By Bev Wenger
Yuma County Clerk and Recorder
Contrary to popular belief, Colorado voter rolls are some of the cleanest rolls in the nation. County clerks have policies and procedures that must be followed and maintained before removing or adding a voter to/from our voter list.
As of January 10, 2022, Yuma County has 5,677 active voters and 430 inactive voters. Inactive voters over the course of each year are sent several communications encouraging the voter to update their records and have them become an active voter.
How often is the voter registration database updated?
The short answer is, every hour. Then, when we get closer to Election Day, the voter registration list is updated multiple times per hour during regular business hours.
The following are the voter list maintenance procedures that every county in Colorado follows:
NVRA Cancellations – After General Elections, by the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) – Voter records that are inactive for returned mail, undeliverable ballot, or National Change of Address (NCOA) changes are sent a confirmation card by forwardable mail, have not voted for two consecutive General elections, and have not had any voter-initiated changes made to the record can be canceled.
National Change of Address (NCOA) – Monthly – Information provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS) of citizens that have updated their residential or mailing addresses within Colorado is used to update voter records and send correspondence. Voters that have provided addresses outside of Colorado will be made inactive and be sent correspondence.
Election Registration Information Center (ERIC) – Monthly – This compares the list of electors with the Social Security Administration’s list of deaths. This includes electors that passed away outside of Colorado. Complete minimum matching criteria is needed to cancel voters. ERIC is a consortium of states that contribute their database to improve accuracy of the voter rolls and access to voter registration. As of last spring when Texas joined, there were 30 states in the ERIC program. Colorado was a founding member in 2012 with the support of the General Assembly.
Obituaries, death certificates, or other information provided that an elector has passed away may be used to cancel a Colorado voter registration if minimum matching criteria is met.
Colorado Department of Health & Environment (CDPHE) – Monthly – List of deaths within Colorado compared to voter records that can be used to cancel the voter’s record when minimum matching criteria is met.
HAVV – Monthly – The Help America Vote Act requires election officials to verify identification numbers provided on voter registration applications. This is a list of SSNs that have been verified allowing the ID required tag to be removed from voter records that have the 4 digits of the SSN provided instead of a DL number when registering.
Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) – Weekly – List of felony incarcerations within Colorado compared to voter records that can be used to cancel the voter’s record when minimum matching criteria is met.
Voter Merge – lists from the State of possible duplicate records for voters and information found during daily data entry is used to identify possible voters with multiple records and to consolidate those records. Additional information provided by the voter of the DMV is used to merge the records.
Information sent from other states showing new registrants with former addresses in Colorado may be used to cancel an elector’s Colorado voter registration if minimum matching criteria is met.
Matching criteria that is referred to in the previous bullet points are a minimum of three of the following identification criteria: Name, date of birth, prior or current address, driver’s license number, and last four of social security number. If only two of these are available, further communication is need in order to process the voter’s update.
If a voter moves out of state, it is the voter’s responsibility to cancel their Colorado voter record.
In addition to these list maintenance procedures, multiple times a day we process voter registrations from the online voter registration system, GoVoteColorado.gov, as well as registrations that come from voters visiting state driver’s license offices.
Voters can check to see if their registration is up to date by visiting GoVoteColorado.gov or by calling our election office at 970-332-5809.
Wenger, a Republican, has been the Yuma County Clerk and Recorder since 2003.