Texas asks voters if they're dead

Sept. 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Thousands of registered voters in Texas are getting letters from elections officials, asking for verification they are not dead.

Nearly 77,000 letters, referred to as notices of examination, were sent to comply with a 2011 state law requiring the Texas Secretary of State's office to cross-reference voter rolls with the massive Social Security Administration's death master file to determine whether an eligible voter is deceased, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported Thursday.

Use of the federal death file and its 89 million entries has resulted in a large number of letters mailed, said Tina Morton, Travis County tax assessor-collector and voter registrar.

The letters were sent out two months before the presidential election because of delays caused by redistricting issues, said Rich Parsons, the Secretary of State office's director of communications.

"The primary was delayed, as were several deadlines related to the primary election. This was the first window of opportunity we have had to do this," he said.

Still-living voters have 30 days to complete and return forms accompanying the letters, but county clerks are encouraging voters to report their eligibility by telephone, the newspaper said.

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