Luzerne County Election Bureau tracking voter address changes

Luzerne County Election Bureau tracking voter address changes

In light of a recent email to Luzerne County Council, the county Election Bureau stressed it is fulfilling all state requirements for voter address changes.

The email to council came from Toni Shuppe, CEO of Audit The Vote PA. Shuppe and the organization support former president Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud and that the 2020 election was stolen, according to online postings.

Her communication informed council Audit The Vote’s recent statewide analysis of the Sept. 5 voter rolls identified more than 242,000 registered voters no longer residing in Pennsylvania, including 4,360 in Luzerne County.

“Please let us know when your county would be able to meet with us to further discuss, or how your county will be proceeding,” it said.

County Deputy Election Director Beth McBride said the National Change of Address (NCOA) procedure referenced in the email is part of routine voter list maintenance required by state law and adhered to by the county election bureau.

“We are up to date on all our list maintenance activities,” McBride said.

Every 60 days, the state uploads address changes from the state transportation department, new registrations and cancellations into the Electronic Registration Information Center, known as ERIC, she said. The center compares data from member states, including Pennsylvania, and flags voters when names, birthdates and social security numbers match others in the system.

Based on information flagged by ERIC, the county Election Bureau mailed approximately 5,000 letters to voters with address changes this year, McBride said.

When these notices are sent, the voter’s registration updates with a labeling of “unconfirmed” in the state database and a notation that a communication has been sent to the voter, McBride said.

Voters who don’t respond to the bureau’s notice are marked as inactive in the state database and will be required to show identification if they attempt to vote in the Nov. 8 general election, McBride said.

This inactive status will be clearly marked in paper poll books used for voter sign-in on Election Day, she said.

If notices are returned verifying an address change or cancellation, the bureau completes updates as warranted, McBride said.

Data for the most recent round of maintenance was pulled in June, and the county sent mailings to each flagged voter in June and August regarding address changes, McBride said.

No additional mass mailings can be completed until after the Nov. 8 general, she said. Under state law, confirmation mailings cannot be sent within 90 days of an election, which was Aug. 10 for the upcoming general election.

“Again, Luzerne County follows all guidelines that are laid out in the state statute, as well as guidance provided to us by the Pennsylvania Department of State,” McBride said.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

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