There are a whole lot of dead people who are registered to vote, a database analysis firm has found. There are likely thousands in Indiana alone, according to an Associated Press report Tuesday.
The findings were a part of a review into the state's voter file that is maintained by Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson's office on behalf of Patriot Majority, which has ties to the Democratic Party. The report from the AP did not specify how many dead people were registered, only that there thousands of voters who were over the age of 110 and likely not alive to cast their ballot. There were reportedly a host of other errors in the voter file, including 837,000 voters with out-of-date addressees compared to the Postal Service database, 4,556 duplicate registrations, 3,000 records without dates of birth and 31 records of voters who were not yet of age to vote.
Of course, in this instance, that only means there were mistakes and not fraud. There are actually very few proven cases of intentional voter fraud — 31 cases in one billion ballots cast, the Washington Post wrote in 2014 — and Indiana also requires a voter to present identification to cast his or her ballot.
But the issue has taken center stage amid continued claims from Republican nominee Donald Trump that the election is rigged against him. About of half of his supporters don't think their votes will be counted fairly, polling has found. Along the way, claims of dead people voting have been cited as evidence of something being amiss.
There were some 1.8 million dead people who were still registered as voters in the United States, according to a 2012 report from Pew referenced by Trump on the campaign trail. But the GOP nominee didn't just cite that state that the databases were outdated, he suggested it was a part of a plot to get Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton more votes.
"People that have died 10 years ago are still voting," Trump said at a Wisconsin rally last Tuesday. "Approximately 24 million people, one of every eight voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or significantly inaccurate. One in eight! More than 1.8 million deceased individuals right now are listed as voters. Oh, that's wonderful. Well, if they're gonna vote for me, we'll think about it. But I have a feeling they're not gonna vote for me. Of the 1.8 million, 1.8 million is voting for someone else."
Records can be out of date for any number of reasons, such as the voter moving, the voter getting married or, of course, the voter dying. Many have called for improving the accuracy of voter files, but there remains scant evidence of anything nefarious. And while there may be 1.8 million voters who are both registered and dead, that's seemingly more of a failure to update voting records than a failure of democracy.