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Nearly 15% of voters in Jefferson County on 'suspense list,' could be canceled in late November

Voters on the list are still eligible to vote in the primary and general election this year.

BEAUMONT, Texas — If you’ve moved in the last few years it’s time to make sure you’re still registered to vote or you could have a little trouble when you show up at the polls this March or November.

If the voter registrar in your county can’t confirm your address you could end up on a “suspense list.”

In Jefferson County this year 15% of the county’s registered voters are on the “suspense list” and could be purged in late November 2020.

You will be able to vote this year, even if you’re on the “suspense list,” but you’ll probably be pulled aside at the polls to confirm your registration. Having your registration current will definitely make your experience at the polls quicker and easier.

Voter registrars in Texas purge their lists of registered voters every other year by weeding out those who no longer live in the county or whose address can’t  be verified.

MORE | Check the status of your voter registration

Jefferson County sends out a mass mailing of renewal certificates to all registered voters in the county in December of each odd numbered year Tax Assessor-Collector Allison Getz tells 12News.

The names of any registered voter whose certificate is returned by the post office as “undeliverable” is then added to a “suspense list.”

Voters are also added to the list at other times of the year when a voter fails to respond to an address notification or appears on a list of non-residents of the county according to Getz.

Voters then have until November 30 of the next year, which are the even numbered years, before they are eligible for cancellation Getz says.

Currently there are 21,898 voters on the “suspense list” in Jefferson County where there are currently 146,595 registered voters according to Getz. That’s 14.94% of the voters in the county.

Usually the county carries about 7,000 – 8,000, which would be only about 5% of voters, on the list.

Getz attributes the higher numbers to voters displaced by Tropical Storm Imelda and possibly even some left over from Harvey.

The county also experienced a higher than normal number of voters on the list the year after Harvey she said.

All counties in Texas may purge voters at the end of November in even numbered years if they are on the “suspense list.”

If you’re unsure if you are currently registered to vote or are afraid you may be on the list to purged visit the Texas Secretary of State’s website here.

The last day to register to vote to be eligible to vote in the primary election this March is February 3, 2020.

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