Harris County voters to prove they're still alive

Some voters are receiving letters saying they're dead

Published On: Sep 10 2012 06:51:26 PM CDT
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HOUSTON -

The Harris County Tax Assessor's office sent out 9,018 notices last week trying to confirm if people are dead and should be removed from the voter registration.

"I'm glad to be alive," Harris County resident David Jackson said.

On Friday, his wife opened a letter from the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector that said it received information that he was dead.

"She said, 'Do you have something to tell me? Like maybe you died and didn't tell me?'" said Jackson.

The letter stated the voter registration is subject to cancellation.

Jackson recently voted in the July runoff election with no problem. Now he's wondering if this could be an attempt at voter fraud.

"We're right on the eve of an election. It's a pretty heated one. Things seem close. How many ways might people try to manipulate the outcome?" said Jackson.

The Harris County Tax Assessor's office is required by law to send out the notices. Office employees said the Secretary of State's office sends death notifications to them each month. The matches are made by names, birth dates and Social Security numbers, along with a recent death certificate.

"We've got 1,943,000 and some change in registered voters as of this morning in Harris County. With a list that big and name that common its going to happen," said Fred King.

The letter is called a challenge letter. It's asking the family to confirm the death or to say they are alive and mail the form.

It does say failure to not respond to the Voter Registrar in 30 days will cancel the persons voter registration.

Don Sumners, the Harris County Tax Assessor, made a decision late Monday to not cancel those who did not respond. Therefore, the November election roll will not affected.