A bill that would purge the voter rolls of inactive voters passed the state Senate and was sent to the House after a motion to reconsider was removed from the bill Tuesday.
Senate Bill 2588 would create a statewide election management system and would remove voters who fail to respond to a notice from county election officials and fail to vote in two federal elections.
The bill is authored by state Sen. Jeff Tate, R-Meridian, who is chair of the Senate Elections Committee.
County election officials could purge a voter if they haven’t responded to a confirmation notice sent by mail for four consecutive years or haven’t voted in two federal elections. If they vote in any election during that four-year timeframe, they’re exempted from having their name removed from the voter rolls.
The bill would also require that no voters be purged from the rolls for 90 days before a federal primary or general election.
“What we have is people on the voter rolls that are inactive,” Tate said. “This would help clean up our voter rolls.”
The bill passed on a 36-16 party line vote on February 10, but it was held over on a motion to reconsider.
State Sen. David Blount, R-Jackson, said the bill was an attempt to stop non-existent voter fraud, which he says Republicans allege without evidence.
The bill would purge about 600,000 off the voter rolls.
“You have a list of people who you know didn’t commit voter fraud,” Blount said. “This is bad legislation that continues a bad tradition. Purging people for not voting, purging people for not voting for something that isn’t true isn’t what we are about.”
The Senate also passed SB 2587, which authorizes registrars to alphabetize and sort absentee ballots by precinct.