New letters meant to help voters causing confusion

AUSTIN (KXAN) – An effort to update the Travis County voter rolls is also causing some confusion.

“They told me that 75,000 people had received the same card and we were all on this national list for change of address,” said Monica Brieger, a Travis County voter. “I am curious as to know why I’m on this list. How did I get on this list? I’m a current voter here. I just voted in the election here in October and (I have) been here, haven’t changed any addresses.”

Travis County did, in fact, send out about 75,000 letters to voters like Monica, according to the voter registrar for the county. Officials sent the letters based on a comparison of the National Change of Address list and the voter rolls. Those on both lists got a confirmation card instead of the blue voter certificates that go out every couple years.

“I do want to assure Travis County voters that as a result of this letter we’re sending out trying to update their addresses, no one is going to be removed from the voter rolls,” said Travis County Tax Assessor Bruce Elfant.

County officials say the letter is simply an extra step to reach voters who might have issues with their registration. The letter outlines the process of registration cancellation that happens if a voter has an incorrect address, does not correct it, and does not vote for two general election cycles. In the past, the office has had to take 35,000 names off the rolls because voters had incorrect information in their registration and also did not vote, according to Elfant.

“A lot of people have left the county. Some people have passed away,” explained Elfant. “So there will be some subset of [voters with incorrect information] that we will find. Some of them we will find because they came to vote subsequently, we updated it there. Some may not have remembered at all and re-registered completely. And that’s fine too.”

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