Bloated Voter Rolls Make It Easy to Cheat in Elections

By Chris Wright, 4/27/23

Here’s how election fraud is committed.  First, you bloat the voter rolls, like keeping dead people on them.  Next, you create a bunch of loose ballots floating around out there, like through universal mail-in balloting.  Then, bad actors get ahold of loose ballots and vote them in the name of people who won’t vote because, for example, they’re dead or moved out of state.  The last step is to match up illicitly cast ballots with registered voters in the election computer system to make it all look kosher, and you’re done. 

Now do you understand why the Democrats ferociously resist cleaning the voter rolls at every turn, which is just common sense?  Bloated voter rolls make it easy for the Democrats to cheat.

But people who care about election integrity are starting to get a handle on things:

A lawsuit by a watchdog group forced Colorado to start cleaning up its voter rolls as required by the National Voter Registration Act.  The state settled a lawsuit by agreeing to report its progress in removing ineligible voters to the group for six years.  The number of ineligible voters removed per reporting period has already gone up.  The watchdog group has achieved similar results in other states. 

Virginia elections officials discovered 19,000 dead people were left on the rolls, supposedly because of a computer coding error.  This will be corrected when the state’s new voter registration is finished.  Meanwhile, local elections officials are being given the authority to remove dead people from the rolls on the basis of an obituary or family notification, instead of requiring an official death certificate. 

Wisconsin Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to start examining 3.8 million voter registrations in the state that are believed to be voters who are deceased, inactive, noncitizens, felons, or declared incompetent.  The Governor is likely to veto the bill, but an override is a decent possibility. 

A bill in the Texas Senate would suspend voters if they haven’t cast a ballot in more than two years. They’d be sent a notice and, if they fail to respond, they would be removed from the rolls after another two years.  The U.S. Supreme Court approved a similar Ohio law in 2018. 

Iowa follows a similar process, but with a twist.  It moved half a million voters to inactive status after they didn’t vote in the election last fall.  They’ll still get to vote through 2026, but the state no longer waits for voters to miss two consecutive general elections before starting the process of potentially removing them from the rolls.

Count on citizen and legal groups to keep banging away on cleaning up the voter rolls until the problem is cut down to size.  Maine lost in court after it tried to restrict researchers from obtaining and using voter roll data to look for ineligible voters by comparing it to data from other states.  Maine’s law originally restricted access to voter data to certain entities like political parties, but was amended to frustrate the lawsuit with, among other things, the state line restriction.  The new restrictions were cooked up by Democrat lawmakers, staffers, lobbyists, and ERIC, a left-wing voter data nonprofit.  But the court blew them all away, ruling the new restrictions thwarted Congress’ intent to achieve transparency under the National Voter Registration Act. 

A group in Michigan has figured out how to give access to Michigan voter data to approved citizen researchers working at home on their own computers.  Researchers can now see whether someone voted in past elections, uncover an impossible number of voters registered at the same address, and determine whether registrations belong to actual living persons at addresses of record. 

Cleaning the voter rolls will be a never-ending process.  For example, hundreds of noncitizens are on the voter rolls in Maricopa County Arizona.  Some of them vote even though they are ineligible.  The problem stems from the federal Motor Voter law, which requires states to allow people to register to vote at their local motor vehicle bureau when getting a driver’s license.  Not an easy problem to solve, but the status quo is unacceptable, and people who care about election integrity will eventually get around to working on it. 

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