Dead people voting

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Dead people voting is a type of election fraud that occurs when a deceased person remains on the voter registration rolls and a person fraudulently casts a ballot in their name.

Sometimes it is possible to determine the names of deceased people still appearing on voter registration lists.


Connecticut, 2008

Election officials in Connecticut removed names from the state's voter rolls after journalism students found that thousands of dead people were still registered to vote. After conducting their own investigation, students at the University of Connecticut said this spring that about 8,5000 dead people remained registered to vote. The Connecticut Secretary of State worked with local registrars to remove more than 5,200 of those names from the rolls. The deaths of about 1,300 people on the students' list could not be confirmed, though they were moved to the "inactive" list. But 45 of the "dead" voters were actually alive. That highlights the balancing act undertaken by state officials, who recognize the potential for fraud when dead people remain registered to vote, but must also ensure that eligible citizens are able to exercise their right to vote.[1]

Florida, 2008

A study conducted by the Florida Sun Sentinel in late October 2008 found:

  • More than 65,000 ineligible and duplicate voters on Florida's registration rolls.
  • 600 dead people on the list.[2]

Indiana, 2008

The ACORN organization registered a dead man in Indiana.[3]

Mississippi, 2008

Madison County, Mississippi has 123% more registered voters than people over the age of 18. 486 people on the list of registered voters are over 105. 190,000 new voters have registered for the 2008 election.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says, "It is terrible. Combined with the fact that we don't have voter ID in Mississippi, anybody can show up at any poll that happens to know the people who have left town or died -- and go vote for them. Whenever we have a third party determined by payment, for example, as they did in Benton County -- 'walking-around' money -- and they determine what that vote is going to be, they've taken your vote, whether they may have voted like you would have or not, they've still thwarted the process and they've still have taken your vote away from you."[4]

Rhode Island, 2008

CBS News Issued a report that Rhode Island is one of nineteen states according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York Law School has claimed that Rhode Island is ignoring a law that prohibits states from "purging" voters 90 days before an election. Rhode Island Election Officals disagree with the report claiming that their own state law against illegal purging stops the voter roll purging problem.[5]

States and counties regularly update their voter registration rolls for accuracy, removing people who have moved, died, or committed a felony. It is known as "voter purging." However, there are no national standards for the process, and as a result, the cleaning up of voter rolls is not as precise as it should be and eligible voters are often wrongly removed.[5]

"What's wrong with the process is it's happening in secret. It's happening with no accountability," Michael Waldman, the center’s executive director, told CBS News.[5]

Texas, 2008

More than 4,000 people's names are listed both on Harris County’s voter rolls and also in a federal database of death records, a Texas Watchdog analysis has found.[6]

Dozens have apparently cast ballots from beyond the grave, records since 2004 show. One expert says the number of deceased names used to cast ballots may be higher than what Texas Watchdog’s analysis found. Instances of dead voters’ names being used to cast ballots were most frequent in three elections, the November 2004 general election, the November 2006 general election and the March 2008 Democratic primary, the analysis found.[6]

Tennessee, 2006

  • In 2006, the Tennessee State Senate voted to nullify the election of Ophelia Ford after an investigation revealed that three poll workers had faked votes in her behalf, including at least two votes cast in the name of dead people.

National statistics

Year Total U.S. Registered Voters Total U.S. Deceased Registered Voters

Deceased voter statistics by state


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