Counties and States are required by law to perform basic voter list maintenance. Many states and counties are failing to perform anything more than the bare minimum of maintenance. Here in PA, it is estimated that more than 11,000 non-citizens are on the voter rolls.
Eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, have total voter registration tallies exceeding 100%, and in total, 38 states have counties where voter registration rates exceed 100%. Another state that stands out is Kentucky, where the voter registration rate in 48 of its 120 counties exceeded 100% last year. About 15% of America’s counties where there is reliable voter data – that is, over 400 counties out of 2,800 – have voter registration rates over 100%.
This echoes a 2012 Pew study that found that 24 million voter registrations in the United States, about one out of every eight, are “no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate” – a number greater than the current population of Florida or New York state.
Los Angeles County has too many voters. An estimated 1.6 million, according to the latest calculations – which is roughly the population of Philadelphia. That’s the difference between the number of people on the county’s voter rolls and the actual number of voting age residents.
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires states to send notices to suspected “inactive” voter registrations and if they don’t vote in the next two elections to remove them from the voter roll. Unfortunately many states have ignored this requirement.
Robert Popper, a former deputy chief of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, who now works on voting issues for Judicial Watch, said the most aggressive efforts have been led by Democrats. “The willingness of Democratic administrations to just make war on the NVRA is appalling,” said Popper, whose group sued California over its voter roll failures.
A significant contributing factor leading to the sorry state of voter registration rolls is that the Obama Justice Department did not bring a single list maintenance enforcement action during the entire Obama presidency. Most of the few current efforts to clean up voter rolls are due to Judicial Watch demanding enforcement of federal law. Judicial Watch rocks! If you like the work they are doing to clean up the voter rolls, consider sending them a donation.
“[There’s] a cottage industry now of private enforcement of section eight of the NVRA that has arisen from the Justice Department’s utter failure to enforce this federal statute,” notes Popper. The Trump administration Justice Department joined Judicial Watch’s already-in-progress Kentucky lawsuit, but before that, the last section 8 election integrity action brought by the department was a decade ago – initiated by Popper when he worked in the Bush administration.