Rougly 39,000 inactive voters have been purged from the York County election office's records.

Director Nikki Suchanic said that her office removed 38,983 voters from the register Wednesday -- the first time in about a decade -- that a purge had been done.

"I guess you could say it was 10 years in the making," she said.

It will allow more accuracy in estimating voter turnout, she said.

Those that were removed include voters who have moved away, died or refused to vote, she said. With the change, the county now has 260,403 voters, she said.

To be removed from the rolls, a voter must have been inactive for five years and two federal elections, Suchanic said. They will be able to re-register to vote, she said.

The two major political parties in York County applauded the move. Local Democratic Party Chairman Michael Johnson and county GOP Chairman A. Carville "Peck" Foster said the updated numbers will ensure they don't send information to invalid voters.

"It's very useful to have these purges done," Johnson said. "I hope they will be done more frequently."

Suchanic said she plans to do purges every couple years.

The Democrats never depended on the county's registration data, however. Johnson said they use other resources such as obituaries to maintain their own list. That information is sent to a national database, he said.

The Republicans used the data with the caveat that the information wasn't completely accurate, Foster said.

"When you have a lot of dead wood on the rolls, it gives a picture that the turnout is worse than it is," he said.

epaik@ydr.com; 771-2001