Black Box Voting
November 2, 2010

– Missouri, according to a comparison of its Secretary of State voter statistics with its US Census statistics, shows fifteen counties with more than 100 percent voter registration:
Reynolds County, 125.8 percent
Putnam County, 109.9 percent
Butler County, 104.3 percent
Gentry County, 103.9 percent
Mercer County, 103.6 percent
Shelby County, 103.2 percent
Schuyler County, 101.6 percent
Carter County, 101.5 percent
Worth County, 101.4 percent
Ozark County, 100.8 percent
Dade County, 100.7 percent
Holt County, 100.6 percent
Pemiscot County, 100.6 percent
Howard County, 100.4 percent
Ralls County, 100.1 percent

Fifteen Missouri counties have more voters than census population

Missouri Watchdog.org
October 26, 2010

Missouri has about 90.3 percent of its census voting-age population registered to vote, but 15 counties show more registered voters than people 18 and older.

Missouri counties with more than 100 percent voter registration (in red)

These results use the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Missouri Secretary of State, but 12 of these counties also had more than 100 percent registration in 2008.

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These numbers may be high but are an improvement after a federal lawsuit in 2005 found 37 Missouri election jurisdictions had more voters than voting age population.

An article in the Kansas City Star in October 2004 said “If Missouri’s voter rolls are accurate, that would mean that 98 percent of adults are registered to vote .” But the lawsuit was dropped in 2009.

[Update] Laura Egerdal, spokesperson for the Missouri Secretary of State, gave this response on Wednesday:

I would encourage you to take a closer look at the number of active voters, rather than total registered voters. Often, inactive voters appear on the list because the local election authority is waiting the required two federal election cycles before the voter can be removed. The decision in the Department of Justice case you referenced states that federal law “makes it inevitable that voter registration lists will be inflated” because of its requirement that local election authorities wait to remove a voter who has not responded to a canvass mailing until they fail to vote in two successive federal elections.

Missouri’s voter registration rolls are more accurate than ever before, thanks to the diligent work of local election authorities. Over the past 5 years, our office has actively monitored the list maintenance activities of the local election authorities, issued regular reminders on the requirements of state and federal law, and conducted dozens of trainings across the state. Resources such as state vital records information from the Department of Health and Senior Services (identifying deceased voters in Missouri) are updated at least weekly, and we’ve regularly performed matches with the Social Security Administration death records database.

Our office has provided an unprecedented level of support to local election authorities, reimbursing more than $2.27 million their list maintenance activities. We’ve made additional funds available through a grant program that focuses on list maintenance. This includes funding for temporary staff for data entry, printing and postage for NVRA canvass mailings, and even Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. To identify duplicates across state lines, Missouri participates in a multi-state data sharing agreement with 12 midwest states. To identify Missourians who have moved within the state, but not updated their voter registration, we match the voter rolls against the US Postal Service’s “Nation Change of Address” list and send each of those voters a form to update their address.

These proactive efforts by our office go above and beyond the requirements of state and federal law, and they have resulted in the hundreds of thousands of deceased persons and duplicates removed from the rolls since we implemented the statewide list in late 2005.

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According to a December 2005 Kansas City Star article, Reynolds County had a 151 percent registration rate at that time. Mike Harper, county clerk of Reynolds County, was not available for comment on Monday or Tuesday for their current 125.8 percent rate, which is the highest of all election jurisdictions.

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