Law firm discovers more than 8,000 duplicates on New Jersey voter rolls: report

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8,239 duplicate registrants were found on New Jersey’s voter rolls, according to the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF).

The nonprofit law firm, which focuses solely on election integrity, released an analysis of its findings on Monday.

“New Jersey’s voter registration system, like nearly every other studied by PILF, can be tricked into registering a person multiple times with extremely similar biographical data inputs at the same addresses,” the report explains. “These serve as an administrative challenge to be resolved as we see more automation to vote-by-mail. Otherwise, ‘John Public’ and ‘John Q. Public’ could each vote once, while the actual John is voting twice.”

While the report notes that the most common occurrence was duplication due to a clerical or typographical error – the misspelling of a name, transposition of letters, etc. – there were also findings of triplicate, quadruplicate, pentuplicate and, in one case, sextuplicate registrations.

Another disturbing finding was that New Jersey had 2,398 registered voters aged 105 and older on its rolls. One example the report provides is of Patrick DePaola of Bayonne, who was born, according to his voter records, in 1905 and registered to vote in 1927. Although PILF was able to confirm that DePaola died in 2010, he was still listed as an active registrant in Hudson County.

“Given that the most recent average life expectancy data show to be 80.7 years in the state, the thousands of registrants aged well beyond 100 years deserve closer examination,” the report contended.

Additionally, more than 33,000 registrations appeared to have placeholder or fictitious dates of birth, with the most common date used being Jan. 1, 1800, as well as fictitious registration dates and dates of birth both centuries in the past and years in the future.

“New Jersey has some explaining to do in how it collects and maintains basic voter information,” PILF President J. Christian Adams stated in the report. “As we have already demonstrated, PILF will pursue available remedies to correct often long-neglected government records.” 

PILF initially alerted New Jersey Secretary of State Tanesha Way to its findings in a letter sent on April 11. In May, the organization filed a lawsuit alleging that Way had violated the National Voter Registration Act by refusing to provide documentation regarding how election officials resolve duplicate voter registrations.

In response to PILF’s troubling report, New Jersey State Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cape May, called for a hearing on legislation he cosponsored to clean up the state’s voter rolls.

“The fact that we are still dealing with incorrect voter registrations after so many calls to fix our voter rolls is as infuriating as it is mystifying,” Testa said in a Monday press release. “The Senate must move forward after four-plus years of Murphy administration inaction to help secure and strengthen the faith of voters in our democratic process.”

According to Just The News, PILF has conducted similar analyses of voter records in other states, including Arizona and North Carolina, with similar results. States like Georgia and Pennsylvania also presented other inconsistencies.

With election integrity shaping up to be a key issue affecting November’s midterm elections and beyond, calls to clean up voter rolls around the country are only likely to intensify in the coming months – particularly in light of this new report.

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