Updated June 1, 2023 - 2:57 pm
How long does it take for a dead person to be removed from the voter rolls?
In response to a Review-Journal survey of readers asking them to send election-related questions, one reader, who asked their name not be published, asked how long it takes for a deceased person to be removed from the voter rolls.
The state Office of Vital Statistics, which works with funeral homes, physicians, coroners and families, sends daily notice reports to the secretary of state’s office with official death certificates. The secretary of state’s office then compares that data with the statewide registered voter list.
If it finds that the registered voter is deceased, the secretary of state’s office notifies the appropriate county clerk, who then also determines whether or not the person is dead and then cancels the person’s registration, according to the secretary of state’s office. That process is immediate and takes less than 24 hours, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Then once a month, the secretary of state determines whether each county clerk has followed through on removing a dead voter from the statewide registration list, according to state law. If the secretary of state finds that the county clerk has not removed a dead voter, they notify the clerk again and repeat the process.
So how did the case of Donald Kirk Hartle happen? Hartle pleaded guilty to voting twice in the 2020 election, using the ballot of his wife, who died in 2017.
The secretary of state’s office said there are a few circumstances that can delay the process of removing a dead person from the voter rolls. If a family member does not have the deceased person’s Social Security number, or if that person was homeless or lived alone, the Office of Vital Statistics’ verification that the person is deceased can take longer.
Voting is a constitutional right, so the secretary of state’s office wants to make sure it has the correct information before they confirm the person’s death and remove them from the voter rolls. Ensuring that staff has the person’s Social Security number or other personal identifying information is crucial to the process, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Do you have any questions about how Nevada’s election process works? Fill out the Google Form on the Review-Journal’s website.