In 378 U.S. counties, voter registration rates exceed 100% of the adult population, meaning there are more voter registrations on file than the total voting-age population, according to a new analysis by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Based on data the federal Electoral Assistance Commission released last year, the new analysis indicates that a minimum of 2.5 million voter registrations are wrongly listed as valid. It suggests widespread lack of compliance with the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which requires states to remove people who have died, moved, or are otherwise ineligible to vote from the rolls. While having excess registrations isn’t proof of voter fraud, voter integrity advocates note that it does create opportunities for deception, such as allowing people to vote twice in different precincts or submit invalid absentee ballots.
Last week, Judicial Watch sent letters to election officials in 19 counties in five states – California, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia – warning that they could face a federal lawsuit for their failure to update voter rolls.
Eleven of the 19 counties are located in California, which has had habitual problems updating its voter rolls. Last year, Los Angeles County settled a lawsuit and agreed to clean up its voter rolls after Judicial Watch revealed that it had 1.6 million more voter registrations on file than the eligible voting population in the county. As of last year, the entire state of California had a voter registration rate of 101%.
It doesn’t appear that California counties have fixed the problem. San Diego County removed 500,000 voter registrations from its rolls last year following Los Angeles’ settlement, but according to Judicial Watch’s analysis of federal data, San Diego still has a registration rate of 117% – one of the highest in the country.
While the majority of the 19 counties singled out by Judicial Watch have voter registration rates exceeding 100%, some have voter registration rates exceeding 90%, which is improbably high if not impossible. But in every county, Judicial Watch asserts that there’s a demonstrable failure to keep voter rolls accurate.