More than 170,000 people have been purged from New Mexico’s voter rolls — and among them are a prominent voting rights activist, as well as the wife of a Democratic state representative.
State Rep. Brian Egolf (D) told the AP that his wife received a letter saying that the state government considered her an inactive voter, and that she would need to, essentially, re-register before she could vote in the fall.
In an even more ironic move, a woman whose job is to ensure voting rights for New Mexicans was rendered an “INACTIVE” voter by the state. Diane Wood, the Voting Rights Director for Common Cause New Mexico, has been an active voter since 1971, and has dedicated her life to making sure other people have the same right.
Wood released a video expressing her disappointment:
Yesterday, I got a postcard… telling me I had to maybe confirm my address when I went to vote. I’m not even sure what I would need to confirm my address, because I’ve looked over the statute, since I do voting rights, and it doesn’t even have anything in the statute telling me how I would confirm that. I’m just shocked that I took my job to fight for other people’s right to get their vote counted, and now I’m having to fight for my own.
About 14 percent of New Mexico’s registered voters were mailed the same letter that Wood and Egolf’s wife received, because, according to New Mexico’s Secretary of State Dianna Duran, the state is required to begin the voter purge and will send the mailing to anyone whose address bounced back since 2005.
Those people will still be able to vote without verifying their information until 2014, though many may be confused by the letter, which is arriving right before the 2012 elections.