Last year, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) investigated voter registry irregularities in Detroit, Michigan and discovered the names of thousands of dead people who were still registered to vote. The group put in a request with Director of Elections George Azzouz to be able to fully inspect the voter rolls and determine the extent of the problem. The city ignored the request and in December PILF took them to court. Surely this is something everyone could get behind, right? I mean, you don’t want to leave a huge number of deceased people registered to vote.
Apparently not everyone feels that way. As the Free Beacon reports, liberal groups have flocked to the defense of the city, urging Detroit to reject PILF’s request and make sure that the inalienable rights of dead people aren’t stripped away.
The League of Women Voters of Michigan and its Detroit chapter filed a motion to intervene on behalf of Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey and Director of Elections George Azzouz…
The Brennan Center for Justice, a progressive policy institute at New York University School of Law, will help the League fight PILF’s lawsuit. Myrna Pérez, the center’s director of voting rights and elections programs, and Eliza Sweren-Becker, counsel in the center’s Democracy Program, signed on to the motion. New York-based attorneys from the Paul Weiss law firm, where former Obama attorney general Loretta Lynch is a partner, also joined the motion.
These liberal critics are trying to raise an alarm about a supposed “purge” of the voting rolls. What’s unclear is how any of the groups and individuals listed have standing to take part in this process.
But even if we were to accept that they somehow had a reason to be involved, what is the objection to PILF’s request? They don’t have the power to go in and alter the voter rolls themselves. They’re simply asking for transparency in the maintenance of the rolls. If their initial analysis turned up that many dead people who are registered to vote, how many would be revealed by a full analysis of all the lists?
Leaving all of these corpses in the books opens the door to additional voter fraud. One of the easiest ways to pull off this crime in states that don’t require voter ID is to go to a polling place and give them the name of someone who has passed away. And while incidents, where this was actually discovered and prosecuted, aren’t all that great in number, it has happened. Going back almost a decade, a study featured at NPR concluded that there were at least 1.8 million dead people still registered to vote. (That’s probably a conservative estimate.)
PILF’s initial investigation found 2,500 dead people who were registered to vote and 5,000 duplicate entries. At that time, Detroit had 479,267 adults who were eligible to vote, but there were more than 511,000 registered voters on the rolls. That’s a difference of more than 30,000 or six percent of the city’s population.
Who in their right mind would be objecting to an inspection of the voter rolls and deleting the names of the deceased? The answer, apparently, is a coalition of Democrats and liberals, allegedly claiming to be working to ensure the preservation of civil rights. But the rights of who? The dead? Something strange is going on in Detroit and we need to get to the bottom of it.