This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published October 30, 2016 by The Washington Times.
How many voters do you know who are more than 100 years old? Or 110 years old? Or, how about 126 years old?
Hundreds of voters in recent elections in three eastern Pennsylvania counties were more than 100 years of age, with many over 110, according to official voter registration rolls open to the public.
The research, collected by volunteers working with the American Civil Rights Union, had some head-shaking surprises. According to the data, one gentleman from Montgomery County, whose birthdate was listed as Aug. 7, 1853, allegedly voted in 2008 at age 155 and in 2012 at age 159. The nation’s oldest senior citizen, Susannah Mushatt Jones of New York City, died at age 116 in May. So the demographic probability that all of these Pennsylvania voters who clock in at 115 or 116 years old or more are legitimate voters, defies reason and logic. In fact, USA Today reports that the only person left alive who was born in the 19th century is Emma Morano — of Italy. The oldest living American, as of Oct. 27, 2016, is Adele Dunlap of New Jersey, 113, who was born on Dec. 12, 1902.
In the Pennsylvania data, compiled from voter rolls in Philadelphia, Allegheny and Montgomery counties, hundreds more “voters” are listed with birthdates of 1/1/1800, which would make them more than 200 years old. When asked about the 1800 date, officials blamed it on “Y2K,” the year 2000, when computers were alleged to go haywire because of the change in millennia. That was 16 years ago
The presence of so many unlikely voters indicates that officials have not kept voter rolls up to date as required by federal law. There is a strong likelihood that similar statistics would turn up in Pennsylvania’s other 64 counties.
Based on information obtained in a lawsuit by the American Civil Rights Union that forced Philadelphia election officials to open their books for inspection, the Public Interest Legal Foundation compiled a report showing that thousands of convicted felons are (illegally) on the city’s voting rolls, and that dozens of noncitizen aliens have voted in past elections.
Furthermore, the report, Aliens and Felons: Thousands on the Voting Rolls in Philadelphia, states that, “Election officials in Philadelphia take no proactive steps to prevent or remove alien registration,” and that of the thousands of ineligible felons on the rolls, “election officials do nothing about it and don’t even think it’s a problem.”
In the recent research, Allegheny County’s voter rolls for the April 26, 2016 primary election reveal that 367 people were listed with birthdates of 1/1/1800. Another 106 had birthdates from 1890 to 1915, with voters’ ages ranging from 101 to 126.
In the 2014 mid-term election, 427 people in Allegheny County who voted had birthdates of 1/1/1800, and 108 had birthdates from 1890 to 1914 (ages 100 to 114 at the time of voting). This includes 58 aged 110 or more.
In 2010, the United States Census found only 330 “super centenarians,” that is, people 110 or older, in the entire nation. However, voter rolls in the three combined Pennsylvania counties turned up at least 176 “super centenarians” who voted in 2012, not counting the hundreds listed with the 1/1/1800 birthdate, who could be of any age.
At the very least, the presence of so many improbable “voters” on the rolls indicates that officials in these three counties have not followed Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires periodic voter roll cleanup using demographic data, including Social Security lists. The names of people who have moved away, have double entries, or are deceased, are supposed to be removed.
A series of lawsuits by the ACRU against counties in Mississippi and Texas over the past two years has led to court-settled consent decrees to clean up registration records that contain more registered voters than age-eligible resident citizens.
These latest findings in Pennsylvania, along with recent reports of dead people on the rolls in Colorado and California, add to a growing body of data indicating that the nation is in dire need of a concerted effort to make sure that the people doing the voting are legally entitled to do so.
Pennsylvania’s voter rolls — and Philadelphia’s in particular — need immediate attention. Corrupt voter rolls are the prime ingredient for vote fraud, which we are told does not exist despite the growing list of glaring examples.
As we approach the most consequential election of our lifetimes, it’s not too much to ask election officials to make sure voter registrations are accurate so that every citizen’s legal vote counts.