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A new research brief has found that New Jersey’s voter rolls are filled with thousands of people who are registered to vote more than once or whose profiles are missing critical information.
Released by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), the report identifies 8,239 state residents who “managed to become registered twice or more under variations of their names.”
“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 reads. “These serve as an administrative challenge to be resolved as we see more automation to vote-by-mail. … The most common finding type, clerical/typographical error, can be as subtle as transposed letters. As an example, Julia Rose and Juila Rose are the same person, but she has duplicate registrations with unique voter identification numbers.”
Other notable findings include the identification of 2,398 records of New Jersians that are 105 years old and older. One such example documented in the report is Patrick DePaola of Bayonne, who, “according to the voter roll,” was born on July 28, 1905, and registered to vote on June 2, 1927. Despite dying on Dec. 9, 2010, at age 105, DePaola “was still showing as an ACTIVE registered voter in Hudson County” in 2022.
The PILF brief goes on to raise additional concerning figures in the Garden State’s voter rolls, including “an excess of 33,000 registrants without dates of birth indicating eligibility” and over 6,800 records that “do not include an actual date of registration,” among others.
“New Jersey has some explaining to do in how it collects and maintains basic voter information,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams in response to the organization’s findings. “As we have already demonstrated, PILF will pursue available remedies to correct often long neglected government records.”
Last month, the legal group filed a federal lawsuit against New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way for allegedly “violating the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) for refusing to disclose documentation explaining how election officials resolve duplicate voter registrations.”
According to the group’s press release, PILF had previously “alerted the Secretary of State’s office to what appears to be thousands of examples where registrants are stored in duplicate” and “[t]ens of thousands of other voter records were highlighted for missing or fictitious biographical information like dates of birth.”
“PILF sought official data maintenance guides with the goal of discerning precisely why the widespread errors were appearing in the voter roll. The Secretary of State’s office’s only response has been to deny access to standard operating procedures commonly made available in other states,” the press release added.
Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood