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Updating voter registrations

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You may have gotten a card in the mail from the Secretary of State's Office recently, if so, don't throw it away. 

More than 9,300 people have not voted in the last four years, but are registered to vote in Black Hawk County. With just your signature and a check mark, you can help keep elections clean in the state of Iowa. Black Hawk County Auditor Grant Veeder is breaking down the importance of voter cards.

Veeder says, "We want to cancel registered voters who no longer live here or have passed away, but it can take a long time, so we want to take advantages of processes like this to clean up our record."

Voter cards are nothing new, but after a campaign season full of voter fraud accusations, auditors want the public to know just how the process works.

"In light of the fact that a lot of people have shown they are concerned about the voting process and registration, we just want the public to be more aware of how the voting process really works," Veeder says.

And it starts with the card.

"If you are the registered voter on the card and still live at the address listed, you do not have to send it back," Veeder explains.

However, if you get a card for someone who doesn't live at your address, you should fill it out and send it back to the auditor's office. Do not sign saying you are someone else.

"They still have to go to the polls and identify themselves," says Veeder. "That's somebody running the risk of committing a felony."

If the card is ignored, that registered voter will be put on an inactive list for two general elections before their registration is then canceled. 

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Here's more specific details, from the auditors office, on what to do if you receive a card: 

This annual "Four Year No activity" mailing is required by law. It is very important that you check the box that applies, make notes if needed, and sign the card. 

If your 'Four Year No Activity' card is returned to our office as undeliverable:

Your voter registration record will placed on inactive status. This is a preliminary step to cancellation.

Voters remain on the rolls with inactive status through two general elections. If you try to vote, you will be asked to update your registration. You will then be returned to active status.

If you get a card for someone who doesn't live at your address:

Indicate on the reply card that the person does not live at your address, sign the card, and return it to our office. We can then place the person on inactive status. However, we can't completely cancel the registration without the voter's own signature unless:

* we get notice from another community that the voter has registered there;

* we get notice that the voter has died or been convicted of a felony; or

* the voter has been on inactive status through two general elections

If the card is not returned, the law requires us to assume that the person still lives there. We may not get a chance to take them off the rolls for another four years. (Political campaigns will also assume the person still lives there, so you'll probably get mailings and phone calls.)

If you get a four year no activity card for yourself and your address is correct:

You don't have to do anything. The fact that you got the card indicates that you are still registered with Active status.

If you get a four year no activity card and the address is incorrect:

Check the box marked "I am the person named above but I no longer live at the address listed." Fill in your new street address and sign the card.

If your new address is inside Black Hawk County, your voter registration record will be updated and you will receive a new voter card. This will show up as activity on your voter registration record.

If your new address is outside Black Hawk County, your voter registration will be canceled. IMPORTANT: This does not register you to vote in your new community! You will need to re-register at your new address.  Follow this link to register online or download a voter registration form:

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