Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: email@example.com
Nearly 1,400 deceased individuals and more than 100 prisoners voted in MIchigan elections from October 2008 to June 2011, according to a report released by the Michigan state auditor's office this month, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Dead and incarcerated voters were identified based on a match of first and last names, date of birth, addresses and Social Security information (if available) between voter lists and health and corrections records. To state the obvious: the dead and prisoners are not supposed to be able to participate in Michigan's democratic process under state law.
There are 7.3 million registered Michigan voters, according to the report.
The vast majority (90 percent) of the votes cast by the deceased were delivered via absentee ballot, although that still leaves 145 that voted in-person. Most prisoners were found to have voted at the polls.
The audit report stated the Michigan Board of Elections believes the issue could be one of timing: an individual could cast an absentee ballot and then die soon afterward. Still, the auditor's office issued a recommendation that the board adopt new policies to prevent such ineligible votes from being cast.
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has said that steps have been take to address voter fraud, reports the Free Press.