Bethesda, Md - Once you register to vote in Maryland, you are registered for life.
Or in some cases even after death.
Election Integrity Maryland, a non-partisan group says after looking at only a one percent sample of registered Maryland voters, they found hundreds of people still on voter rolls that have died.
Some who have been dead for years.
“We found two voters who have died and voted after their day of death we confirmed our findings with the board of elections and voter vault which is a method of tracing voter history we found three voters who registered to vote after the date of death. ” Election Integrity Founder Cathy Kelleher says.
In all, the group found more than 1500 dead voters still on the polls across the state in their sample.
Kelleher says their research shows that nursing homes and senior citizen apartments seem to show up the most.
She says at one nursing home, out of 90 registered voters 42 were dead but their names were still active on the voter rolls.
Kelleher she isn't alleging widespread fraud, she says she thinks most of this is the result of bad bookkeeping on behalf of the state and many local elections boards.
“If the state board of elections are relying on the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as the sole source of the information why are we having all these dead people something’s not working the other thing is the state of Maryland will not remove a dead voter if they died outside of the state of Maryland," Kelleher says.
But election officials say they have several checks in place to make sure that people who aren't supposed to vote don't vote.
Baltimore City Election Board Director Armistead Jones says every year they purge hundreds of voter’s names from death list from the state, and from requests by family.
Jones says they have to be very careful.
“If we're not notified of a death then that name will be on the roster until we get some kind of notification. They are automatically purged that list comes in to us we used to get it in writing from the local court but now it’s given to the state and the state purges those names from the voter rolls. ” Jones says.
Kelleher says they sent the results of their research to the state and to local election boards but have not heard back from any of them about the findings.
Baltimore County Board of Elections Director Katie Brown says they reviewed the information from Election Integrity Maryland and will act if they find any issues.
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