In Nassau County more than 6,000 dead people are registered to vote and voting records show 270 of them actually have. Dead registered voters in Nassau County are said to account for 25 percent of the 26,500 registered dead in New York State. Investigators aren’t considering this fraudulent as the dead votes were too small and spread out across two dozen elections for it to make a difference.
State Board of Elections officials send Nassau and other counties a list of names of people who are not eligible to vote anymore. Those names are supposed to be checked off and deleted. Another precaution the county takes is to send mail each year to registered voters and if the mail is returned unopened, those voters are removed from the registry. Still, with all these precautions, the dead votes managed to get through.
Harvard University professor of government Stephen Ansolabehere says it’s crucial to get this issue resolved.
The voter roll "interacts with all aspects of the election system," Ansolabehere says. "That's why it's important to keep lists as good and as current as possible."
Other states have implemented an Electronic Registration Information Center. This system works by using multiple data points to highlight names that shouldn’t be active on voting lists by searching through car registrations, Social Security lists, and change-of-address information. A State Board of Elections spokesman says New York state doesn’t plan on using this sort of system despite other states finding it successful.