LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The presidential election has heightened emotions, creating tension among many voters across the country.
And while the list of concerns appears to be growing, a new problem has been flagged in Southern California: dead voters.
State records show that votes were cast in the names of nearly 280 people after they died.
Millions of voting records from the California Secretary of State’s Office have been compared with death records from the Social Security Administration, and officials have failed to present physical proof as to what went wrong.
It’s a story that you’ll see only on CBS2 News.
Kim Holmes’ grandmother, Marge Bielicki, was buried at the Burbank Cemetery 15 years ago. But somehow, Bielicki’s name was used to vote in June during the California primary election.
“Well, honestly, I think she’s rolling over in her grave right now,” Holmes said. ” That’s crazy to me, and I just don’t understand that. I’d like to know who’s behind it and how it happened.”
Gladys Anderson would be 106 had she not died in 1997. But state records show that she voted in the primary election, and the Los Angeles County registrar’s website declares she’s still registered to vote.
While ballots may not have been cast for other deceased residents, records indicate that vote-by-mail ballots are being issued to their last known address.
Take for example Mary Ellen Parker, who died two years ago. Parker’s cousin, Steve, told CBS2’s David Goldstein that a ballot was mailed to their Pasadena home.
“She should not be getting a mail-in ballot,” Steve said. “We get lots of things with Mary Ellen’s name on it. We expect it from dry cleaners. We expect it from insurance agents. We do not expect it from the County of Los Angeles.”
The Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office researched the problem and found that all of the votes were cast at the polls.
Officials claim the votes were an error, stating that live voters signed above or below on the dead voter’s entry line.
Signatures were compared to prove this, but when Goldstein requested to see proof, the Registrar’s Office failed to present five signature cards for comparison.
Los Angeles County Registrar Dean Logan has not respond to Goldstein’s request for an interview.
From the data, there’s no way to tell who these people voted for. That’s confidential.
After Goldstein shared the names with the Registrar’s Office, they are no longer listed as registered to vote.