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WV voters asked to confirm registration

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Voters in West Virginia will soon receive a postcard in the mail asking them if their address has changed and if they want to remain a registered voter.

There are about 1.2 million registered voters in West Virginia, and county clerks will be mailing more than 335,000 notifications to voters who may have changed their address or who have been idle for two federal election cycles.

"The Secretary of State's Office takes our election process and our voter registration process very seriously, and we are committed to protecting the integrity of those processes and keeping our voter rolls clean," Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said. "We, along with the county clerks, are undertaking this state mandated process to ensure that our voter rolls are accurate. Most of the people receiving notifications will just have to fill out the notification and send it back."

If a voter receives a notification, called a National Change of Address, or NCOA card, and does not fill it out and return it to his or her county clerk, the voter will be placed on the list of "inactive" voters. These people are still registered to vote and may vote in 2014. Voters who remain inactive for two federal election cycles will have their registration canceled as required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Tennant said her office has been very active in cooperating with counties to maintain accurate voter rolls. Passed during the 2013 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 535 provides access to more information for updating records, and ultimately means more accurate voter registration rolls. It provides more tools for counties to use to remove from the rolls the people who have moved out of the jurisdiction or who have passed away.

"Maintaining accurate voter registration records requires the participation of the voters," Tennant said. "We ask that, if you receive a NCOA card in the mail, you confirm the address information on the card or correct the address information on the card. The card already has a stamp on it so all the voter will need to do is sign it and drop it in a mail box to send it back to their county clerk's office."