Potentially Dead People Remain on Bay Area Voter Rolls

Fears about voter fraud have spread like wildfire this election cycle, and the thought that dead people could cast a vote has only fanned the flames.

But how serious a problem is this issue?

California has 18 million people registered to vote this year, and dead voters account for only 1.4 percent of that number. Experts say the issue would not tip a national or statewide election, although it could have an effect on a small town race somewhere.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has been looking into this issue for years.

During the last presidential race, 25,000 potentially dead Californians were still on the voter rolls, according to a list that cross checked data from the state’s election voter rolls with the Social Security Death Index.

The Investigative Unit revisited that list this election cycle to see if anything had changed.

Four years ago, Santa Clara County had 83 potentially dead people on its voter rolls. This year, only one of those names still remained on the county’s voter rolls.

Contra Costa County had 120 potentially dead people on its voter rolls in 2012 and roughly a quarter of them are still listed as active voters.

Eight of those people in Contra Costa County actually voted, or more likely someone voted in their name, after records show they passed away.

Contra Costa County election officials told NBC Bay Area they would look into the list of names after this year’s election, likely next year.

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