Hosemann: Voter Purge Violated Federal Law - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Madison 03/05/08

Hosemann: Voter Purge Violated Federal Law

By Kandiss Crone
kandiss@wlbt.net

Less than a week before Mississippians head to the polls for the March primary, more than ten-thousand Madison county voters were removed from the voter rolls.

District One Commissioner Sue Sautermeister, who did not want to go on camera, said she was within the boundaries of the election commission when she moved the voters from active to inactive status...even though some of voters were at the polls just a few months ago.

"I found two or three voters just in a quick scan who actually voted in november of 2007," said circuit clerk Lee Westbrook.

Westbrook says the election commission uses jury summons and voter ID cards not delivered by the post office to determine which voters are inactive.

But according to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, the purging process, which began in January, could be in violation of federal law.

"We're not allowed to purge within 90 days of a federal election so that would go back to December 11th. So when we go back to reinstate the voter rolls we'll check all of the voter rolls from Madison county from December 11th forward," Hosemann said.

Among those removed: David Landrum, a republican candidate for Mississippi's third congressional district.

Hosemann's staff worked late into the night Wednesday to put the ten-thousand plus voters back on the rolls.

"I want everyone to be assured you can come to the polls and you will be able to vote and we encourage people to come vote," Hosemann said.

To avoid being taken off the voter rolls, make sure the circuit clerk has your current address on file.

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