Update your voter information now

Published 7:19 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Even though the elections are over, it is vitally important for citizens to make sure their voter registration cards are updated.

According to Olivia Sipper, chairman of the Crenshaw County Board of Registrars, the Secretary of State’s office sends out post cards every four years to every active registered voter now that each county’s voter lists have been expunged. These will be the first of two sets of post cards sent out to voters.

“If the name and address on the post card is correct, then you do not have to send it back,” Sipper explained. “If the post card has someone else’s name on it, then the current resident should mark it ‘Return to Sender’ and put it back in the mail. The county and the state will pay for the return postage, so no one has to worry about that.”

The first set of post cards will go out between Jan. 15 and Jan. 20.

“If the address on the post card is incorrect, they will have to come to the Registrars’ Office and sign a form to change the address,” she said. “They can’t do that part over the phone. It’s the same, also, if a woman has married and needs to change her name—she will need to come to the courthouse and do it.”

Sipper said that Crenshaw County still has about 83 residents who have addresses that have not been updated to the E-911 standards.

“Those cards won’t be delivered because those addresses are wrong,” she said. “Some of those people may have moved, but some may still be living here. These residents can give us a phone call, and we will help get them updated. We can check their voter information over the phone, but we can’t change it over the phone because we must have the signature of the voter.”

Sipper said the more people who can get their addresses corrected before the end of January, the fewer cards will be returned, which, in turn, will save on postage costs.

Once the first set of post cards has been sent out, the Registrars’ Office then begins the second phase.

“All post cards that are returned to our office that say ‘Return to Sender’ will go on a second list,” Sipper said. “The post office will forward that card to the new address. That post card will go out sometime in March. If any of those cards come back, then those people will be made inactive on the registered voter lists, and they will have to update their information at the polls before they can even vote.”

Sipper added that these inactive voters can also update their voting information at the Board of Registrars’ Office as well. Either way, if they don’t, they won’t be eligible to vote in the future.

“The easiest thing would be to just come to the Board of Registrars’ Office at the courthouse and make sure all of your voter information is correct,” Sipper said.

For more information, contact the Crenshaw County Board of Registrars’ Office located inside the Crenshaw County Courthouse at 335-6568.