERIC — The Electronic Registration Information Center, an interstate data-sharing organization, provides member states with death records.
  • Government officials or entities — At least four states (Alabama, Indiana, New Mexico, Washington) accept reports from election inspectors, judges of probate, sheriffs, court clerks, tribal governments, etc.
  • Vital records bureaus of other states — Accepted in at least five states (Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma).
  • Social Security Administration data — Accepted by statute in Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington.
  • Family member reports — Accepted in Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.
  • Obituaries — Accepted in Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.
  • Notices related to estate administration, wills or probate proceedings — Accepted in Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.
  • An election official’s personal knowledge — Accepted in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada and Texas.
  • Unique sources of information — Accepted in several states:
     
    • Colorado – “sufficient proof that an elector is deceased.”
    • Kentucky – “other reliable sources.”
    • Maryland – “other reliable reports of death.”
    • Nebraska – “any supporting information.”
    • New Hampshire — If election officials learn of a death but do not receive official notice, they may mail a notice to the voter believed to be deceased, and if no response is received within 30 days, the registration is canceled.
    • Oklahoma — Notification by a nursing or veterans’ home, a funeral director or the military is sufficient to cancel a deceased voter’s registration.
    • Washington — Any registered voter may sign a statement under penalty of perjury to the effect that another voter is known to be deceased and file that with the county auditor or secretary of state.

State Practices for Removing Names of Deceased Voters

State

Sources of Information

Practices

Alabama

Monthly report from office of vital statistics of the state department of public health to the board of registrars of the county a report (Ala. Code § 17-4-4). Appropriate state departments or agencies are required to report information about deaths to the secretary of state (Ala. Code § 17-4-6). A family member of an elector, an election inspector, a judge of probate, a sheriff, and a clerk of the circuit court can report the death of an elector to the board of registrars (Ala. Code § 1704-6.1).

Secretary of state disseminates information to appropriate boards of registrars (Ala. Code § 17-4-6). If information received about a death is based on official records, the county board removes the elector from the registration list. If the information about a death is not based on official records, the board investigates to confirm whether the elector is deceased before removing them (Ala. Code § 17-4-6.1).

Alaska

At least monthly, the director of elections shall obtain a list of all residents who have died from the bureau of vital statistics (AS § 15.07.130(c)).

Promptly after the receipt of each list, the director cancels the registration of deceased voters (AS § 15.07.130(c)).

Arizona

Monthly report from department of health services reports death records to the secretary of state, and an annual report of all deaths of residents of the state that are reported to the department of health services (ARS § 16.165(D)).

Secretary of state cancels the names of deceased persons from the statewide voter registration database and notifies the appropriate county recorder, who cancels the name of the person from the register (ARS § 16.165(D)).

Arkansas

State registrar of vital records is required to promptly notify the secretary of state of the death of all state residents (Const. Amend. 51, § 11).

Secretary of state provides a listing of deceased voters to the permanent registrar of each county; registrars cancel the registration (Const. Amend. 51, § 11).

California

Monthly notification from local registrar of births and deaths to county elections official (Elec. Code § 2205).

Secretary of state facilitates availability of death statistics from state department of health services (Elec. Code § 2206).

County elections official or secretary of state cancels registration (Elec. Code § 2205 and 2206).

Colorado

Monthly report from state registrar of vital statistics; written notice signed by a family member of the deceased; or sufficient proof that an elector is deceased (CRS § 1-2-302(3.5)(a) and 1-2-602).

Registrations canceled electronically upon receipt of monthly reports by either secretary of state or county clerk. Clerk cancels registrations upon sufficient proof an elector is deceased (CRS § 1-2-302(3.5)(a) and 1-2-602).

Connecticut

Not specified.

Registrars remove the name from the list (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-35).

Delaware

Monthly report by Office of Vital Statistics to Dept. of State and State Election Commissioner; OVS also provides a biennial list of Delaware citizens who died in another state or country. Decedent’s spouse, adult child, sibling or parent may provide a copy of a death certificate to the Dept. (Del. Code tit. 15, § 1705).

Upon receipt of a file or list from the Office of Vital Statistics, Dept. cancels the registration of each voter whose name is on the list (Del. Code tit. 15, § 1705).

District of Columbia

Monthly report from the mayor of deaths of residents over age 18 (DC Code § 1001.07(k)). Board is authorized to develop other methods of identifying deceased voters (DC Code § 1001.07(j)).

Voter's registration is canceled (DC Code § 1-1001.07(k)).

Florida

Data from the state Dept. of Health or the U.S. Social Security Administration, including but not limited to any master death file or index it compiles; death certificate issued by a governmental agency (Fla. Stat. § 98.075 and 98.093).

Voter’s name removed within 7 days after receipt of records by secretary of state; county supervisors remove names upon receipt of a death certificate (Fla. Stat. § 98.075 and 98.093).

Georgia

Local registrar of vital statistics in each county provides a monthly list to the secretary of state of all deaths in the county. Secretary of state is also authorized to obtain information from the state registrar of vital statistics and from other states. County registrars may obtain information from published obituaries, death certificates, verifiable knowledge of death, and written information provided by a family member (Ga. Code § 21-2-231).

Secretary of state removes all names from the list of electors and notifies the registrar in the county where the deceased person was domiciled at the time of their death. If the county registrar obtains information about a death, they remove the name from the list of electors and mail a notification to the address on the voter’s registration record (Ga. Code § 21-2-231).

Hawaii

County clerks are authorized to request information from the department of health for deaths (HRS § 11-20).

Clerk removes the name from the register (HRS § 11-23).

Idaho

State board of health provides a monthly list to the secretary of state of all deaths (IC § 34-433).

Secretary of state furnishes a copy of the list to each county clerk; clerks immediately cancel all registrations of individuals reported as deceased (IC § 34-422).

Illinois

County clerks may issue certifications from the electronic reporting system for death registrations; regardless of whether such a system is established, county clerks have a duty to examine, monthly, records deposited pursuant to the Vital Records Act relating to deaths (10 ILCS 5/4-14.1).

Upon receipt of a voter’s death certificate issued by the Dept. of Vital Records, registration is canceled (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 26, § 216.50).

Indiana

Election division coordinates the statewide voter registration system with the state department of health to permit county voter registration offices to cancel registration records of deceased individuals on an expedited basis. State dept. of health reports to the election division, by county, information on people who have died within Indiana but outside the county of residence or outside the state and maintained a residence address within the county during the two years preceding the date of death (IC § 3-7-45-2.1). Receipt of a copy of a death certificate, obituary, notice of estate administration, or other notice of death published in a newspaper (IC § 3-7-45-4). Election division coordinates with the bureau of motor vehicles to obtain information on individuals reported deceased by the bureau (IC § 3-7-45-2.2). State dept. of health acquires information regarding deaths of Indiana residents occurring in other states from those states or from the State and Territorial Exchange of Vital Events System and the Electronic Verification of Vital Events System (IC § 3-7-45-5). At least once a month, election division obtains information from the federal Social Security Administration as required by 52 U.S.C. 21083 (IC § 3-7-45-6.1).

County officials cancel the registration of each deceased person listed in the reports (IC § 3-7-45-3).

Iowa

State registrar of vital statistics sends a quarterly report of deaths to the state registrar of voters (Iowa Code § 48A.31). Commissioner may accept as evidence a notice from the state registrar of vital statistics forwarded by the state registrar of voters, a written statement from a person related to the deceased voter, an obituary, a written statement from an election official or personal representative of the registered voter’s estate, or a notice from the county recorder (Iowa Code § 48A.30). County commissioners are required to run the statewide voter registration system’s matching program in the month following each calendar quarter to determine whether any listed decedents were registered to vote in the county and immediately cancel the registration of any person named on the list of decedents (Iowa Code § 48A.31).

The voter registration is canceled (Iowa Code § 48A.30).

Kansas

An obituary notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, list compiled by secretary of health and environment, social security administration data (KSA 25-2316c).

State registrar provides a monthly list of deceased residents to the county election officer of each county (KSA § 65-2422d(f)). County election officer removes the voter's name from the registration books and party affiliation lists (KSA 25-2316c).

Kentucky

Cabinet for Health and Family Services notifies state board of elections (timing/nature of notification not specified); “other reliable sources” (KRS § 116.113).

SBOE removes voter from registration records within 5 days of notification. SBOE notifies clerk of the county in which the voter lived, and within 10 days the county clerk updates the county registration files (KRS § 116.113).

Louisiana

Parish health officers send monthly notice to registrars of voters of the deaths of each person in the parish during the preceding month. State dept. of health sends dept. of state a monthly report of all voters age 16 or older who died in the previous month (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-173).

Dept. of state cancels registration and notifies registrar of the parish in which the voter was registered. Registrars may cancel a registration based on an obituary if it provides enough information to identify the voter and the registrar confirms the death with the office of vital records (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-173 and 18-176).

Maine

Registrars review records of deaths provided by the Dept. of Health and Human Services and Office of Vital Records; published obituaries or a signed noticed by an immediate family member, if they contain the name of the voter and the date and place of death (Me. Stat. tit. 21-A, § 128).

Municipalities remove the names of residents who have died from the voter list (Code Me. R. 29-250 § 505(1)(1)).

Maryland

Department of health reports on deaths to the state administrator. The state administrator makes arrangements with the U.S. Social Security Administration or its licensee to receive reports of deaths of Maryland residents. State administrator transmits information to the appropriate local board. Local boards may rely on obituaries or other reliable reports of death (MD Elec. Code, § 3-504).

Election director of the local board may remove the voter from the statewide voter registration list (MD Elec. Code, § 3-504).

Massachusetts

The city or town clerk or other officer having charge of registration of deaths must send a monthly list as well as a list two days before every election of deaths (Mass. Gen Laws ch. 51, § 14). Secretary of state works with Dept. of Public Health to match the death list against the voter registration list every six months (no citation provided).

The name of the voter is stricken from the list (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 51, § 38).

Michigan

At least once a month, the county clerk forwards to the clerk of each city or township in the county a list of the last known address and birth date of all persons over age 18 who have died in the county (MCL § 168.510). Secretary of state forwards all death notices received to clerks in cities and townships (MCL § 168.509z).

City or township clerk cancels the registration of all deceased electors (MCL § 168.510).

Minnesota

Monthly report from commissioner of health to secretary of state about individuals 18 or older who have died since the previous report; secretary may also utilize the Social Security Death Index or reports from the vital records department of another state (Minn. Stat. § 201.13).

Secretary of state prepares a list for each county auditor; within 60 days of receiving the list, county auditors change status of those registrants to “deceased” (Minn. Stat. § 201.13).

Mississippi

Statewide Elections Management System gets a monthly upload from the Dept. of Health and Vital Statistics (see MS Secretary of State’s Guidelines for Voter Roll Maintenance).

Voter is removed from the roll (Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-153).

Missouri

At least once a month, the state or local registrar of vital statistics provides the election authority a list of the names and address of each person over 18 who has been reported. This is also provided to the secretary of state (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.195)

Secretary of state notifies the election authority of the jurisdiction in which the deceased resided (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.195). Each election authority removes from its registration records the names of voters reported dead (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.199).

Montana

Dept. of health and human services reports deaths to county clerks on a quarterly basis (Mont. Code Ann. § 50-15-409), certificate of death may be filed with election administrator, newspaper obituaries (Mont. Code Ann. § 13-2-402).

Registration is canceled (Mont. Code Ann. § 13-2-402).

Nebraska

Dept. of health and human services reports deaths to election commissioners or county clerks on a quarterly basis. Election officials may also use “any supporting information” of the death of a voter (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-327).

Election commissioner or county clerk removes deceased person from the register (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-327).

Nevada

Clerk’s personal knowledge of the death of any voter, or the filing of an authenticated certificate of death in the clerk's office (NRS § 293.540).

Clerk cancels the registration (NRS § 293.540).

New Hampshire

Secretary of state compares information contained in each death record received by the division of vital records with information contained in the statewide centralized voter registration database and submits to the state registrar a list of every city or town that has a registered voter matching the decedent’s information (NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5-C:4). If a supervisor learns of a death but does not receive the notice described herein, they mail a 30-day letter to the last known address of the voter (NH Rev. Stat. § 293.37-a).

State registrar transmits notice of deaths to the clerk of the city or town of residence of the decedent (NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 5-C:4). Clerk notifies the supervisors of the checklist at their next regular meeting; supervisors remove names of deceased (NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 654:37). Names are removed if they do not respond to a letter sent out under 654:37 (NH Rev. Stat. Ann. § 654:37-a).

New Jersey

The health officer in each municipality files a monthly list of deaths with the commissioner for registration for the county. The state registrar of vital statistics files an annual list of deaths with the commissioner of registration of each county no later than May 1 (NJ Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19:31-16).

Within 30 days of receipt of the list, commissioners determine if the deceased persons are registered voters and transfer them to the death file as soon as possible (NJ Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19:31-15).

New Mexico

Obituary notices, probate records, comparison of registration records with monthly lists filed by the state registrar of vital statistics with the secretary of state, notarized documents from the president or governor of an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo or from a tribal enrollment clerk (NM Stat. Ann. § 1-4-25).

Secretary of state forwards each county's list to the county clerk, who cancels certificates of registration upon receipt of the list (NM Stat. Ann. § 1-4-25).

New York

State health department and NYC department of health are required to deliver records of death at least monthly to the state board of elections (NY Elec. Law § 5-708).

Registration is canceled (NY Elec. Law § 5-400).

North Carolina

Dept of health and human services furnishes a monthly list of deceased persons, signed statement of a near relative or personal representative of the estate of the deceased voter (NC Gen. Stat. § 163-82.14).

SBOE distributes list to each county board, which removes from its voter registration records any person the list shows to be deceased or any person reported by family or their estate (NC Gen. Stat. § 163-82.14).

North Dakota

n/a – North Dakota does not have voter registration

Ohio

Monthly list from director of health of all persons over age 18 who have died in the previous month (ORC § 3503.18).

Board of elections cancels registration of each elector named in the report (ORC § 3503.18).

Oklahoma

State department of health transmits a monthly list to the state election board of all deaths; secretary of the board transmits lists to county election boards. Certified copy of death certificate from any person or upon execution of a form prescribed by the state board by next of kin. Administrators of nursing facilities and veterans centers, funeral directors may executive a form prescribed by the state board to notify the county election board of a death. Notification by the Oklahoma National Guard or US armed forces. State election board is authorized to obtain death records from social security administration and from other states (26 OS § 4-120.3).

County boards remove deceased persons’ names from the registry and database (26 OS § 4-120.3).

Oregon

State law requires that all deaths in a county be reported to county registrar or the Center for Health Statistics within 5 days (ORS § 432.133); monthly list is furnished by Oregon Health Authority to the secretary of state of state of residents who have died during the preceding month and for whom a report of death was not submitted to a county registrar (ORS § 247.570).

County clerks cancel the registration of deceased voters (ORS § 247.570).

Pennsylvania

Department of health is required to send to a commission the name and address of individuals within 60 days of receiving notice of their death. Commissions may also use newspaper obituaries, letters testamentary, or letters issued by the office of the registrar of wills (25 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1505).

Commission cancels the registration of the elector (25 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1505).

Rhode Island

State registrar of vital records is required to electronically transmit to the secretary of state, on a monthly basis, a list of any reported deaths of people age 18 or older (R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-3-5). Health department provides monthly list of deaths (no statute or formal rule, but a long-standing practice, per conversation with state election officials, Aug. 2021)

Secretary sends lists to local boards of canvassers, who purge their files of registration cards of deceased voters and cancel the voter registration information in the central voter registration system (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-10-1).

South Carolina

Office of Vital Statistics is required to provide information and data to the State Election Commission (SC Code Ann. § 7-5-186). Bureau of Vital Statistics must furnish executive director a monthly report of all persons age 18 or older who have died since the previous report (SC Code Ann. § 7-3-40).

State election commission removes voter from official list (SC Code Ann. § 7-5-340)

South Dakota

Published obituaries; voter registration records in the statewide voter registration file are matched with death records maintained as vital statistics records by the Department of Health (SDCL § 12-4-18).

Any voter who is deceased is removed from the voter registration records (SDCL § 12-4-18).

Tennessee

State office of vital records furnishes a monthly list to the coordinator of elections with all persons aged 18 or older who have died in the state. Coordinator of elections annually obtains information from the federal social security administration master death file. Coordinator notifies county election commissions of deaths in their county. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-2-133).

County election commissions cancel the registration of each deceased person (Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-2-133).

Texas

Each month the local registrar of deaths is required to prepare an abstract of each death certificate issued for a decedent 18 years of age or older and file that with the decedent's county of residence and the secretary of state. The clerk of each court having probate jurisdiction is required to prepare an abstract of each application for probate of a will and file it with the voter registrar and secretary of state. Once a week, the Bureau of Vital Statistics furnishes to the secretary of state information relating to deceased residents of the state. Quarterly, the secretary of state obtains information from the US Social Security Administration (Tex. Elec. Code § 16.001). Personal knowledge of the registrar or receipt of a sworn statement from a person related within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity (Tex. Elec. Code § 16.031).

Registrar cancels the voter’s registration immediately (Tex. Elec. Code § 16.031).

Utah

Lieutenant governor makes available to county clerks US Social Security Administration data regarding deceased individuals (Utah Code § 20A-2-306).

Within 10 business days (20A-2-305 says 5 days) of receipt of information, county clerk removes the decedent's name from the official register (Utah Code § 20A-2-306).

Vermont

Board of civil authority may use obituaries and death certificates (17 V.S.A. § 2150).

The name of any voter proven to be deceased shall be removed from the checklist (17 V.S.A. § 2150).

Virginia

State Registrar of Vital Records is required to transmit a monthly list of decedents age 17 or older to the Department of Elections (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-408)

General registrar cancels the registration (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-427).

Washington

Registrar of vital statistics prepares a periodic list of persons who resided in each county who have died and supply the list to the secretary of state; county auditors may use government agencies and newspaper obituaries as a source of information; any registered voter may sign a statement under penalty of perjury to the effect that they know or believe another voter to be deceased and file that with the county auditor or secretary of state (RCW § 29A.08.510). Secretary of state may use information from the Social Security Administration to identify deceased voters (WAC 434-324-090).

Secretary of state or county auditor cancels the registrations of deceased voters (RCW § 29A.08.510).

West Virginia

Death certificates provided by the Registrar of Vital Statistics, comparison by secretary of state of the records of the Registrar of Vital Statistics with the county voter registration records, published obituaries or other writing clearly identifying a deceased person by name, residence and age corresponding to the voter record, or an affidavit signed by the parent, legal guardian, child, sibling or spouse of the voter giving the name and birth date of the voter and the date and place of death (W.V. Code § 3-2-23).

Clerk of the county commission cancels the voter’s registration (W.V. Code § 3-2-23).

Wisconsin

Municipal clerk or board of election commissioners checks vital statistics reports (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.50(4)).

Clerk or board changes the registration status of deceased electors from eligible to ineligible status (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.50(4)).

Wyoming

Secretary of state and director of the department of health are required to match information in the voter registration system with the death records in the office of vital records services (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-3-102).

Secretary of state removes the names of deceased individuals from voter registration lists (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-3-102).

 

Removing Voters Convicted of Disqualifying Crimes

Maine, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow people serving time for felony convictions to vote; in all other states, convictions lead to the loss of the right to vote while incarcerated. In fact, in many states, disenfranchisement extends through probation and parole, or sometimes is permanent.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires states to coordinate their voter registration database with records from the state department of corrections, and the National Voter Registration Act requires U.S. attorneys to report felony criminal convictions in federal court to state chief election officials. Most states require courts or the department of corrections to file a monthly report with the state’s chief election official listing all disenfranchising convictions. That official may cancel the relevant voter registrations or may forward the information to county and local officials, who then cancel the relevant registrations. In a few states (New Jersey, Oregon, Washington), registrations are marked as disqualified rather than being deleted.

Learn more about the voting rights of people with criminal convictions from the Sentencing Project.

State Practices for Removing Records of Voters With a Felony Conviction

State

Sources of Information

Practices

Alabama

Monthly list from clerks of circuit and district courts to the board of registrars of each county of all residents of the county age 18 or over who have been convicted of any offense designated as a felony involving moral turpitude (Ala. Code § (17-4-4). Appropriate state departments or agencies report information about convictions to the secretary of state (Ala. Code § 17-4-6).

Secretary of state disseminates information to the appropriate boards of registrars (Ala. Code § 17-4-6), who purges a voter from the statewide registration list whenever it receives and confirms information that a person has been convicted of an offense designated as a felony involving moral turpitude (Ala. Code § 17-4-3).

Alaska

The election director shall “make reasonable efforts to obtain the names of persons convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude” (AS § 15.07.135).

Promptly after receipt of satisfactory evidence, the director shall cancel the registration (AS § 15.07.135).

Arizona

Clerk of the superior court in the county in which the proceedings occur shall file with the secretary of state an official notice of such fact (ARS § 16-165(C)).

Secretary of state notifies county recorder, who cancels registration (ARS § 16-165(C)).

Arkansas

Circuit clerks of each county are required to promptly notify the permanent registrar of the county of residence of convicted felons promptly upon conviction (Const. Amend. 51, § 11).

Within 10 days following receipt of information requiring any cancellation of registration, the permanent registrar shall cancel the registration (Const. Amend. 51, § 11).

California

Clerk of the superior court of each county furnishes to the secretary of state and county election officials at least once a month a statement of felony convictions since the last report (Elec. Code § 2212).

Secretary of state or county elections official cancels the registration (Elec. Code § 2212).

Colorado

Colorado integrated criminal justice system furnishes information to secretary of state (CRS § 1-2-302(3.5)(b); U.S. attorney is required to give written notice of federal convictions to the secretary of state (CRS § 1-2-606).

Secretary of state electronically cancels registrations upon receipt of information from state justice system; information received from U.S. attorney is forwarded to county clerks, who cancel registration (CRS § 1-2-302(3.5)(b) and 1-2-606).

Connecticut

Commissioner of Correction sends monthly list to secretary of state of people who have been convicted of a felony in the Superior Court and committed to custody (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-45).

Secretary of state transmits lists to registrars of towns in which convicted persons reside; registrars compare the list with the list of electors, and after written noticed sent by certified mail, remove the names from the list (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-45).

Delaware

Clerk or prothonotary of any court shall, when a person is convicted of a felony, immediately notify the Dept. of State and State Election Commissioner (Del. Code tit. 15, § 1703)

State Board of Elections may consider the removal of names from any county master record in cases where there is a valid reason to believe a person is no longer a duly qualified elector (Del. Code tit. 15, § 1702)

District of Columbia

At least monthly, the board shall request, and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia shall provide, the names and addresses of people incarcerated for a felony (DC Code § 1-1001.07(k)).

Voter's registration is canceled (DC Code § 1-1001.07(k)).

Florida

Information from clerks of circuit courts, the Board of Executive Clemency, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Law Enforcement or a U.S. Attorney’s Office is used to identify voters who have been convicted of a felony (Fla. Stat. § 98.075 and 98.093).

Within 7 days, a notice of ineligibility is mailed to the voter. If the mailed notice is returned as undeliverable, supervisor must publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the voter was last registered. If a voter fails to respond to a notice within 30 days, the supervisor makes a final determination of eligibility and removes ineligible voters (Fla. Stat. § 98.075(7).

Georgia

Georgia Crime Information Center provides a monthly list of felony convictions to the secretary of state. Secretary is authorized to obtain such information relating to Georgia electors convicted of a felony in another state if such information is available (Ga. Code § 21-2-231).

Secretary of state transmits names to the appropriate county board of registrars who mail a notice to each voter on the list that they will be removed from the list of electors unless they request a hearing within 30 days (Ga. Code § 21-2-231).

Hawaii

Not specified

Whenever the clerk receives information of the loss of voting rights due to a felony sentence, the clerk makes investigation as may be necessary, gives the person concerned notice and an opportunity to be heard, then removes the name of the person from the register (HRS § 11-23).

Idaho

Dept. of Corrections supplies secretary of state with a monthly list (not in statute or admin rule, per conversation with secretary of state staff in Aug. 2021).

County clerk removes the voters name and informs the voter (not in statute or admin rule, per conversation with secretary of state staff in Aug. 2021).

Illinois

Administrative code references notice of incarceration by state dept. of corrections, a sheriff or a court, but does not require such notice (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 26, § 216.50).

Voter registration is canceled (Ill. Admin. Code tit. 26, § 216.50).

Indiana

US attorneys provide information to the state NVRA official, who notifies county officials (IC § 3-7-46-3). Dept. of correction provides monthly information to state NVRA official (IC § 3-7-46-4.1). County sheriffs provide reports of incarcerated residents on at least a quarterly basis to county voter registration offices (IC § 3-7-46-6).

State officials notify county voter registration offices, who remove name of the person from the voter registration records (IC § 3-7-46-3 and 3-7-46-5). Notice of cancellation is mailed to the alleged disenfranchised person at their last known address no later than the day following cancellation (IC § 3-7-46-9).

Iowa

Clerk of district court sends notice to the state registrar of voters (Iowa Code § 48A.30).

The state registrar notifies the county commissioner of registration, who cancels the registration (Iowa Code § 48A.30).

Kansas

Notification by U.S. district court, a county or district attorney or a Kansas district court (notification timing/method not specified) (KSA § 25-2316c).

County election official removes the name of the offender from the registration records (KSA § 25-2316c).

Kentucky

Administrative Office of the Courts notifies state board of elections (timing/nature of notification not specified) (KRS § 116.113).

SBOE removes voter from registration records within 5 days of notification. SBOE notifies clerk of the county in which the voter lived, and within 10 days the county clerk updates the county registration files (KRS § 116.113).

Louisiana

If requested, sheriff and district attorney must provide information regarding felony convictions to the registrar of voters. Secretary of the dept. of public safety and corrections sends a report of felony convictions and people in custody to the dept. of state on at least a quarterly basis. Dept. of state sends this information to parish registrars on at least a quarterly basis (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-171). U.S. attorneys are required to give written notice of felony convictions to the secretary of state. Secretary of state forwards information to parish registrars (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-171.1).

Registrar sends a notice to the voter. Voter may appear in person within 21 days of mailing to show cause why registration should not be suspended. If the voter fails to appear within 21 days, the registrar suspends the registration (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-176). Suspended registration may be reinstated when the person appears in person and provides documentation from corrections officials showing information indicating that voting rights should be restored (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-177).

Maine

n/a – a felony conviction is not disqualifying

Maryland

At times prescribed by the SBOE, the clerk of the circuit court for each county and the administrative clerk for each district court reports on individuals convicted of a felony. The state administrator makes arrangements with the clerk of the U.S. District Court to receive reports of felony convictions in that court. State administrator transmits information to the appropriate local board (MD Elec. Code, § 3-504).

Voter is removed from the registration list (MD Elec. Code, § 3-501).

Massachusetts

US attorneys provide information to the secretary of state, who forwards to local election officials (per conversation with state election staff in Aug. 21; not specific in statute).

Voter is removed from list (per conversation with state election staff in Aug. 2021; not specified in statute).

Michigan

Not specified

Not specified

Minnesota

Daily report from state court administrator to secretary of state of individuals aged 17 years or older who have been convicted of a felony; monthly reports from commissioner of corrections of individuals who are currently serving felony sentences or on probation for felony offenses (Minn. Stat. § 201.145).

Within 7 days, secretary of state must identify registered voters on these lists and prepare a list for the county auditor. Within 7 days after receiving the list from the secretary of state, the county auditor must challenge the status on the record in the registration system of each individual named in the list (Minn. Stat. § 201.145).

Mississippi

Circuit clerk of each county is directed to prepare and keep a list of persons convicted of disenfranchising crimes (Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-151). If a person is convicted of a disenfranchising crime in another county, the presiding judge of the court is required to certify that fact in writing to the registrar of the county in which the voter resides (Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-19).

Lists of persons convicted of disenfranchising crimes are entered into the statewide elections management system on a quarterly basis. They are removed by the county registrar or county election commissioners (Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-151). County registrar removes names from the statewide elections management system whenever a person is convicted in the circuit court of his or her county of a disenfranchising crime, or upon certificating by a judge in another county (Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-19).

Missouri

At least once a month, the clerk of the circuit court of each county and city not within a county provides a list of the name and addresses of every person 18 or older in the court’s jurisdiction who has been convicted of a disenfranchising crime. A copy is also submitted to the secretary of state (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.195).

Secretary of state notifies the election authority of the jurisdiction in which the offender resides (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.195). Each election authority determines the voting qualifications of those reported convicted or pardoned (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.199). Per conversation with state election officials, once it is verified that a registered voter has been convicted, local officials change their voter registration status to disqualified.

Montana

Not specified

Registration is canceled (Mont. Code Ann. § 13-2-402).

Nebraska

Clerk of any court in which a person is convicted of a felony is required to prepare an abstract each month of felony convictions and file it with the election commissioner or county clerk (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-313).

Election commissioner or county clerk remove the names of such persons from the register (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-313).

Nevada

Clerk may rely on information received from the secretary of state or from the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History (NAC 293.414).

County clerk cancels the registration (NRS § 293.540).

New Hampshire

Not specified

Not specified

New Jersey

County prosecutors deliver monthly lists to commissioners of all persons convicted of crimes that would disenfranchise them while incarcerated. Chief state election official provides monthly notifications of information received from the U.S. attorney concerning convictions of federal crimes (NJ Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19:31-17).

Commissioners transfer registrations to a conviction and incarceration file (NJ Rev. Stat. Ann. § 19:31-17).

New Mexico

Corrections department, NM sentencing commission, and administrative office of the courts are required to deliver the necessary information and data to the secretary of state. Secretary is required to request from the U.S. attorney necessary data (NM Stat. Ann. § 1-4-27.1).

The voter’s registration is canceled (NM Stat. Ann. § 1-4-27.1).

New York

At least quarterly, every court or the office of court administration is required to transmit to the appropriate board of elections or to the state board of elections a list of persons for whom convictions or revocations of probation or conditional discharge result in loss of voting privileges (NY Elec. Law § 5-78).

State board transmits notices received to the appropriate board of elections (NY Elec. Law § 5-708). Registration is canceled (NY Elec. Law § 5-400).

North Carolina

SBOE makes a monthly report to county boards of felony convictions in that county and notifies counties of notices of conviction sent by U.S. attorney (NC Gen. Stat. § 163-82.14).

County board gives 30 days’ written notice to the voter, and if there is no objection, removes the person’s name from registration records. Objections trigger a challenge process (NC Gen. Stat. § 163-82.14).

North Dakota

n/a – North Dakota does not have voter registration

Ohio

Clerk of the court of common pleas files monthly report with the county board of elections containing the names of all persons convicted during the previous month of crimes that would disenfranchise such persons; reports of conviction of crimes under the laws of the United States that would disenfranchise an elector are provided to the secretary of state by U.S. attorneys (ORC § 3503.18).

Secretary of state forwards information received from U.S. attorneys to county boards; county boards cancel registration upon receipt of information from secretary of state or courts (ORC § 3503.18).

Oklahoma

Written notice from U.S. attorney. Court clerk in each county is required to prepare a monthly list of all persons convicted in the county of a felony and transmit it to the county election board (26 OS § 4-120.4).

County election board cancels the registration of (26 OS § 4-120.4).

Oregon

According to correspondence with state election officials, there is no process by which counties are notified of felony convictions. Rather, they are expected to monitor address changes and note a change to a prison address. Also, if a county mistakenly sends a ballot to an incarcerated voter, it is the responsibility of prison employees to send the ballot back to election officials.

County clerk may cancel the registration of any person serving a term of imprisonment in any federal correctional institute in the state (ORS § 137.281(6)). Since the law does not require that registrations be canceled, most counties choose to inactivate prisoners (per conversation with state election official, Aug. 2021).

Pennsylvania

Not specified

Not specified

Rhode Island

Monthly list from dept. of corrections (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-9.2-3).

Secretary of state ensures that the statewide central voter registration is purged of the names of persons are ineligible due to incarceration for felony conviction (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-9.2-3).

South Carolina

Department of Corrections is required to provide information and data to the State Election Commission (SC Code Ann. § 7-5-186). Clerks of courts of common pleas and general sessions and every magistrate in the state must make an annual report to the executive director with a list of all persons convicted in that year of felonies or crimes against the election laws (SC Code Ann. § 7-3-60).

State election commission removes voter from official list (SC Code Ann. § 7-5-340).

South Dakota

Voter registration records maintained in the statewide voter registration file are matched with the records of felony convictions maintained by the Unified Judicial System (SDCL § 12-4-18).

Any voter who is serving a sentence for a felony conviction is removed from the voter registration records (SDCL § 12-4-18).

Tennessee

Clerk of the court that entered the conviction is required to notify county election commission (Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-20-113). At least once every jury summons cycle, jury coordinator of each court is required to send the administrator of elections a list of all people disqualified or potentially disqualified as prospective jurors due to felony convictions (Tenn. Code Ann. § 22-2-317). Election officials receive notices of felony convictions from the state coordinator of elections, district attorney, or US attorney’s office, or any other source with verification from the clerk of the convicting court (Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-2-106(a)(4)).

Voters are removed from the registration list upon receipt of information from the state coordinator of elections, the district attorney general, the U.S. attorney, the court that entered the conviction, or other source upon verification by the court (Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-2-106).

Texas

Each weekday, the Department of Public Safety is required to prepare an abstract of each final judgment convicting a person age 18 or older of a felony and file them with the secretary of state (Tex. Elec. Code § 16.003)

Registrar cancels the voter’s registration immediately (Tex. Elec. Code § 16.031).

Utah

County clerk removes the voter’s name from the register (Utah Code § 20A-2-306).

County clerk removes the voter’s name from the register (Utah Code § 20A-2-306).

Vermont

n/a – a felony conviction is not disqualifying

Virginia

Central Criminal Records Exchange is required to transmit to the Dept. of Elections a monthly list of all persons convicted of a felony in the preceding month and an annual list of all persons who have been convicted of a felony, regardless of when the conviction occurred (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-409).

Dept. of Elections notifies appropriate general registrar (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-409). Upon receipt of notice of a felony conviction sent by a U.S. attorney pursuant to 52 U.S.C. § 20501, the Dept. notifies the appropriate general registrar (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-409.1). The general registrar shall cancel the registration of any voter shown to have been convicted of a felony (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-427).

Washington

At least twice a year (beginning January 1, 2022, at least monthly), the secretary of state must compare the list of registered voters to a list of felons who are not eligible to vote (RCW § 29A.08.520).

If a registered voter is not eligible, the secretary of state or county auditor must confirm the match through a date of birth comparison and suspend the voter from the registration list (RCW § 29A.08.520).

West Virginia

Official notice from a state or federal court that a person has been convicted of a felony, of treason, or bribery in an election (W.V. Code § 3-2-23).

Clerk of the county commission cancels the voter’s registration (W.V. Code § 3-2-23).

Wisconsin

Department of Corrections is required to transmit to the elections commission, on a continuous basis, a list containing the name of each person who has been convicted of a felony and whose civil rights have not been restored (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 301.03(20m)).

Municipal clerks refer to the list before permitting an elector to register to vote (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 6.29).

Wyoming

The secretary of state and attorney general are required to compare data in the voter registration system with information maintained by the division of criminal investigation regarding state felony convictions (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-3-102).

Secretary of state removes from voter registration lists individuals who are not qualified (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-3-102).

 

Removing Voters Adjudicated Mentally Incompetent 

In the 34 states where people adjudicated as mentally incompetent are barred from voting, the typical practice is to require the courts to notify election officials upon such adjudication, and election officials then cancel the voter’s registration. However, in 11 states, the law does not specify how election officials are notified of such an adjudication. Election officials in two of these states (Maryland and Nebraska) report that although the process is not specified in state law, a court order would be required to remove a voter for reason of mental incompetence. In 15 states (Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont), voters who are mentally incompetent are not disqualified from voting. North Dakota does not have voter registration.

In 14 states, constitutions do not specifically disqualify voters who are mentally incompetent from voting. 

  • In four of these states, there is no disqualification provision in the constitution for mental incapacity, and statutes specify that people confined in mental facilities or receiving mental health or developmental disabilities do not lose their right to vote:
    • Colorado (CRS § 1-2-103(5), § 27-65-120 and 25.5-10-225).
    • Idaho (Idaho Code § 66-346(a)(6)) and § 66-412(3)).
    • Illinois (405 ILCS 5/2-100).
    • New Hampshire (NH Rev. Stat. § 135-C:56(II) and § 171-A:14(I)).
  • In four states, there is no disqualification provision in the constitution for mental incapacity, and statutes specify that voting rights are retained by people receiving mental health or developmental disability services unless there is an adjudication of mental incapacity:
    • Indiana (IC § 12-26-2-8 and IC § 12-27-2-3).
    • Oregon (OR Const. art. II § 3).
    • Tennessee (Tenn. Code Ann. § 34-3-104(8)).
    • Vermont (18 VSA § 7705(3)).
  • In Kansas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, disqualification for mental incapacity is not mentioned in the constitution or in statute.
  • Maine’s disqualification provision was held unconstitutional in 2001 and is no longer enforced (Doe v. Rowe, 156 F. Supp. 2d 35 (D. Me. 2001).
  • Michigan’s constitution provides that the legislature may exclude people from voting based on mental incompetence, but there is no disqualification statute (Mich. Const. art. 2, § 2).
  • In New Mexico, only people who are unable to mark a ballot and also unable to communicate their voting preference are barred from voting (NM Const. art. VI, § 1).

Learn more about the voting rights of people with mental disabilities from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

State Practices for Removing Names of Voters Adjudicated Mentally Incompetent

State

Sources of Information

Practices

Alabama

Monthly list from county judges of probate to board of registrars of their counties (Ala. Code § 17-4-4).

County board of registrars purges the voter from the statewide registration list (Ala. Code § 17-4-3).

Alaska

Constitution bars voting by persons who have been determined by a court to be of unsound mind (Const. Art. 5, § 2); process for removing voting rights is not specified in statute.

Not specified

Arizona

Clerk of the superior court in the county in which the proceedings occur shall file with the secretary of state an official notice of such fact (ARS § 16-165(C)).

Secretary of state notifies county recorder, who cancels registration (ARS § 16-165(C)).

Arkansas

Not specified

Registration is canceled by the registrar (Const. Amend 51, § 11).

California

Court shall forward the order and determination to the secretary of state and county election official (Elec. Code § 2208).

County elections official cancels the registration (Elec. Code § 2201).

Colorado

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Connecticut

Not specified

Not specified

Delaware

Not specified

State Board of Elections may consider the removal of names from any county master record in cases where there is a valid reason to believe a person is no longer a duly qualified elector (Del. Code tit. 15, § 1702).

District of Columbia

Not specified

Not specified

Florida

Circuit court clerks send a monthly list to the department of state (Fla. Stat. § 98.093(2)(b)).

Within 7 days, a notice of ineligibility is mailed to the voter. If the mailed notice is returned as undeliverable, supervisor must publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the voter was last registered. If a voter fails to respond to a notice within 30 days, the supervisor makes a final determination of eligibility (Fla. Stat. § 98.075(7).

Georgia

Judge of probate court provides a monthly list to the secretary of state of people declared mentally incompetent and whose voting rights were removed (Ga. Code § 21-2-231).

Secretary of state transmits names to the appropriate county board of registrars who shall remove all such names from the list of electors and mail a notice of such action (Ga. Code § 21-2-231).

Hawaii

Not specified

Whenever the clerk receives information of the loss of voting rights due to a felony sentence, the clerk makes investigation as may be necessary, gives the person concerned notice and an opportunity to be heard, then removes the name of the person from the register (HRS § 11-23).

Idaho

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Illinois

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Indiana

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Iowa

Clerk of the district court sends notice to the state or county registrar (Iowa Code § 48A.30).

County registrar cancels the registration (Iowa Code § 48A.30).

Kansas

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Kentucky

Circuit clerk notifies state board of elections (KRS § 116.113).

SBOE removes voter from registration records within 5 days of notification. SBOE notifies clerk of the county in which the voter lived, and within 10 days the county clerk updates the county registration files (KRS § 116.113).

Louisiana

Clerk of court having jurisdiction over an interdiction sends a certified copies of such judgments to their parish registrars on a monthly basis; registrars forward to the registrar of the parish where the person is registered to vote (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-172).

Registrar suspends the registration of the person for the period of interdiction (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-176). Suspended registration may be reinstated upon receipt of a certified copy of a definitive judgment revoking interdiction (La. Stat. Ann. § 18-177).

Maine

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Maryland

Not specified in statute; according to a July 2021 conversation with state election officials, a specific directive to remove a voter would have to come from a court.

Voter is removed from the registration list (MD Elec. Code, § 3-501).

Massachusetts

No process provided in state law, per conversation with state election staff in Aug. 2021.

If election officials receive a valid judgment or adjudication, the voter is removed (per conversation with state election staff in Aug. 2021; not specified in statute).

Michigan

Constitution allows the legislature to exclude people based on mental incompetence (Art. 2, § 2), but there is no disqualification statute.

Minnesota

Daily report from state court administrator to the secretary of state on individuals who are under a guardianship in which a court order revokes the ward's right to vote or where the court has found the individual to be legally incompetent to vote (Minn. Stat. § 201.145).

Within 7 days the secretary must determine if people listed are registered voters and notify county auditors. Within 7 days of receiving notice from secretary of state, county auditors must challenge the status on the record in the registration system of each person named in the list (Minn. Stat. § 201.145).

Mississippi

Not specified in statute

Voter is removed from the roll (Miss. Code Ann. § 23-15-153; see also AG opinion 95-0172).

Missouri

At least once a month, the clerk of the circuit court of each county and city not within a county provides a list of the name and addresses of every person 18 or older in the court's jurisdiction who has been adjudged incapacitated and has not been restored to capacity. A copy is also submitted to the secretary of state (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.195).

Secretary of state notifies the election authority of the jurisdiction in which the person resides (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.195). Each election authority removes from its registration records the names of voters adjudged incapacitated (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 115.199).

Montana

Not specified

Registration is canceled (Mont. Code Ann. § 13-2-402).

Nebraska

Not specified in statute; according to a July 2021 conversation with state election officials, a court would have to provide documentation to election officials.

Election commissioner or county clerk cancels the registration (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-326).

Nevada

Courts are required, within 30 days of judgment, to provide certified copies of orders to the county clerk where the person is resident and the secretary of state (NRS § 293.542).

Clerk cancels the registration (NRS § 293.540).

New Hampshire

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

New Jersey

Not specified

Not specified

New Mexico

New Mexico’s statute pertaining to cancellation of registration based on a certification of legal insanity was repealed in 2019 (Laws 2019, ch. 212, § 284).

New York

At least quarterly, every court or the office of court administration is required to transmit to the appropriate board of elections or the state board of elections information on any person of voting age who has been adjudicated as incompetent (NY Elec. Law § 5-708).

Registration is canceled (NY Elec. Law § 5-400).

North Carolina

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

North Dakota

n/a – North Dakota does not have voter registration

Ohio

Monthly report by state probate judge to board of elections (ORC § 3503.18).

The board of elections cancels the registration of each elector named in the report (ORC § 3503.18).

Oklahoma

The court clerk in each county prepares a monthly list of all persons who have been adjudged incapacitated and holds the list for the county board (26 OS § 4-120.5).

County board cancels the registration of each voter on the list (26 OS § 4-120.5).

Oregon

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Pennsylvania

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Rhode Island

Court system notifies state or local election office (per conversation with state election staff, July 2021; no citation provided).

City/town cancels the registration in the system and removes the voter registration card from the paper file (per conversation with state election staff; no citation provided).

South Carolina

There is no requirement in state law that courts notify election officials. A family member may inform election officials, but that happens only rarely (per conversation with state election officials).

State election commission removes voter from official list (SC Code Ann. § 7-5-340).

South Dakota

Clerk of courts is required to prepare and deliver to the county auditor a monthly abstract from the records of the names of persons declared mentally incompetent in the preceding month (SDCL § 12-4-18).

County auditor removes the names from the master registration list (SDCL § 12-4-18).

Tennessee

n/a - state does not have a disqualification statute

Texas

Clerks of court are required to prepare a monthly abstract of each final judgment of mental incapacitation, restoration, or guardianship modifications including the right to vote. The abstract must be filed with the person’s county of residence (Tex. Elec. Code § 16.002).

Registrar cancels the voter’s registration immediately (Tex. Elec. Code § 16.031).

Utah

While there is a constitutional provision barring people who are mentally incompetent from voting (Const. Art. 4, § 6), there is no disqualification statute.

Vermont

n/a – state does not have a disqualification statute

Virginia

Clerk of each circuit court is required to furnish monthly to the Dept. of Elections a list of all persons adjudicated mentally incapacitated (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-410).

Department transmits the information to the appropriate general registers (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-410), general registrar cancels the registration (Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-427).

Washington

Courts provide official notice to county auditors (RCW § 29A.08.515).

County auditor cancels the person’s voter registration (RCW § 29A.08.515).

West Virginia

Notice by an appropriate court of competent jurisdiction of a determination of a voter’s mental incompetence (W.V. Code § 3-2-23).

Clerk of the county commission cancels the voter’s registration (W.V. Code § 3-2-23).

Wisconsin

Court notifies election official or agency (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 54.25(2)(c)(1)(g)).

Not specified

Wyoming

Not specified

Secretary of state removes from voter registration lists individuals who are not qualified (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 22-3-102).

Questions Legislators Can Ask About Voter Registration List Maintenance 

Questions that legislators may want to ask when considering or evaluating a state’s voter list maintenance program:

  • What agencies do state and local election officials coordinate with to ensure the accuracy of their voter lists?
  • How frequently do officials conduct checks against other agency databases? Are these checks automated or is this a manual process?
  • What matching criteria is used when conducting voter list maintenance activities? In other words, when verifying voter information and determining if voters have moved or are no longer eligible, how are election officials making sure that they’re in fact dealing with the right person?
  • Does the state permit sharing of voter list information with other states to conduct voter list data checks between states?

Additional Resources