East St. Louis: More Voters Registered Than Citizens That Live There

-By Warner Todd Huston

It is a particular problem with our voter registration systems across the USA that the voting roles are so filled with ineligible names that we aren’t sure how many voters really live in any particular district. East St. Louis is no different.

In fact, East St. Louis seems to have more voters registered in its district than it even has voting population.

According to the 2010 Census, East St. Louis had a total population of 27,006. The population for those 18 and over, or those eligible to vote, was 19,098. With 22,000 registered voters, it seems to be a numerical impossibility for East St. Louis’ Board of Elections to have an accurate or legal list of register voters.

Now there is already a federal law on the books that is supposed to prevent this from happening. It is section 8 of the Motor Voter Act. That section is supposed to require that each state makes sure that its voter rolls are cleared every year of ineligible voters. Whether the voter has moved, has passed away, has gone to jail or what have you, these ineligible voters are supposed to be cleared off the rolls.

Unfortunately, not once has the states been forced to undertake this move to assure that their voter rolls are true and clear of ineligible voters and fraud.

Earlier this year I spoke with J. Christian Adams and he told me that it would take about $10,000 to bring such a lawsuit to the courts to try and force a state to satisfy section 8 of the Motor Voter law. So that is one problem, for sure. If our actual lawmakers — whether in congress or back in the states — aren’t going to uphold the law, the price for interested parties to force the matter are high.

East St. Louis is not alone with this problem. It is a problem all across the nation.

(Hat Tip Doug Welch of StixBlog.com)


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  • It would be a problem if there was evidence of voter fraud. But there is limited to no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the U.S. In fact, we have trouble getting people to vote once, let alone twice.

    The entire "voter fraud" scare is in fact an effort by Republicans to make it more difficult for certain people to exercise their constitutional right to vote. It's actually one of the most despicable things about politics today, and that's saying a lot given all of the birther nonsense, death panel nonsense, and other nonsense that we tolerate.

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    It is completely untrue that there is no evidence of voter fraud in the USA. That is a canard.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Care to point to it?

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    No. He would rather use words like canard that make Pubius sound smart rather than cite facts or attempt to make arguments.

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    Do your own research. Look up J.Christian Adams or John Fund's ample evidence.

  • In reply to publiusforum:

    Do my own research? You're the one making the unfounded statement and bear the burden of proof.

    Plus, voter fraud doesn't make sense. If you said that tax fraud was widespread, I would believe you. Tax fraud is simple to carry out and has an immediate benefit. Voter fraud, on the other hand, is hard to carry out. And what's the benefit to an individual voter -- most elections are decided by wide margins.

    The other thing that you don't seem to appreciate is that we have to balance vote security with "false positives" -- that is rules that prevent legitimate voters from voting. In a country where the right to vote is foundational to our politics -- and where we have a shameful history of vote suppression (e.g. poll taxes in the South) -- we should treat discussions of voting rules with great care.

  • In reply to WestLooper:

    Yes, do your own research. In any case I am on the road and have no access to my files. And, yes, there is a LOT of tax fraud out there. If it were up to me I'd get rid of all the loopholes by making a flat tax.

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