Scam Email Scares Virginia Voters

Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: Ira Quillen

Lynchburg, VA - The State Board of Elections is warning about an email, which indicates, here in Virginia, if you haven't voted since 2008, you are now inactive and you need to re-register.

But voter officials say there are some things you need to know. And it's a good idea to check your voter status, anyway.

"I would be shocked, because if I'm on the voter's register, I should be able to vote when I want," said one Lynchburg woman.

"I would be upset. I would have to get in contact with someone," said another.

Haven't voted since the '08 presidential election? No need to fear. Or is there?

What defines an inactive voter, and does being one prohibit you from voting?

"The Presidential election was probably the last time I voted. I have my voter's card and everything, so I assume everything's good to vote for the next time," said one man.

"An inactive voter to me might be somebody that hasn't voted in the last couple of elections," said another.

"You become inactive if we have sent you a mailing, and it's been returned to us," said Gary Beasley, the Amherst County Voter Registrar.

By Virginia law, it's impossible for you to become inactive by just not voting. A returned registration letter is what makes you inactive.

But even inactive voters can vote.

"You would sign a form, an affirmation of eligibility, and you would be allowed to vote," said Beasley.

But don't dally. If you are inactive and don't vote in more than two federal elections, you become purged from the voter system.

Officials say if you're unsure of your status, "You should check to see if you're registered. And you can do that by going on the state board of elections website, or you can call us and we'll be glad to check it for you," said Beasley.

Officials say be sure to fill out a change of address form if you have moved.

In an extremely important election year, they say the last thing you want to have happen, is to get to the polls and discover you're ineligible to vote.