Less Active Voters in Marion County
Today kicks off qualifying week for candidates who want to see their name on the ballot for the City of Ocala elections.
The number of people potentially voting for those positions is lower, thanks to a voting roll purge in Marion County.
This purge had nothing to do with the state purge of non-citizens.
About one month ago there were more than 224,000 active voters registered in Marion County.
Since then, that number has significantly decreased.
Down to 216,369 active voters. Wesley Wilcox who is the Supervisor of Elections in Marion County said a Florida law requires all supervisor of election offices to perform a voter roll maintenance.
"We mail a a letter basically saying we haven't heard from you in a couple of years, is everything still accurate with our records," said Wilcox.
This procedure has to be performed on the odd number years after the general election.
A notice like this one gets sent out to the voter at least two times.
"We've received back about 8000 that were undeliverable," said Wilcox.
Wilcox said in most cases, receiving an undeliverable notice means the voter moved or passed away.
Those undeliverable notices will place a voter under the "inactive" status.
"They are still eligible to show up at a polling place to vote. We have to be provided a valid residential address because the address we have on file is not valid," said Wilcox.
Wilcox wanted to make sure this procedure was complete before the Ocala City elections, which are coming up this October.
"If we kept them on our rolls we would have instead of 216,000, we'd have 275,000 registered voters," said Wilcox.
According to Wilcox, keeping those voters on the rolls could affect the voter turnout in an election.
"Instead of being 72 or 75 percent turnout where would we be; we would be down at 50 percent turnout. Even though this 25 percent is no longer here anyway," said Wilcox.
Ocala City elections are on October 15,2013.
By Friday afternoon we will know who will be running for Mayor and City Council Districts one, three, and five.
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