On Voter Rolls: 1.8M Dead People

One in 8 voter records are flawed, Pew estimates
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2012 9:54 AM CST
On Voter Rolls: 1.8M Dead People
Pew estimates that some 1.8 million registered voters are really dead people.   (Shutterstock)

The Walking Dead is more than a hit TV show, it might just be a successful get-out-the-vote strategy. Thanks to 24 million out-of-date and inaccurate voter registration records, the United States has up to 1.8 million dead people registered to vote, reports USA Today. "We have a ramshackle registration system in the US. It's a mess. It's expensive. There isn't central control over the process," said one expert. Despite 2.75 million duplicate registrations and other problems, the Pew Center for States, which published the study, says there are still 51 million eligible citizens not registered to vote.

The flawed voter rolls go beyond just voting cemeteries. In Wood County, Ohio, for example, there are 106% the number of registered voters as people in the 2010 census. Experts point to the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which made it easier to register to vote and harder to kick someone off. The problem is especially bad in the vital swing states, where national elections are frequently decided, as both parties work hard to sign up as many voters as possible. Pew suggests enacting a multi-state database to track voter registration more efficiently, using driver's licenses, death certificates, and other documents. Eight states are beginning such a system this year. (More Pew Center on the States stories.)

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