The Election Integrity Project of Judicial Watch — a Washington-based legal-watchdog group — analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011–2015 American Community Survey and last month’s statistics from the federal Election Assistance Commission. The latter included figures provided by 38 states. According to Judicial Watch, eleven states gave the EAC insufficient or questionable information. Pennsylvania’s legitimate numbers place it just below the over-registration threshold.
My tabulation of Judicial Watch’s state-by-state results yielded 462 counties where the registration rate exceeded 100 percent. There were 3,551,760 more people registered to vote than adult U.S. citizens who inhabit these counties. “That’s enough over-registered voters to populate a ghost-state about the size of Connecticut,” Judicial Watch attorney Robert Popper told me.
Powered by These 462 counties (18.5 percent of the 2,500 studied) exhibit this ghost-voter problem. These range from 101 percent registration in Delaware’s New Castle County to New Mexico’s Harding County, where there are 62 percent more registered voters than living, breathing adult citizens — or a 162 percent registration rate.
Washington’s Clark County is worrisome, given its 154 percent registration rate. This includes 166,811 ghost voters. Georgia’s Fulton County seems less nettlesome at 108 percent registration, except for the number of Greater Atlantans, 53,172, who compose that figure.
But California’s San Diego County earns the enchilada grande. Its 138 percent registration translates into 810,966 ghost voters. Los Angeles County’s 112 percent rate equals 707,475 over-registrations. Beyond the official data that it received, Judicial Watch reports that LA County employees “informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144 percent of the total number of resident citizens of voting age.”
All told, California is a veritable haunted house, teeming with 1,736,556 ghost voters. Judicial Watch last week wrote Democratic secretary of state Alex Padilla and authorities in eleven Golden State counties and documented how their election records are in shambles. “California’s voting rolls are an absolute mess that undermines the very idea of clean elections,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton in a statement. “It is urgent that California take reasonable steps to clean up its rolls. We will sue if state officials fail to act.”
Ronald Reagan’s California has devolved into a reliably far-Left stronghold. While pristine voter rolls should be a given in a constitutional republic with democratic elections, even that improvement might be too little to make America’s most populous state competitive in presidential elections. The same cannot be said for battleground states, in which Electoral College votes can be decided by incredibly narrow margins.
Clinton’s fans should know that Trump won Michigan (10,704) and North Carolina (173,315) by fewer ballots than ghost voters in those states. It’s past time to exorcise ghost voters from the polls. Perhaps these facts will encourage Democrats to join the GOP-dominated effort to remove ineligible felons, ex-residents, non-citizens, and dead people from the voter rolls — for all contests, not just presidential races.
“When you have an extremely large number of stale names on the voter rolls in a county, it makes voter fraud much easier to commit,” Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R., Kan.), co-chairman of President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, told me. “It’s easier to identify a large number of names of people who have moved away or are deceased. At that point, if there is no photo-ID requirement in the state, those identities can be used to vote fraudulently.”
In fact, CBS’s Windy City affiliate last October compared local vote records with the Social Security Administration’s master death file. “In all,” the channel concluded, “the analysis showed 119 dead people have voted a total of 229 times in Chicago in the last decade.” KCBS–Los Angeles reported in May 2016 that 265 dead voters had cast ballots in southern California “year after year.”
Under federal law, the 1993 National Voter Registration Act and the 2002 Help America Vote Act require states to maintain accurate voter lists. Nonetheless, some state politicians ignore this law. Others go further: Governor Terry McAuliffe (D., Va.) vetoed a measure last February that would have mandated investigations of elections in which ballots cast outnumbered eligible voters.
Even more suspiciously, when GOP governor Rick Scott tried to obey these laws and update Florida’s records, including deleting 51,308 deceased voters, Obama’s Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit to stop him. Federal prosecutors claimed that Governor Scott’s statewide efforts violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act, although it applies to only five of Florida’s 67 counties.