Maryland Election Official Ignores Dead Voters on Rolls
August 14, 2013 - 6:56 am
Maryland state election official Mary Cramer Wagner has been told about dead voters on Maryland rolls, she just isn’t going to do anything about it. So she tells the Southern Maryland News.
Election Integrity Maryland sent Wagner’s office a list of 1,100 dead voters based on public records searches like the Social Security Death Index. Instead of doing anything about it, Maryland election officials are keeping the dead voters on the rolls. Southern Maryland News:
Mary Cramer Wagner, the director of the voter registration division of the Maryland State Board of Elections, said she was “incensed” by Election Integrity Maryland’s accusations.
She said her office has investigated the latest list that Kelleher’s organization had given her.
If the elections board mails an official election item to a voter and it comes back stamped “nonforwardable,” the office sends another piece to confirm the voter’s status, she said. If there is no response on that mailing, the voter goes into “inactive” status, she said.
If the voter then does not vote in two federal elections, he or she is moved to “canceled” status, she said.
An inactive voter has to verify her status before she can vote. A canceled voter is no longer eligible to vote.
“Unless I get that information [that a voter has died] from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or a family member, I can’t make the assumption they’re dead,” Wagner said.
Wagner is wrong. A dead voter can be removed immediately from the rolls. No waiting period is required under federal law. If the voter is dead, the registration may be cancelled, and must be cancelled.
The Federal National Voter Registration Act does NOT permit removal only when the Maryland “Department of Mental Health and Hygiene or a family member” tells the election official that the voter is dead. The law requires the removal of dead voters, period. If Maryland election officials are aware of dead voters on the rolls, and refuse to remove them, they are violating federal law. Any Maryland law or policy that permits dead voters to remain on the rolls is inconsistent with NVRA.
Maryland’s refusal to comply with Federal election law seems to invite a lawsuit against Wagner’s agency, if someone would only step up to the plate and sue Wagner’s agency.