Sunday, September 24, 2023

County Trails Again As Dead Voters Lag

By Christine Cote

COURT HOUSE – Only one dead person voted in this county during the past few years and, if the Election Board had known he was dead, his absentee ballot wouldn’t have been counted.
One’s not bad, considering Joyce Erb, county registrar, found 80 names of people who have died still on the voting rolls. The one deceased vote was counted Nov. 8, 2000, de-spite the fact that the voter died Nov. 4, said Erb.
Erb had been ordered to check for dead people on the registration list. Because of a law-suit by the Republican Party, a Mercer County judge ordered that all absentee and provi-sional ballots be checked before Nov. 8 because the state registrar of vital statistics had been letting the dead pile up.
The GOP claimed that 4,755 dead people voted in November 2004. It’s not clear who they supported.
To comply with the judge’s order, the State Attorney General’s office sent a CD to all county registrars to be checked against local voter rolls.
Erb said that there were 36,667 dead voters statewide. Like everything else it looks like Cape May County got less than its fair share with only .002 percent.
The 79 other local dead non-voters were from all over the county and had passed on in “different years,” said Erb.
Her office generally obtains information about deceased residents from municipal clerks and by reading the obituaries, she said.
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