Virginia, Loudoun Scrub Deceased from Voter Roles
The county registrar routinely updates the lists and will continue to check them against data provided by the state.
The idea of having the names of dead people show on the roles of registered voters may seem suspicious, but it’s just part the life cycle. Currently Loudoun Registrar Judy Brown is updating the county’s voter roles as the state provides new information about those who have passed away remain registered.
“This is a normal process of making sure the records are up to date,” Brown said. The difference is that this year the state is performing a more intensive check.
The Virginia State Board of Elections has begun comparing the state’s list of registered voters with the Social Security Administration's Death Master File, obtained from the National Technical Information Service. The comparison has revealed about 10,000 deceased people still on the state list, with about 25 percent of the records matched. The comparison to the master list marks a change to the previous practice of just matching monthly updates from the NTIS.
“Virginia is committed to ensuring only eligible voters are registered to vote,” said State Board of Elections Secretary Don Palmer. “The State Board of Elections’ efforts in utilizing the death master file has yielded significant results.”
The state is sharing the information with local registrars who will actually scrub the individuals from the roles.
“We were given information showing 122 deceased voters,” Brown said. “We removed all but 11 names, which will require additional research.”
In those 11 cases, Brown said, the deceased individuals’ social security numbers matched their spouses, so her office will verify the data and make the appropriate corrections.
“Typically, we use the local newspaper to capture people who have passed away,” she said, adding that those who still appear on the roles “may have moved away and failed to tell us, and then passed away in another state.”
And with another 45 million names to match to the NTIS data, Brown said, “we could see more matches.”
She also said the information provided dates back to 2007, so she checked to make sure there had been no voting activity under the name of a deceased person who remained on the roles.
“I found nothing,” she said.