LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — While early voters have been stuffing the ballot boxes or dropping off their vote by mail choices for the midterm election, CBSLA’s David Goldstein found hundreds of people who are eligible to vote but shouldn’t be – because they’re dead.
One Los Angeles man who wished to remain anonymous said he was surprised to see an official mail-in voting pamphlet addressed to his mother.
“I’m a little shocked,” he said. “My mother passed away approximately eight years ago.”
Goldstein found the man’s late mother is still registered to vote.
“It makes me wonder how many others are there that are…voting, especially in this season, using a deceased person’s ballot,” the man said.
A 2016 Goldstein investigation found the names of 906 dead people still registered to vote in L.A. County.
After inputting those names into the county registrar’s voter verification website to see how many are still eligible to vote in Tuesday’s election, CBSLA discovered 561 people who are dead but still registered to vote.
And it wasn’t people who just recently passed away – they died at least five years ago.
Of the dead registered voters, 336 were listed as Democrats, 173 were Republicans and 52 had another party or no party affiliation.
One of them was Ralph Howey: his name was listed as someone who voted in 2016. Records show he also voted in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
But according to the Social Security Administration, Howey – who was born in 1905 – died in 2009 at the age of 104.
“There is no reason at all he should be currently registered,” said former neighbor Kelly Quezada. “Because I know he passed away quite a while ago.”
The county registrar claims to have purged more than 100,000 dead registered voters since our report two years ago. At the time, it prompted former county supervisor Mike Antonovich to order an investigation.
And it appears the registrar is making progress: after finding 215 dead voters in 2016, now that number is down to 17.
In a statement released to CBSLA, county registrar-recorder Dean Logan said: “We take the maintenance of voter records and election integrity very seriously. We receive and process notification of death in Los Angeles County from the Department of Public Health, data from Social Security provided by the Secretary of State and from family and community members. That information is cross-referenced to the voter file to identify matching records and, where a high confidence match is identified, the voter record is canceled.”
Click here to read the full statement.