It is no surprise that anytime a major election rolls around many Americans begin to cry foul over voter fraud. A new report by the Pew Center on the States finds that about 24 million active voter registrations throughout the Nation are no longer valid or are wrought with inaccuracies.
Of the 24 million people who are inaccurately registered to vote, about 1.8 million are dead, according to the report. Another problem reported is that nearly 3 million people are registered in more than one State. Election officials blame the inaccuracies on how often Americans move around and lack of communication between the States.
“If a John Smith lives in Maryland and goes to another state, say on vacation, and dies,” Linda Lamone, who runs Maryland’s elections told NPR. “The law of the state where John Smith dies dictates whether or not the Maryland vital statistics people can share that information with me.”
Pew is working with election officials, academics and technology specialists to help States improve their registration systems which the research center calls inaccurate, costly and inefficient.
The report says:
Voter registration in the United States largely reflects its 19th-century origins and has not kept pace with advancing technology and a mobile society. States’ systems must be brought into the 21st century to be more accurate, cost-effective and efficient.
The report calls for States to move away from traditional paper ballot voting systems in favor of electronic voting.
The research also calls for the United States to adopt cost-saving measures saying, “The costs of maintaining a voter list in the United States are high when compared with our neighboring democracy, Canada, which spends only 35 cents per active voter to create and maintain its lists in a federal election year—one-twelfth the cost in the U.S.”
Despite the high number of flawed voter registrations documented in the report there is an even higher number of Americans who are eligible, yet unregistered, to vote. About 51 million American citizens — that’s one out of every four Americans, or 24 percent of the population of the United States — are eligible to vote but are not registered.
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