Editor note: Newsguard has alerted us that this report by Judicial Watch has been flagged as lacking evidence, and Snopes reported that Judicial Watch conducted a misleading analysis. Because the entire basis of this story is that report by Judicial Watch, instead of deleting this article from our website, as part of our continued efforts in transparency and combatting misinformation we want to make readers aware of the context with which they should read this article. You can read more about what Snopes has determined us the unproven report here.
Judicial Watch recently released a report which showed that 353 counties in the United States are reporting far more registered voters than are legally allowed. That should scare anyone who is concerned about the outcome of this year’s presidential election.
Judicial Watch announced that a September 2020 study revealed that 353 U.S. counties had 1.8M more registered voters than eligible voting-age citizens. In other words, the registration rates of those counties exceeded 100% of eligible voters. Read: https://t.co/h27CwHDemI pic.twitter.com/jSCIF9gqJo
— Judicial Watch ⚖️ (@JudicialWatch) October 20, 2020
In addition to the county information, Judicial Watch also reported that eight different states had registered voters which exceeded 100 percent of eligible voters. The states with too many registered voters are Colorado, Maine, Alaska, New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Tom Fitton, the Judicial Watch President stated:
“This new study shows 1.8 million excess, or ‘ghost’ voters, in 353 counties across 29 states. This data highlights the recklessness of mailing blindly ballots and ballot applications to voter registration lists. Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections.”
The group compiled their study after reviewing the most recent registration information that was publicly available and provided by the states. This information was compared to the Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates.
According to Judicial Watch, the American Community Survey, where they received the population estimates from, is considered to be the “most reliable estimates outside of the decennial census.”
What could possibly go wrong?
— Kevin Corke (@kevincorke) October 19, 2020
Judicial Watch warns that the number of inaccurate or potentially illegal registered voters may be larger, as they only researched 37 states. The numbers may also be off because some states remove people they determine to be inactive voters from the rolls, however, inactive voters may still show up at the election and vote or request mail in ballots.
The group uses their studies on voter registrations to inform states when they do not appear to be abiding by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. This act requires states make reasonable efforts to clean their voter rolls, such ways would be removing deceased people or those ineligible to remain.
Judicial Watch has sued states in the past when they have not complied with the federal law, and did so most recently with Colorado. In that case, Judicial Watch noted that 42 counties had voter registration rates exceeding 100%.
Judicial Watch has also recently sued Pennsylvania and North Carolina for not cleaning their voter rolls. Their lawsuit claims that the two states have almost 2 million inactive names on their voter registration rolls. The group has also sued Illinois after they refused to release information about voter roll data as required by federal law.
Judicial Watch conducted a similar study in 2019, which showed that there were 372 counties with more registered voters than those that are eligible to vote. So, it would seem there is a slight silver lining to this study, the numbers from last year did go down to 353.
Studies and reports like this are why Republican leaders have been saying for months that voting by mail could lead to fraud. On the other end of the spectrum, democratic leaders have been pushing for mail in voting, they say, because they do not want to increase the spread of the pandemic.
Republicans seem right to be concerned when looking at reports like this. Additionally, people are telling story after story of receiving incorrect ballots.
German journalist, Stefan Neimann, who is living in Washington, D.C. said:
“The chaos that Trump lamented with the delivery of mail voting papers is here. I am not allowed to vote here…But three ballots came to my Washington address: for the previous tenant who moved five years ago, the landlady living in Puerto Rico, and her deceased husband.”
President Donald Trump, during the first presidential debate, spoke of voting by mail and his concerns.
“There is fraud; they found them [ballots] in creeks, they found them with the name Trump in a wastepaper basket…This [election] will be a fraud like you have never seen.”
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County sends incorrect ballot to more than 29,000 voters – ballots will be “reviewed following the election”
October 16, 2020
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA- A Pennsylvania country has perfectly illustrated the potential problem of mail-in voting by sending the wrong ballot to more than 29,000 of its voting residents.
The county’s solution to their mistake is setting aside the incorrect ballots and counting them after the election.
Allegheny County lies within Pennsylvania, a swing state that could prove to be essential in the upcoming presidential election. Unfortunately, this election cycle the county’s voters could be voting for nothing after a huge error by the Allegheny County Elections Division.
On Wednesday the division announced that 29,879 ballots that were registered in the state’s ballot tracker were incorrect.
The division explained that they were made aware of this issue on October 9 after approximately 20 voters reported receiving incorrect ballots. Allegedly there was a “ballot image mapping error” which caused each voter to receive a ballot with a different person’s information.
Elections Division manager David Voye made a statement on the mistake claimed that voters should be confident that their votes are “accurately counted and protected”:
“The integrity of our election system is of utmost importance to me as the Elections Division Manager and to our entire team. Voters in this county should be confident that their votes are accurately counted and protected.”
Nothing says accurately counted like sending out tens of thousands of incorrect ballots only weeks before the election. Further, nothing shows that your vote is protected quite like the elections division divulging your personal information to other voters within the county.
The division has now started working on a solution for the incorrect ballots. After printing new, and hopefully correct, ballots the division will begin mail them to voters again. Deliveries are expected to being on October 15 with most being delivered by the 19th.
Unfortunately this mistake will eat away at the voting period given to county residents. With voters receiving the correct ballots so close to the election they will be forced to rush in returning them.
But, what’s even more alarming is the elections division’s plan on dealing with the incorrect ballots that have already been mailed back.
The county has already admitted to receiving some of the wrong ballots. Those unfortunate voters will have their ballots segregated and counted after the election.
The Hill reports:
“Voye said that Elections Division staff were segregating ballots that were received from voters affected by the issue, and those will be set aside and reviewed following the election.”
This presents another large problem for Allegheny County voters. Should an incorrect ballot that’s segregated turn out to be faulty voters will have no opportunity to replace them and revote. In other words, thousands of votes could be thrown out the window because of an error by local government.
In a state like Pennsylvania an error this size could swing the election. In 2016 President Trump won the battleground state by only 0.7% or 45,000 votes. This county’s error alone nearly has the potential to swing the 2020 election. But Allegheny County isn’t the only area of Pennsylvania to meddle in the election.
On Saturday RedState reported on another county in Pennsylvania that saw a large amount of ballots disappear.
Westmoreland County is a Republican leaning area, so it should come as no surprise that almost 60,000 just happened to go undelivered to voters. Between this case and Allegheny County alone there could be enough missed votes to sway the entire state.
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