It seems odd that it would take a federal law to ensure that only people who are actually alive are voting in elections.
But a GOP congressman announced legislation Wednesday designed to impose that rule on states, saying too many dead people seem to have cast ballots in this year’s election.
Rep. Brian Babin, Texas Republican, said his bill would tie federal education and transportation funds to states’ commitment to deleting names of deceased persons from their voting rolls. In particular, they would have to annually check their voter rolls against the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File, which is the most complete — though not infallible — record of who’s alive and who’s not.
“All elected officials, from your local city council member to your U.S. President, have an obligation to obey the law and prevent fraud in our elections, and Congress should not be awarding taxpayer dollars to any counties or states that refuse to do the job they swore to do,” Mr. Babin said.
He named his bill the “You Must Be Alive to Vote Act.”
It’s not just about 2020.
People who are deceased have been documented as recording votes in previous elections, though there’s a sense among some Republicans that the practice was particularly egregious this year. There is, as of yet, no evidence to quantify whether the rate was in fact higher.
Indeed, several examples cited by President Trump’s campaign have been refuted by elections officials.
When it does happen, the usual cause is a ballot mailed to an address of someone who’s deceased, and someone at that address completes and mails the ballot back. There are, however, some cases of in-person ballots cast in the name of deceased voters according to the Heritage Foundation’s database of fraud.