Checking your voter status before elections

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Voters who have moved recently or missed the last few elections may find themselves on the inactive voters list. Each year, the office of the Registrar of Voters is required by law to canvas the voting lists.

This means the office must go through and make sure all voter addresses are still correct and updated and assigned to the correct precinct.

According Secretary of State Tom Schedler, the registrar will do this by trying to contact voters.  If the office cannot verify a voter's address, then that voter goes on what is called the inactive voter list.

However, it's important to know that being on the inactive voter list does not mean a person cannot vote.

"The big misconception to everyone out there is that you can't vote when you are on the inactive list. That is not correct," explained Schedler. "All you need to do is go vote at your regular precinct and when [you] come in, they're just going to ask you a few more specific questions to verify who you are."

If you have moved, Schedler said the office will then make sure you are put into the correct precinct.

If a voter is on the inactive list for more than two years and misses two federal elections, then the voter is removed from registration. However, like the inactive list, a voter is not removed forever.

A resident who has been removed can simply re-register to vote.

Schedler said it was once required to post the inactive voter list in the paper. However, he added that process was not effective in informing voters if they were inactive.

Now, voters can check the list at anytime online.

"Now we have a process that's out there seven days a week, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. You can go on and see if your name is there. If it is, all you have to do is go in and registrar," said Schedler.

Check your voting status

Also online, residents can register to vote and check the offices that are up for election by parish or city. A mock ballot will be available for review 30 days before an election.

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