Pillar VIII: Make it Easy to Vote and Hard to Cheat
Clean Up Voter Rolls Before Every Election
Voter rolls should be accurate, transparent, and cleaned regularly. If voter rolls fail to protect against fraud, then the whole election system is contaminated right from the start. Eighty-eight percent of the American people support accurate voter rolls, according to a 2022 Rasmussen poll. Moreover, accurate voter rolls are required by federal law per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). Nevertheless, a Pew Research study from 2012 found that approximately 24 million voter registrations are invalid or significantly inaccurate. More alarming is that more than 2.74 million people were registered to vote in more than one state, according to the same report.
The number of voters registered to vote in U.S. counties also appears to be significantly outdated. According to a 2020 report from Judicial Watch, “378 counties nationwide have more voter registrations than citizens old enough to vote, i.e., counties where registration rates exceed 100%.” The report then explained that these counties exceeded the 100% mark by approximately 2.5 million registrations. Incredibly, this marked a decrease of one million people since its previous study. One California county, San Diego County, “still has a registration rate of 117% and has one of the highest registration rates in the country.”
Recent history highlights other problems that can arise related to not having clean, accurate, and transparent voter rolls. During the 2020 elections, some states bypassed existing laws and mailed live ballots to every voter on their voter rolls through the regular postal system, regardless of whether that person requested a ballot. People who were listed as active had their ballots returned as undeliverable. Other people who had moved received ballots at their old and new addresses. And some people received multiple ballots. Every time something like this happens, it presents an opportunity to dilute the value of someone’s ballot.
Voter rolls should be at least as accurate and reliable as a company payroll. If an employee joins an organization, that individual must fill out paperwork to be added to the payroll. If the individual leaves the company, the company immediately updates its payrolls so that the employee is not improperly compensated. In the same manner, states must proactively keep their voter rolls current and accurate.
The importance of election integrity extends beyond just looking at the effect on the final vote tally—it is about ensuring that every vote receives its full and proper value without being diluted by improperly cast or counted votes.
- In Michigan, approximately 26,000 names of deceased individuals were found to still be on the voter rolls. Approximately 5,000 of these people had been dead for 20 years.
- 88% of the American people support accurate voter rolls, according to a 2022 Rasmussen poll.
- In North Carolina this year, more than 430,000 names were removed from voter rolls statewide after determining that they were not eligible to vote.
- 92,000 live ballots of active voters in Nevada were returned as undeliverable in 2020.
- Nearly two-thirds of Colorado’s counties had a voter registration rate of more than 100%, making it the most voter fraud-ridden state in the Nation. More than one in six registrations in some Colorado counties belonged to an inactive voter.
THE AMERICA FIRST AGENDA
At the state level, support policies that:
- End same-day registration or even require voter registration to end 30 days before the election to ensure ample time to verify voter record accuracy.
- Require election officials to post voter registration rolls online to increase transparency and data accuracy.
- Require election officials to institute a program to maintain and clean voter rolls annually, at a minimum.
- Require a process that purges voters who have not confirmed proof of address and have not voted in several elections. This process has already withstood scrutiny by the Supreme Court of the United States (Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, 138 S. Ct. 1833, 2018).
- Establish voter registration and identification mechanisms that open communications between states to track voter registration more effectively and to help ensure clean voter rolls.
Center for Election Integrity Overview by Ken Blackwell and Hogan Gidley, America First Policy Institute (Sept. 2021).
Judicial Watch Settles North Carolina Voter Roll Lawsuit after State Removes over 430,000 Inactive Names from Rolls, Judicial Watch (Feb. 2022).
Las Vegas: 92K Mail-In Ballots Bounced as ‘Undeliverable’ in 2020 Election by John Binder, Breitbart (March 2021).
Michigan’s Voter Rolls are Filled with Nearly 26,000 Dead Registrants by J. Christian Adams, Washington Times (Dec. 2021).