Shelby Co. Election Commission begins purging voter rolls

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Shelby County Election Commission has begun purging ineligible voters from the county's voter registration rolls.

The move comes a week after an investigation by The Commercial Appeal found that voter rolls included at least five hundred dead people and as many as twenty thousand people who have moved from Shelby County.

The investigation also found nearly 50 poll workers who worked the November 2004 election with criminal convictions ranging from sexual assault to prostitution, burglary and drug use.

The chairman of the election commission's voter service committee said poll workers will be screened for criminal backgrounds.

The commission has also approved conducting change-of-address searches to determine if voters have left the county.

Investigators are still trying to determine how the names of two dead voters were used to cast ballots in Democrat Ophelia Ford's slim 13-vote victory over Republican Terry Roland in the District 29 state Senate race last fall.

Commission staff said they were reviewing a list of 500 deceased people still on the rolls. Thousands were purged in February and March after state officials first flagged the problem of dead voters remaining on the rolls.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)