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Voter purge hits active voters

KCIvey via Flickr

A voting rights activist and the wife of a Democratic state representative are among more than 177,000 New Mexico voters whose status has been deemed inactive. The move is raising questions about the criteria being used by Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran as she begins a cleanup of voter rolls three months before the presidential elections.

Diane Wood, voting rights director for Common Cause New Mexico, says she was surprised to receive a post card this week asking her to verify her voting status because she has voted in every election since 1971. State Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, said his wife got the same mailing even though she is a regular voter.

Wood says she is concerned the mailings will discourage voters from going to the polls in November.

Duran says she is simply following the law. She says the last secretary of state failed to keep the rolls updated as required by federal law and that the current mailing was conducted in consultation with the Obama Administration's Justice Department and Democratic Attorney General Gary King.

She says any voter who received the card need only vote in November to keep their registration active.