Voter registration up in Marengo County

Published 11:45 am Monday, May 31, 2010

With the May 21 deadline to register to vote in the statewide primaries passed, the Marengo County Board of Registrars has seen a decrease in the number of voters registering to vote in the primary.

Instead of blaming voter apathy, Board of Registrars Chairman Carolyn Thomas attributes this decrease to a high number of Marengo County citizens already being registered to vote.

“We have seen a decreased number of registrations because so many [people] registered to vote in the presidential primary two years ago,” said Thomas. “There aren’t too many people now who aren’t registered. There was a big turnout of applicants to register to vote in the presidential election.”

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Marengo County has a total of 15,149 registered voters as of the end of April. According to Thomas, this number fluctuates on a daily basis due to people moving in and out of the community. The total number of registered voters includes both active and inactive voters.

“Active voters are ones that have up-to-date information and that have kept their voting status as active,” Thomas explained.

Of the 15,149 total registered voters in the county, 13,205 are active voters.

The remaining registered voters are classified as inactive voters in the voting rolls.

“A lot of it is contributed to the state having a mail out, and not replying to the mail out causes people to be classified as inactive,” said Thomas..

Even though voters who do not return the requested information to the state officials are listed as inactive, having an inactive status would not prevent a registered voter from voting in the primary election Tuesday.

The Marengo County Board of Registrars updates the voting lists based on update forms that are completed by inactive voters and returned with the election results.

“Before the voter receives the ballot, they will be given an update form that will make them active,” Thomas explained, “That should take care of a lot of the inactive voters.”

The Board of Registrars was looking forward to administrating this year’s primary elections.

“It should be a very interesting primary with so many people running,” said Thomas. “I hope the turnout will be strong and we can get these inactive voters updated.”