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Dead Man Walking: Ohio Votes From The Grave

In Ohio's razor thin race, Dead Voters Submit Ballots From Beyond.

Jeremy Moore, Holmes' grandson, was stunned.

"He's deceased. Deceased since 1993," Moore said.

And it doesn't appear to be a name mix-up.

Records reveal Alex Holmes Jr. -- who is still alive -- voted in the same election as his deceased father.

Cuyahoga County Elections Director Jane Platten said she'll look in to it.

"Without having full detail, I have no idea why that would have happened," Platten said.

But this isn't the first time we've uncovered dead voters. Two years ago, another 5 On Your Side investigation exposed 13,000 dead voters registered in Cuyahoga County. More than two dozen of them cast ballots.

Back then, NewsChannel5 was told dead voters would be removed from the rolls.

Now, on the eve of an historic election -- when every vote in Cuyahoga County is considered crucial -- our NewsChannel5 investigation has once again uncovered thousands of dead voters still on the rolls, and ballots still being cast from beyond.

The exact number of dead voters is difficult to say this time because Ohio's Secretary of State issued a directive to Boards of Elections across the state to withhold dates of births in public records requests. That information is important in positively identifying dead voters.

Identifying dead voters may be quite a task.

But the solution is quite simple for ensuring a free and fair election: How about we identify the LIVE voters who show up to the polls?

It would be difficult for a vote to be cast by deceased Alex Holmes, Sr. unless he showed up with proper identification and was required to produce it.

Perhaps Mr. Holmes is, quite literally, casting an absentee ballot.

The integrity of elections is rapidly becoming a joke. And one that is as unfunny as it is destructive.

(With another tip o' the hat to Glenn Reynolds.)


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Comments (15)

It wouldn't be all that har... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

It wouldn't be all that hard to catch people who are voting in the name of a dead person. Rather than remove the names of dead people from the rolls, code them in such a way that election officials know it's a dead person's name. Then see who shows up to vote for that person and once they get their ballot have security stop them and find out who they are. If it's someone with the same name, then it could be a mix up. If not, then prosecute them and make sure the public knows about these prosecutions .

If there's no risk to voter fraud then we're going to have more and more of it.

Considering the number of p... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Considering the number of people who die each year, you'd end up with an extremely large list of voters you would have to pour through at the judges' tables.

It's much easier to simply delete them from the list, since they are supposed to be dead. What should have been demanded was why was this person listed in the first place, when his death could just've been easily confirmed at the time of registration.

I totally agree with this. ... (Below threshold)
gmanj:

I totally agree with this. Both parties whine too much about this problem and it's frustrating because it's so easily fixed with a simple ID.

I voted early and it's disturbing to think I could have simply used my neighbor's vote..no, seriously!

It's much easier t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
It's much easier to simply delete them from the list, since they are supposed to be dead.

Apparently it's not as easy as you think, or we wouldn't be having this problem in the first place. It wouldn't be any more work for the election judges if the names of dead people were marked in some way that the election judges could see, but most people wouldn't notice. An extras space or a period after the name or some such thing. The idea is to deter voter fraud by prosecuting those caught red handed doing it. Not even the professional racists can make the case stick that some poor ignorant drugged-up person is disenfranchised by not being allowed to vote as their dead relative or neighbor.

If the election is close in Ohio, the fact that illegal voting has already occurred will delegitimize the winner of that state, and if changing Ohio's results would swing the election, the winner won't be considered the legitimate President by a significant portion of the electorate. If people in this nation want to continue the peaceful transition of power then they better get serious about putting an end to voter fraud.

Regardless of how tomorrow ... (Below threshold)
Clint:

Regardless of how tomorrow goes, we need to start a groundswell against Bonner. The Ohio Secretary of State belongs in jail for her role in the conspiracy to disenfranchise voters.

As a 2004 poll observer at ... (Below threshold)
politicaljunkie:

As a 2004 poll observer at least 6 people came into our area whose signatures were VERY SUSPECT (didn't match) but could not require asking for ID...we didn't have the liberty to do that. That's besides the mentally retarded that came in with workers and she said "You want to vote for Kerry, right?" very loudly...and everyone knew what was happening...but no one could do nothing, including myself...as a poll observer. Just "observe."

Yes reform is necessary or we are on the fast lane to becoming a banana republic third world country whose fraud in elections is suspect to all. Which party refuses ID in name of disfranchising lower income voters who don't have driver's licenses? There must be a reason...they use that as a nice excuse.

Apparently it's not as e... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Apparently it's not as easy as you think, or we wouldn't be having this problem in the first place. It wouldn't be any more work for the election judges if the names of dead people were marked in some way that the election judges could see

As you said, apparently it's not as easy as you think. If they had a good process for identifying dead people on the roles such that they could encode the name, then they could just delete them too. The problem seems to be in getting the "this person died" message to the registrars. The question of what do you do once you have that information (delete them to prevent fraudulent votes, or encode them to catch fraudulent voters) is a secondary issue, once that can't be addressed until the primary problem is solved.

If obama wins, will be this... (Below threshold)
mag:

If obama wins, will be this the reason? I can not believe most Americans would fall for this phony and vote for him.
If he does win, I will not feel it was the will of the people. And if most people are center, center/right or center/left....how could a radical lefist win???? Something does not add up.

As you said, appar... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
As you said, apparently it's not as easy as you think. If they had a good process for identifying dead people on the roles such that they could encode the name, then they could just delete them too.

The difference is that it's far more effective to encode the names and prosecute those caught trying to vote as a dead person. First, you don't have to identify all the people who are dead, but on the rolls, only a significant number of them to bait the trap. The news that even a few "dead" voters have been prosecuted will deter many more from trying it.

Just trying to remove the names is less effective because you are never going to get them all. As it is, anyone with knowledge that someone in their neighborhood died can take a pass at using that person's identity to vote with little risk. If the name is not on the roll it looks like an unregistered voter, and while they may not be able to vote, there's no risk in trying to. That's apparent by the number of votes cast for dead people with no one being caught at it.

I expect democrats to resist creating a deterrent to people voting in the name of the dead because it seems to benefit them. But it only seems that way, because the system and the results are becoming more and more delegitimized. Only fools think that's good.

"I expect democrats to r... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I expect democrats to resist creating a deterrent to people voting in the name of the dead because it seems to benefit them. But it only seems that way, because the system and the results are becoming more and more delegitimized. Only fools think that's good."

Mac - It does seem like there's a consistent effort to make sure our elections are questionable to an extreme. It doesn't do anyone any good - except the battalions of lawyers trying to make sure THEIR side wins if it's 'close'.

The problem is - when we can't trust the results of the election, nobody wins. Look at how unhinged the left still is after the 2000 and 2004 elections. If Obama loses tomorrow, will they be pointing at the poll numbers from the last few weeks and screaming how he was robbed? Will they claim massive voter fraud? Or will they just go "Ah, hell. Wait until 2012!" and try to make things work instead of throwing a wrench in the works and sabotaging McCain every chance they get?

I expect democrats to re... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I expect democrats to resist creating a deterrent to people voting in the name of the dead because it seems to benefit them.

And Republicans to continue to deter people because it benefits them. Lenient rules may lead to illegitimate votes. Strict rules lead to disenfranchising legitimate votes. The difference is in the numbers. The former has scant evidence, whereas the latter is much more significant. Even Joe the Plumber is at risk.

If obama wins, will be t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

If obama wins, will be this the reason?

No.

And if most people are center, center/right or center/left....how could a radical lefist win???? Something does not add up.

Perhaps there's a problem with your premise.

Lenient rules may ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Lenient rules may lead to illegitimate votes. Strict rules lead to disenfranchising legitimate votes. The difference is in the numbers. The former has scant evidence, whereas the latter is much more significant. Even Joe the Plumber is at risk.

I don't buy the claim that effective safeguards can't be developed without disenfranchising large numbers of legitimate voters. Yes, there's always some few who won't be allowed to vote because they have no ID, no verifiable address and no one to vouch for them. The solution for them is the provisional ballot, which they can cast, but isn't counted until their legitimacy can be determined. Few people are persuaded that the system should be so lax that votes are being cast in the name of dead people.

The solution may be multi-tiered such as having voter ID cards that include biometrics data. People with those ID's go through the express line as they have already spent time and money proving they are legitimate voters. Those without such voter ID cards go through a regular (but now shorter) line to vote normally. Those who have no ID and no means of proving who they are and where they live go through a third line where specialists can help them without holding up the line for everyone else. I also think a week long voting period should be the law as it allows people who think they might have a problem to vote early, and if there is a problem, get it resolved so they can vote.

I know it's a conservative idea that individuals should be required to take some responsibility in demonstrating their legitimacy to vote, but if we make it quick and easy for anyone willing to get a voter ID card we'll get bigger turnouts with less wait and frustration for everyone.

Although there have been lo... (Below threshold)
AJ Peters:

Although there have been lots of good ideas set forth as to deleting dead people, there are often times when someone is accidentally removed because someone screwed up and said they were dead. Why don't we encode EVERYONE with a special mark requiring an ID Card to verify ID. That 'special mark' could be... well... nothing! Just ID every single person. In Illinois, suitable ID includes a utility bill with the name/address of the person attempting to register/prove identity for voting purposes.

Where's Peabody and Herman?... (Below threshold)

Where's Peabody and Herman? Where are all the voter-fraud deniers?




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