EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Election Connection

November 5, 2012

Clerks: Inactive voters likely to slow some polls

There are more than 32,000 in Haverhill and Lawrence; they must show ID, sign affidavit to vote

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“We’re asking anyone who hasn’t voted a long time or recently moved within the city or who didn’t return the census to check the inactive list first,” she said. “The process is they show us ID, sign a form and give their address. Then we put them back on the active list and they go vote.”

There are even more voters on the inactive list in Lawrence — 17,720, according election coordinator Rafeal Tejada. Of those, Tejada said he expects around 6,000 will show up to vote.

“We will have a separate table for them, but there’s no doubt it’s going slow things down,” Tejada said of inactive voters. “But there’s not much that can be done about it. We have a lot of people who only vote in the presidential election every four years, and all those people, if they didn’t return the census, are going to be on the inactive list.”

Clerks in Methuen, Andover and North Andover are less concerned about inactive voters slowing things down tomorrow because there are fewer of them in those communities. There are 6,874 inactive voters in Methuen, 2,383 in Andover and 2,187 in North Andover, the clerks said.

“It’s going to be crowded at the polls anyway and people are going to have to wait, but I don’t think our inactive voters are going to cause that much of a problem because there aren’t that many here,” Methuen Clerk Christine Touma-Conway said.

Andover Town Clerk Lawrence Murphy said historically about 10 percent of the town’s registered voters are on the inactive list. There were 23,494 total registered voters on the last day to register, so that percentage is almost right on for this election, he said.

“Everybody seems to use a different process for dealing with inactive voters,” Murphy said. “We tell ours see the (precinct) warden, then they show ID and sign an affidavit.”

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