Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vote Early & Often? -- 105% of Indianapolis Residents Now Registered to Vote

It's the elephant in the room that Indiana election officials don't talk about. Voter registration numbers in the counties have been growing dramatically far above what is possible given the population. In today's Indianapolis Star, Brendan O'Shaughnessy reports that as of Monday evening 677,401 people in Marion County have registered to vote.

Many reporters covering voter registration stories will take the population of the state/county and then, by doing some math, the reporter dutifully reports that 75% or so of the population is registered in that state are registered. As I noted previously, this approach fails to consider the under 18 year old voters in that county or state who can't be registered to vote. As I reported a month or so ago in my post "No Hoosier Left Unregistered," when you back out the under 18 year old residents, Indiana is near 94% registration levels. And that was with more than a month left in the registration period.

I knew that the numbers would start exceeding 100% at some point and the election officials couldn't keep ignoring the elephant in the room - how do you have more registered voters than people eligible to vote? Well Indianapolis has now reached that point. Let's do the math.

According to STATSIndiana, In 2007, Indianapolis/Marion County had an estimated population of 876,804. Of that number 232,607 were below 18 years of age, for a total of 644,197 people in Marion County/Indianapolis 18 or over and thus eligible to vote. (Indiana allows felons to vote as long as they are not incarcerated).

So we have 644,197 people eligible to be registered in Marion County/Indianapolis, and 677,401 people registered. Congratulations go to Indianapolis for having 105% of its residents registered!

Obviously the effort at eliminating duplicate registrations is not working well. Bloated registration rolls lead to the possibility of election fraud and undermines the confidence in the integrity of the electoral process. This is a situation that needs to be addressed by state and county election officials.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is what happens whenever Democrats want to win bad reeeeeal bad. My question is: on the absentee ballots I noticed in the I.D. box they requested your drivers license or last four digits of your social security number--under that is the word (optional) -What exactly do they mean by optional? Does that mean ID is optional and they will still count your vote???? Does the big push for absentee voting mean they do not check for legal voting???????????

Downtown Indy said...

Lots of 'voters' in Crown Hill who do not respond to censustaker inquiries. Wanna bet Julia Carson is still registered?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Downtown Indy,

I would not be surprised to find out Julia Carson is still registered. I've worked enough elections to know our voter registration lists are filled with the names of deceased voters. It tears your heart out to see an elderly woman come to the polls only to have to sign in next to their deceased husband's name every election. It really makes them upset. Unfortunately, the 1993 Motor Voter Bill makes it very difficult to delete non-voters from the registration rolls.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

Democrats in Indiana? You must be joking....

Oettl said...

this is what happens whenever Dems want to win real bad?

Please please please don't be so thick. The last election stolen by Dem's was JFK. While the GOP really went to town in 2000. Neither party is clean, but if you want to look at doign whatever it takes to win, regardless of the risks, Johnny takes the cake.

Also, if John is such a good politician and american, why is it that it has taken this long to win his party's ticket? Weak man, weak party.

Jocelyn Testes-Harder said...

I hope they all write in for Hill-dawg!

politicalcorrectness? said...

Isn't this faux voter fraud argument come and gone already?

There is a few possibilities here.
People move.
The change in registered voters could be people that have moved into the county.
The area has experienced significant growth.

Another possibility is faulty census numbers.
Many census takes said they didn't go into bad neighborhoods so many of the poor and middle class voters aren't being counted.

It really seems like you think McCain may lose this state.
I have seen several sites already making excuses while McCain may fail.
Nice vote of confidence for your candidate.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when Conservatives want to win reeeeaaaaal bad.

Everyone knows who rigged the elections the last 2 times.

El Mexecutioner said...

Or perhaps you have people like myself who still have residency elsewhere but opted to register to vote in indiana instead of voting absentee so that my vote (obama) may matter just a bit more than in illinois.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the discrepancy is a result of people registering who would turn 18 on or before nov 4, but are not technically listed as over 18 in the census data

Steve Geswein said...

Just so you know - your calculations for number eligible to be registered are likely to be flawed.

We only get a census once every ten years; everything else that totals population is estimated, and different estimates use different methods. Rolling them all together takes care and/or a willingness to be vague.

Case in point, from the STATSIndiana page you link:

2006 Age Breakdowns (from one source):
72464 + 160143 + 70032 + 260402 + 208200 + 94263 = 865504

2007 Total (perhaps from another):
876804

Note the 1.5% difference between totals - probably partially due to different years, probably also due to subtle differences in methodology.

I can't tell you the 2008 Marion County voter base from those numbers, but it's probably not (876804 - (72464 + 160143)) as you've assumed.

(Why did I geek up about this, and know to look for this sort of issue? I used to work with the folks behind STATSIndiana, who regularly do amazing things with these numbers despite all these difficulties. Hi Morton, Hi Carol!)

I agree that the first look at the voter rolls is amazingly high even with all of this, but I don't think it's any more reasonable to say Marion County is registered at 105% than it is to say 95% or 115%, based on what I see here. And that's without considering points coming from other commenters here.

Eddie said...

Who scoffs at the Dems in Indy? They have a huge political machine here. Voter fraud in Indianapolis is no big secret. Central township is rank with it and I'll be willing to bet that if you look at where the heaviest registration has been happening (29th and MLK anyone?) that's where it is coming from. For those not from Indy we are not like other cities that the heaviest population is downtown. We like to spread out. So while they may have a slightly denser population it's not by much. Thanks for pointing this out Daniel. I might just write a letter to the election board.

Anonymous said...

Why are Obama supporters so blithe to this issue? It may be nothing. But to have no interest in even looking into it? It's almost like they're afraid of what might be found...........

eastindyguy said...

I don't recall the Bush supporters being to eager to look into the voting irregularities on Ohio 4 years ago.

Nor were they too eager to look into illegal voter roll purges in Florida.

Nor are they too eager to look into the McCain camp sending out absentee ballots to registered Democrats in Ohio that have checkboxes, that if checked, will disqualify they persons absentee ballot.

Neither side is clean when it comes to voter fraud and election rigging.

A.G. said...

eastindyguy..

I don't recall the Kerry camp being interested in "Ohio irregularities" either.

I don't recall much dismay at the Gore camp selecting particular counties for recounts, or them trying to purge military ballots.

No one is clean. I agree. So how about a major overhaul to ensure integrity of the voting system? Maybe some Voter ID cards and a network that makes sure there is only one vote per SSN. Oh wait. Democrats call people racists and nazis when that sort of stuff gets tried. And old Molly Puckersmuch, the 96-year old epileptic quadriplegic, who takes 6 weeks to get to the mailbox and having had no human contact for 47 years, gets dragged out.

steve geswein...
even if it was 95%, that is still really high. The national average for 2004 was 72%, according to the census bureau. Yes, that is 72% of the eligible population who were registered. Not voted. Not out of the total population.

oettl...
the last election the Dems stole, that I can think of, was the Washington gubernatorial.

political correctness?...
it has come and gone, but it keeps coming back again because the core problems still exist. voting corruption is as old as democracy.

All the other options for variation are very small relative to the total. E.g. the population didn't suddenly increase 25% - a couple hundred thousand - in the past year. In order to bring the 677k in line with the national average for the '04 election, there needs to be about 900,000 people of voting age - more than the current estimated total number of residents.

Regardless, it is odd that a state which Bush carried by 21 points is now a toss-up. I just don't buy the argument that so many people cast aside their core political beliefs to vote for the more-left-than-Kerry Obama.

Anonymous said...

Indiana has always been a DEM STRONGHOLD. Blame the dems, this is their fraud and always has been.

Anonymous said...

Please Republicans, when Obama wins by 350 electoral votes to 150 and 10M popular votes, please please claim that it was all due to voter fraud. You will accomplish two great things in one fell swoop: 1) look foolish to everyone who is sane and 2) continue to ignore the reasons why your Party has become so unpopular and therefore delay the inevitable purge you need.

Finrod said...

Correlating evidence-- ACORN has been caught in voter fraud in Lake County; of 2000 voter registration forms they submitted, 1100 were bogus:

http://www.electionjournal.org/2008/10/06/dead-man-registers-in-indiana-video-more-fraud-linked-to-acorn/

Anonymous said...

Indelible Dye. Now.

TechnoSqueek said...

You did read the article right. It compares and estimate with an actual number. ESTIMATE population versus ACTUAL voter registration.

By the same token the ESTIMATE is there are 232,000 kids (under 18 yrs of age). However there are ACTUALLY 171,000 kids enrolled.

You can not compare and estimate to an actual and then present it as fact. Well I guess you can - if you want to be make the stats say what you want them to say.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are missing the point. It is not an issue of which party is engaging in the most fraud, it is which party has consistently fought against any and all common sense measures to verify the identity of the person actually casting the vote. If you said Democrat you have been paying attention. You present ID to buy alcohol, a firearm, get into an X-rated movie, so why not present government issued picture ID to cast something as significant as a vote? By the way, don't obsess about the math, it is only an indicator that there might be foul play, not evidence of same.

Bryan said...

You're using stats about Marion County in 2007 to suggest fraud in 2008?

BD said...

Bryan: "You're using stats about Marion County in 2007 to suggest fraud in 2008?"

Well, if you want to talk stats, let's do that. The Stats Indiana numbers show the following in 2007:

Net domestic migration of -5,428
Net international migration of +2,226
(Net migration overall = -3,202)

Natural increase by births and deaths +6,913.

So migration is a net loss of 3,202 people, and 6,913 more people were born than died. By those numbers, the population increased in 2007 by 3,711, with the increase consisting entirely of infants. (Looking at Census Bureau estimates, the Marion County population increased by about 13,000 from 2004-2007, so 2007 was roughly average.)

Those stats don't exactly point to a miraculous 33,000 increase in the adult population in the following year. (Even if 1/18 of the minors in the population turned 18 since last year. 1/18 is probably way too high, actually, since almost a third of the under 18 population is preschool age.)

Troy said...

The problem with voter ID laws is that there is a segment of our citizens who are eligible voters, but don't have the "proper" ID. For many legitimate reasons, getting such an ID is an difficult and time consuming process, and there may be a fee for getting the ID (which would be a hidden "poll tax"). Many of these voters cannot afford to sacrifice the wages needed to go through the process.

You see, this is not as simple as getting into your car and driving to the [insert your least favorite government agency here] office. They don't have a car, the office is on the other side of town, or in another community, and it is only open 9-5. They have a difficult time getting off work to be with a sick child. Missing work for something just to get an ID they use once a year is out of the question.

So tell me, why are Republicans the ones that are interested in ID laws?

briefs said...

I'm glad to see this information getting out finally. First Indy, and now we've got to unearth the mess in Lake County too.

Thanks for your writing.

HeatherRadish said...

who still have residency elsewhere but opted to register to vote in indiana

That's illegal, you know. If you're not an Indiana resident, you're not legally allowed to vote in Indiana.

Fraud, right there.

Anonymous said...

Indiana voter registration rolls do not get purged when people move or die, that is why you have these numbers. They have been accumulating over several decades. do a google search!

Anonymous said...

[Troy said...
The problem with voter ID laws is that there is a segment of our citizens who are eligible voters, but don't have the "proper" ID. For many legitimate reasons, getting such an ID is an difficult and time consuming process, and there may be a fee for getting the ID (which would be a hidden "poll tax"). Many of these voters cannot afford to sacrifice the wages needed to go through the process.

You see, this is not as simple as getting into your car and driving to the [insert your least favorite government agency here] office. They don't have a car, the office is on the other side of town, or in another community, and it is only open 9-5. They have a difficult time getting off work to be with a sick child. Missing work for something just to get an ID they use once a year is out of the question.

So tell me, why are Republicans the ones that are interested in ID laws?]

That is the most ridiculous excuse for voter fraud I know. Georgia for instance was originally charging for a state id in order to vote. Then after a lot of complaints, they dropped the charge and GAVE the things away, all you had to do was come and get them. Some how that is too much trouble for "poor, black and young" people. People that have to show an ID to cash a check, open a bank account, buy cigarettes, buy alcohol, do just about anything in fact. It is okay if you force people to prove who they are to cash their welfare check, but it is too much trouble to have to prove who you are in order to vote. As to why we want voter id's. Think about this, how much trouble is it for Juan Valdez to walk across the border from Mexico, hop a bus to Atlanta and vote the next day as Pepe Aquas who died last year. Without voter id, what is to stop someone from voting in every precinct in town? You KNOW the ONLY reason for NOT wanting a voter ID is so that you can vote fraudently. If you don't have the time to register correctly and have the proper identification, then you have NO right to vote. With every right comes a responsibility. With the right to vote comes the responsibility to do it correctly.

Clayton said...

Even if the estimates are a bit off--not every person over 18 in Marion County is eligible to vote. Or are there no non-citizens there? (Right.)

And even among those who are eligible to vote, there are lots of people who have religious objections to voting, haven't bothered to register, are uninterested in elections, or are too lazy to register. This makes this 105% figure even more obviously fraudulent.

I'm sure that there are Republicans who have abused the process. So why do Democrats object to cleaning it up? Because Democrats know who does the vast majority of the cheating on this--and it is the essence of how they retain power.

David Lewis said...

Your math is specious. The population figure you state is an ESTIMATE. Perhaps you should do some legwork and find out how many people there are in the county before you start making accusations.

Downtown Indy said...

Now I realize this is the country of 'high tech' solutions, but christ what's so hard about dipping a finger into an ink bottle when you vote? After all, that's how the elections in Iraq were handled.

Oh, but we run the risk of embarassing the folks who don't have inky fingers by 6pm. Can't have that, can we?

Anonymous said...

My wife and I thought we would vote absentee, but when we looked at the form requesting the absentee ballot, you have to certify that you will be out the county on election day or unable to leave work, or a number of other reasons. You have to certify and sign your name under some pretty severe penalties for misrepresentation. We couldn't do that, and we can't understand how so many people are voting early by falsifying this document.

The Prophet Micah said...

Not so fast.


Are you certain of the census figures? The census is seven years old and the 2007 population number is an ESTIMATE. If the total population estimate and the estimate of under 18's are each off by a couple of percentage points -- which is likely -- there's your 5 percent.


How about people who moved OUT of the county but have not
canceled or changed their registration? Ditto for DEAD PEOPLE -- in fact, now that I think about it, my father died in Nov 2005 and my mother died in March 2007 and I have never canceled their voter registrations (in Knox County, TN). I don't know about you, but I never even thought about it until now. So -- if as few as 5 percent of the county moved out or died and did not cancel registrations -- which is quite likely -- there's your 5 percent.


Are there colleges or universities in the county where there are students who are not residents of the county but are registered to vote there? Another source of error.

So -- this "105 percent registered to vote" is not a plot by evil Democrats -- it's just another Republicon distraction.


Now, how about that UNANIMOUS Alaskan legislature report on Crazy Sarah's abuse of power??

Shelby said...

Troy don't you think ACORN's efforts would be better served helping those to get ID that can't get it using their own resources?

I didn't like seeing ACORN on the circle but I though you know what they are doing something good even if it didn't help my side. But seeing all these stories now I wish I'd have talked to them and maybe brought some of this out before we where a month away from the election.

timburns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.