Say Anything notes that Indianapolis/Marion County seems to have more people registered to vote in 2007 then its actual adult citizen population. Even though they only had 644,197 voting age-eligible individuals, there were 677,401 individuals registered to vote, or 105% of the Census population.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the registration list in Indianapolis/Marion County still has large numbers of ineligible voters – people who have died or moved away, are registered more than once, are not citizens or perhaps don’t even exist given ACORN’s activities there. After all, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law this year, it cited the lower court’s finding that Indiana’s voter rolls were inflated by as much as 41.4% in 2004. One of the main reasons for the inflated voter rolls was the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 or Motor Voter, which was the first legislation signed into law by newly sworn-in President Bill Clinton. As the Supreme Court recognized, Motor Voter has provisions “restricting States’ ability to remove names from the lists of registered voters.” In fact, its restrictions and notice provisions are so strict that many states simply stopped doing anything to clean up their voter rolls after Motor Voter became law.
Section 8 of Motor Voter does contain a provision requiring states to conduct a general program of “list maintenance” that identifies and removes the names of ineligible voters. However, the U.S. Department of Justice never filed a single lawsuit against any state to enforce this provision until 2005, when it finally filed a lawsuit against Missouri, some of whose counties had voter lists as high as 153% of their actual population. In 2006, Justice filed a similar lawsuit against Indiana and the state entered into a Consent Decree in which it agreed to finally start cleaning up it voter registration rolls.
Yet the Bush Administration and particularly its Civil Rights Division were subjected to withering criticism by Congress and many traditional civil rights organizations for filing these suits that were unfairly characterized as an attempt to supposedly purge minorities and “suppress voting.” It seems clear from this report about the voter registration list in Indianapolis/Marion County that they have still not fully complied with the requirement to clean up their voter rolls. All of us should be concerned about this because the larger the pool of invalid names on voter registration rolls, the greater the probabilities that fraudulent votes will be cast in those names by unscrupulous individuals in the upcoming election.