Ghost voters

IBD: 3.5 million false registrations

I thought this wasn’t supposed to be a real problem, but clearly it is.

26 thoughts on “Ghost voters

    1. I couldn’t decide just how or even if to respond to this silliness, but I found your brevity and Len’s detail to be more than sufficient and well said.

      Our DDS has been honing his distract/deflect skills as the Executive embarrassment worsens…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The article uses “bogus” and “fraudulent “ as if to prove malicious intent. There were 153 million registered voters in 2018.

    First, 3.5 million represents an error rate of 2.28%, or the rolls are 97.72% accurate. It should be better, but that kind of accuracy with a fluid and constantly moving population is probably quite good. After all we only count our people every decade, so population stats are all about interpolation.

    Next, we already know that local registrars are slow in recording address changes and even deaths. Steve Brannon was found to be registered in several states around the 2016 election as just one example. And people just don’t notify voter registration authorities as a priority when they move.

    In addition their has been wholesale efforts by Republicans to purge the voter rolls. But in Florida, Georgia and other states, the purges have been highly inaccurate, disenfranchising thousands.

    Finally, Democrats have been trying to fund more secure elections for the states, which would include more accuracy almost by default, but Mitch and other GOP leaders will have none of that.

    In addition, this has nothing at all to do with voter ID and all to do with better record keeping by cities, counties and states. And that takes money. And face it, since the recession, states are not prioritizing voter rolls as a spending item. And, of course, now in this economic catastrophe, states can’t even keep public safety rolls filled never mind registrar updates.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. That is certainly a true statement, but I’d think that a partisan commission headed by a person who believes that fraud exists would do considerable work to prove it exists before giving up.

          Perhaps there was simply no there, there…

          Liked by 2 people

          1. A lack of convictions can have many explanations.

            Successful fraud
            A reluctance to prosecute those caught
            Plea bargains and probation
            A reluctance to convict.
            Jurisdictional problems(when a college student votes at his residence and also votes absentee at home, which is fraud?)

            So, a small number of convictions is pretty much meaningless, and since localities do not report cases not prosecuted or put on probation, there is no way to trace.


        2. @Tabor

          “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

          So truthy! But if the absence of evidence comes after millions and millions of dollars having been spent looking for the evidence then the failure to find evidence IS evidence.

          The logic that you would apply would make it rational to say that “Bigfoot may exist” because it has not been proved to not exist. But in reality, it is irrational to say “Bigfoot may exist” because so much effort has gone into looking for evidence that it does and come up blank.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. @Tabor
            And I could provide a list of fanciful reasons why no evidence of Bigfoot has been found. Here is the first one on the list and it is a close analogy to your first item . . .

            They successfully hide!

            Liked by 2 people

    1. Your error rate evaluation is flawed. It is true that 3.5 million is 2.28% of 153 million, but that doesn’t mean the voter rolls are 97.72% accurate. It means only that 2.28% of the voter rolls consist of “ghost voters,” defined as people who are registered to vote in excess of the number of eligible voters. The remainder of the voter registration records could be fraudulent, as well, and for any number of reasons, including the reasons that produced the ghost voters.

      Put another way, we know that the voter rolls are inflated. Instead of assuming that the measured inflation is the only problem, we should assume it indicates that other problems exist, or that the causes of the inflation produced a bigger problem than just the observed inflation.

      This is a good example of why voter ID is important. Voter ID is a necessary quality check on the accuracy of the voter registration database.

      Validating a voter’s registration at the poll assures that the person is not one of several different types of ghost voter (e.g. dead, moved away, etc.) and produces statistical data that can be used to assess the integrity of the registration database overall. Properly implemented, voter ID would be sufficient to maintain accurate voter registration records such that extraordinary methods (like Judicial Watch’s) are not needed.


      1. @Roberts

        The real point Len made with that statistic (97.72%) is that the insinuations and accusations of something sinister by the article are not justified. The reasons for “ghost voters” are benign. And no evidence that there is ANY fraud involved.

        There is no question that people should identify themselves at the polls when they vote. They ALWAYS have and there has never been ANY material case of in person voter fraud even when a statement under oath was acceptable for those without ID.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. RE: “The real point Len made with that statistic (97.72%) is that the insinuations and accusations of something sinister by the article are not justified.”

        If that was the real point, it is an invalid one for the reasons given.

        Apart from that, there have been instances of voter impersonation and individual fraud by voting in multiple venues. Accurate registration records are an effective defense against such things to the extent that people are required to vote in person. To the extent that people may vote by other means, inaccurate registration records are, as IBD points out, an open invitation to wholesale fraud.


        1. @Roberts

          It was a completely valid point. If the number of “ghost voters” is a small number compared to the total voting pool then it is easily understood as arising from benign reasons. People DO die and people DO frequently move away and underfunded bureaucracies that manage the rolls do not always keep up with those benign changes in real time.

          All you are actually saying is “Yeah, but, the rolls might be fraudulent in other ways.” That is a true but trivial statement. If you have ever voted you know that the poll workers check your name off the list of registered voters when you present yourself. What could possibly go wrong? Answer – not much and it never has.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. RE: “If the number of “ghost voters” is a small number compared to the total voting pool then it is easily understood as arising from benign reasons.”

            The problem is, the way “ghost voters” is defined in the IBD piece, you can’t know whether the number is small or large. Your reasoning is therefore flawed by an unproven assumption.


          2. @Roberts

            The number used to put this problem in perspective was the number in the headline – 3.5 million. It was calculated as the difference between the number of registered voters and the number of voting age adults.

            I agree that it is not clear from that definition how many invalid registrations there are. One living person who has moved a lot could leave behind a trail of invalid registrations so lets look at it another way. Never mind registered voters. Look at how many people actually voted in, say, 2018. That number was 118,581,921. So the “ghost voters” as defined remains a very small percentage and is easily explained by deaths and people moving.

            Still, lets do better. Congress should provide funds to beef up election systems. Oh, wait . . .


  2. @Tabor

    Sure, the voter rolls fall behind deaths and people who have moved away. How many of those people have “voted?” The answer is well-known because Republicans have spent millions of our dollars trying to prove significant voter fraud and failed every time. The answer is . . . Almost none.

    But, by all means, lets appropriate federal money to help states and cities get their voting systems in better order. One of our parties wants that done. The other doesn’t and has blocked it at every turn.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I wonder how many “ghost gun owners” there are. According to registration data, there are enough guns in this country for every man woman and child to have more than 2 guns. But not everyone owns guns. Hmmm.


    1. 2 is kinda light

      To be adequately armed for defense and hunting, you would need:

      A carry handgun.
      A ‘bedside’ handgun
      A Sport Utility Rifle
      A tactical shotgun
      A light rifle (.22 or .177) for small game and vermin
      A deer rifle
      An upland shotgun
      A steel shot shotgun for waterfowl.

      And that doesn’t allow for the needs of other family members.

      Or a Barret, just in case.


      1. Entertaining,

        Reminds me of the poker games we’d play with ammo when I was a kid. We all had multiple firearms and different ammo had different values, like chips (reloads were discounted). Winning was often the difference between waiting for the perfect shot or taking a flyer on getting lucky with multiple tries.

        Lousy poker players sometimes became very good shots…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You can carry the bedside gun, so that eliminates 1.
        A sport utility rifle is just a gun owners fantasy gun that provides little reality of sport or utility. It is just a way for you to carry a simulated weapon of war.
        Not sure what an upland shotgun is, but if you have a tactical one, what is the need for the other.
        And if you can’t kill waterfowl with a .22 or.177, then you shouldn’t be hunting.


        1. First, it’s not up to you.

          Bedside gun is loaded with frangibles. carry is not.

          Upland gun is an over-and-under that can’t use steel shot, which is required for waterfowl hunting.

          I would very much like to see you shoot a flying teal with a .22


          1. My father-in-law grew up in a much more rural area than yours. He owned 4 hunting rifles of various sizes and one hand gun(.44) for occasional use while hunting, usually to finish off something that he’d already nailed with is .30-.30.

            Your gun fetish aside, there really is little value in owning so many firearms. And my boss is a collector with over 200 various firearms in his safes. And even he has little complaint about the new gun rules.


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