About once a year, I'll get around to the topic of dead voters. I will admit.....it is something that interests me.
I always find it curious that no one wants to really dig into this.....or ask how many dead voters voted in the 2008 or 2012 election. Some people take guesses.....some are educated....some are just a wild guess.
Roughly 2.1 million people voted in 2008 within the state of Alabama. How many dead voters cast their vote? My educated guess is that around a 1,000.
I say this because I've analyzed this and come to some conclusions.
First, when folks pass away.....there's a death certificate done and it passes through the county office responsible for maintaining the voter's list. They typically have someone with a high school diploma.....who has the job of once a week....updating the list. At best.....from an average county.....you can figure that roughly thirty to forty people pass away each week. So the clerk would have roughly two hours of work.....to remove those forty names off the list.
If you wanted to organize the dead voter names and take advantage of this....it'd be awful hard unless you noted in the database that they were people who got absentee ballots mailed to them. The odds of this? Maybe if this was a relative who was in an old-folks home.....it might occur. The typical guy who is thirty-five? No. He won't have an absentee ballot situation.
My honest guess is that you have some dimwit clerk who will have 2,000 names a year that they need to remove from the listing, and they typically screw up on fifty-odd names a year. Some will be absentee ballot folks but it'll be a small number. So if you did do some research....in a single county.....there might be twenty dead folks getting a absentee ballot to their house. Maybe some neighbor checks the box for the relatives or maybe the widow herself checks the box.....to find this ballot there, and thinks for a second.....to vote in the name of Gus.....one more time.
So across the US? I'd take a guess that we are talking about somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000 dead folks voting. There's no proof of them being Republicans or Democrats.....so I doubt if this is a real organized thing.
Should it bother folks that 10,000 dead folks vote in national elections every four years? Well....it's hard to say. Ethically, it's not right. For the widow, or nephew, or daughter who is voting in the name of the dearly departed? Maybe they think it's legal (it's not).....or that no punishment can come of this.....which is likely true.
Fixing this? I think the only way is to require absentee voters to actually be met by someone who represents the county and be re-registered every single election year. You could hire some gal who travels around the county four months prior to an election and just confirm you are still alive and kicking.....and OK to have a ballot. The odds of us doing this? Zero.
Eventually, someone is going to discover that a dead guy has voted in five elections and then the journalists will get all huffed up.....disturbed, and beg for some change. But until then.....the dead will continue to vote.