America's 'zombie voter' problem: By the numbers
A new study finds that millions of the names on U.S. voter rolls appear in more than one state ... or on tombstones
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:
1.8 millionDeceased Americans whose voter registration remains active
2.75 millionPeople registered in more than one state
68,725Voters registered in three states
1,807Voters registered in more than three states
51 millionAmericans who are eligible to vote, but are not registered
12 millionPeople registered under addresses that are old or have errors severe enough that mailings are unlikely to reach them
24 millionVoter registrations that are inaccurate or no longer valid — nearly 13 percent of the names currently on voter rolls nationwide
76Percentage of eligible adults who are registered to vote in the U.S.
93Percentage of eligible adults who are registered to vote in Canada
$4.13Amount 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.
$0.35Amount Canada spends to register each voter