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June 29, 2006

State cleans felons from voter rolls

Posted by David Postman at 7:39 AM

Secretary Sam Reed this morning said he has canceled the voter registrations of 848 felons. It's the latest move in cleaning up state elections following the record-close, and problem-plagued, 2004 gubernatorial election.

In a press release Reed said, "These felons, who are incarcerated or supervised by the Department of Corrections, will not receive a ballot in the 2006 elections. This aggressive screening of our state's registration system is long overdue and imperative to the conduct of secure elections."

The felon voters were found through the state's new database that matches voter registrations with information from the Department of Corrections.

UPDATE: Katie Blinn, the assistant director of elections, said the 848 includes people in prison and still under supervision by the Department of Corrections.

The state cannot bar from the polls felon voters who have completed their sentences but still owe court-ordered fines and payments. A Superior Court decision in March struck down that part of the law. Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna were unable to get a stay on the decision from either the Superior Court or the Supreme Court and as of now that group is eligible to vote.

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