The nation's voter-registration system is a wreck, according to a new report from the Pew Center on the States. Millions of invalid registrations remain on the books, including an "army of (potential) zombie voters" who remained registered long after they died. "Voter registration is the gateway to participating in our democracy," but the country's "antiquated, paper-based systems are plagued with errors and inefficiencies," says Pew's David Becker. "These problems waste taxpayer dollars, undermine voter confidence, and fuel partisan disputes over the integrity of our elections." Here, a look at the problem, by the numbers:
Deceased Americans whose voter registration remains active
People registered in more than one state
Voters registered in three states
Voters registered in more than three states
Americans who are eligible to vote, but are not registered
People registered under addresses that are old or have errors severe enough that mailings are unlikely to reach them
Voter registrations that are inaccurate or no longer valid — nearly 13 percent of the names currently on voter rolls nationwide
Percentage of eligible adults who are registered to vote in the U.S.
Percentage of eligible adults who are registered to vote in Canada
Amount Oregon spent per voter to process registrations in 2008. On average, local election offices spent a third of their budgets to register voters, according to a 2001 study.
Amount Canada spends to register each voter
Sources: Gawker, Pew Center on the States, Politico, The Hill
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Chuck Hagel was a huge mistake
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Yes, the Obama administration's green loans are unprofitable. They should be.
- Want to eliminate the scourge of frat culture? Lower the drinking age.
- 5 quick things you can do today to boost your creativity
- What would it take for humans to build a settlement on Mars?
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Why we gossip, according to science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week