Those who are active voters in Vicksburg still have a job to do in primary, general election

Published 9:32 am Friday, April 21, 2017

On one hand, lines at some of the busiest polling places in Vicksburg will be a little shorter this election season.

On the other hand, fewer people in Vicksburg will have the opportunity to cast a ballot in the upcoming municipal elections.

Recently we learned that nearly one in four residents, who were on the voter rolls during the last municipal election in 2013, had been removed, purged for one reason or another.

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In 2013, 16,457 residents were active, registered voters in Vicksburg. As of last week, just 12,732 were listed as active, registered voters.

By any standard, that significant of a drop in just four years is alarming, but the reason for the drop is both alarming and appreciated.

Elva Smith-Tolliver, with the Vicksburg Election Commission, said the reduction in active voters is due to routine, daily maintenance of the voter rolls.

“If you are a registered voter, and you move out of the county you can be purged from the rolls,” Smith-Tolliver said. “If you die, you can be purged from the rolls. If you do not vote in two federal general elections, by state law we can remove you from the rolls.”

In a country in which the ability to cast a vote is one of the most important rights of our representative democracy, to have people simply pulled from the rolls for not voting is disappointing.

But, those who are considered inactive, can still cast an absentee ballot. We would hope you do so.

The work on the part of the commission is often a thankless job, and their efforts to ensure the voter rolls are well maintained is appreciated. But, we do wish everyone of age, and able to do so, not only had the opportunity to cast a vote, but actually did so.

Those who have stepped forward to run for public office deserve the public’s scrutiny. They deserve to be tested, questioned and challenged in their service to the public.

But, they also deserve a voting public to be active in the process, and that comes with going to the ballot box and casting a vote.

If you go to vote and have been taken off the active rolls, you will still be able to vote absentee and have your vote counted. You will then be moved back onto the active list.

This year, fewer people may be on the rolls, but their responsibility has not diminished. Their responsibility is to go vote.