Too Many Voters on the Rolls?

According to a Houston Chronicle report, that seems to be the problem in at least 16 Texas counties, where a review of their records by Judicial Watch showed more voters on the rolls than there were actual voters in the county. One of the biggest discrepancies (as a percentage) was in Loving County, where there are only 40 eligible voters, but 65 on the voter rolls.

As the article notes, this has been a problem since the 90’s, because many counties, particularly rural counties, lack the time and manpower to regularly update the voter rolls, which is an issue that I have discussed before (here and here); however, there are other factors as well, such as “snowbirds” and college students who vote in one county but are considered residents of another county by the U.S. Census.

The one serious issue (imho) mentioned in the article was that of people who return to a county to vote even if they live somewhere else. This was an issue in a recent election contest in Texas, where there were some voters who lived in a different county in Texas, but continued to vote in Travis County.


This investigative report purports to have found at least 100 hundred illegal voters - some of whom have voted in recent elections. The report did not reveal in which elections they voted. However, some of these people claim they did not know how they became registered votes.

Part of this problem could be solved by regularly checking and cleaning up the voting rolls. If you remember the story about dead voters in S. Carolina, you’ll remember that this kind of human error is how deceased voters remained on the rolls and some live voters were presumed deceased. It’s not a hard thing to do, but it does require some extra work on the part of election administrators.

Aside from the aspect of human error which can be easily corrected - and the report seems to suggest that these offices are making an effort to do so - how some of these people became registered without their knowledge should probably be looked into as well.


Dead Voters in South Carolina

You may remember this reply to a post claiming 953 dead people voted in S. Carolina’s GOP primary.

Luckily, the Executive Director of the S. Carolina Election Commission testified on this issue.

According to her testimony, 37,000 people in the state have been identified as deceased. Of those 37,000, only 953 ballots have been cast in the names of those deceased. Based on this finding, they checked the list of 37,000 presumed deceased to see if any of them requested absentee ballots for the 2012 primary. They found 10 who had requested absentee ballots; all 10 are alive and well.

This kind of thing happens: deceased voters are not removed from the rolls, voters are presumed to be dead when they are - in fact - alive, etc.

Further Reading:

Testimony of Marci Andino [pdf]

(h/t Election Updates)


Actually, these ballots were not cast in the GOP primary on Saturday, so the headline is just wrong. The S. Carolina AG informed the Justice Department about these votes in a letter sent to the Justice Department on Thursday (Source). The letter also does not specify which elections, but it would not likely have been this year’s primary since the discovery came about as a result of extensive research relating to the state’s voter ID law showing these people voted two to 76 months after they died. In other words, they’ve been looking at past election results, not current ones. If these people “voted,” it was likely by absentee or mail ballot, as opposed to in person.

(Source: anticapitalist, via takethispolitically)



According to a study done by the Brennan Center For Justice, as many as 5 million voters will be disenfranchised by Voter ID laws passed in Republican states.

I’ve discussed this before (last paragraph), but the guys over at The Monkey Cage have a post about this new study, as well as the previous studies (here). Summary: there have been several studies done on the effect of voter ID laws on turnout, and there is nothing conclusive which can be drawn from them. Some show a negative effect, some a positive, and some none at all. It’s very difficult to prove what the effect is. Long story short: we have no idea what the impact will be right now.