A recently released study by Judicial Watch has exposed voter registration disparities in 353 U.S. counties, revealing 1.8 million more registered voters than eligible voting-age citizens, including two counties in New Mexico.
This discrepancy implies that the registration rates in these counties surpass 100% of eligible voters. The study, conducted in September 2020, drew attention to eight states with statewide registration rates exceeding 100%: Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
New Mexico’s Los Alamos County had a 110% voter registration rate, while Harding County had a 177% rate.
The methodology involved comparing the most recent registration data, obtained from states’ online records, with the Census Bureau’s five-year population estimates collected by the American Community Survey (ACS) from 2014 to 2018. ACS surveys, sent to 3.5 million addresses monthly, are considered highly reliable for estimating population figures outside the decennial census.
However, the study’s scope is limited to the 37 states providing regular updates to their registration data. Some state voter registration lists may potentially be larger than reported, as they may exclude “inactive voters,” who remain registered and can still participate in elections.
Judicial Watch uses such voter registration studies to caution states about potential non-compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. This federal law mandates states to make reasonable efforts to clean their voter rolls, and Judicial Watch has a track record of suing to enforce compliance.
In a recent lawsuit against Colorado for non-compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, Judicial Watch revealed that 42 counties, or two-thirds of the state’s counties, had registration rates exceeding 100%. Similar lawsuits were filed earlier this year against Pennsylvania and North Carolina for their failure to remove ineligible voters from their rolls. Another lawsuit was initiated against Illinois for refusing to disclose voter roll data, violating federal law.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton emphasized the study’s revelation of 1.8 million excess or “ghost” voters across 29 states. Fitton expressed concern about the implications of blindly mailing ballots to such voter registration lists, highlighting the importance of clean voting rolls for ensuring fair elections.
This study builds on a similar analysis conducted by Judicial Watch in August 2019, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to promoting cleaner elections and holding states accountable for maintaining accurate voter rolls.
Learn more about all the states and counties affected here.