The Iowa Secretary of State’s office has sent a list out to the 99 county auditors with the names of voters who may’ve died but are still on the voting rolls. Chance McElhaney, spokesman for the Secretary of State, says they found 1,234 names after cross-checking a federal list called the Social Security Death Index. “We’ve been able to match a voter’s name, birthdate information, their previous address on file and if available, the last four digits of the Social Security number. If all that information matches, we just want to get that information to the county auditors,” McElhaney says.
He says the county auditors regularly update their voter registration lists, but can miss some names. “They’re checking obituaries, a multitude of things. But if somebody passes away and that say they went and lived with a family member out-of-state, some of those folks may fall through the cracks,” McElhaney explains. “So what this is doing is kind of helping with that. Anybody that is deceased according the federal government, we are trying to make sure that they are not on our voting lists.”
McElhaney says they first did this cross check in 2012 and found it was helpful to the auditors and they decided to do it again. The number of names on the list ranges from 100 in Wright County to none in Wayne County. McElhaney says he’s not sure why there is such a big difference in the numbers in each county, but it may be due to the county’s work in already updating their voter list. “Perhaps some of those counties may’ve caught more of the folks when they passed away, they may’ve gotten information form a different source, so maybe their list was a little cleaner before the search was done,” he says.
McElhaney says the voters on the list aren’t automatically removed by the counties. He says they ask them to analyze it and not just take these people off the list before doing a little research to see if they are actually dead.
What happens if your name is on the list and the report of your death is greatly exaggerated? “We do send out a postcard saying we have removed this individual and if there is an error, please contact us,” McElhaney says. “In 2012 I believe the list as was roughly 2,800 people who had passed away, and I think they got back eight responses.”
McElhaney says all of the people on the list have not had any recent voting activity, so these are not cases of numbers that were stolen and used by someone else. See the individual county numbers below.
County Number of Records Sent:
Adair 6 ; Adams 1; Allamakee 5; Appanoose 11; Audubon 2; Benton 3; Black Hawk 13; Boone 2; Bremer 15; Buchanan 3; Buena Vista 9; Butler 10 ; Calhoun 9; Carroll 11; Cass 2; Cedar 7; Cerro Gordo 9; Cherokee 1; Chickasaw 3; Clarke 3; Clay 55; Clayton 2; Clinton 8; Crawford 14; Dallas 23; Davis 5; Decatur 6; Delaware 1; Des Moines 12; Dickinson 4; Dubuque 34; Emmet 5; Fayette 5; Floyd 4; Franklin 2; Fremont 4; Greene 6; Grundy 2; Guthrie 8; Hamilton 18; Hancock 1; Hardin 16; Harrison 3; Henry 12; Howard 4; Humboldt 7; Ida 1; Iowa 6; Jackson 16; Jasper 8; Jefferson 8; Johnson 15; Jones 14; Keokuk 9; Kossuth 1; Lee 6;Linn 103; Louisa 19; Lucas 6; Lyon 20; Madison 5; Mahaska 22; Marion 37; Marshall 9; Mills 5; Mitchell 11; Monona 3; Monroe 6; Montgomery 6; Muscatine 91; O’Brien 9; Osceola 1; Page 3; Palo Alto 4; Plymouth 8; Pocahontas 4; Polk 85; Pottawattamie 13; Poweshiek 12; Ringgold 8; Sac 8; Scott 55; Shelby 16; Sioux 2; Story 10; Tama 6; Taylor 5; Union 8; Van Buren 5; Wapello 4; Warren 13; Washington 7; Wayne 0; Webster 10; Winnebago 5; Winneshiek 2; Woodbury 15; Worth 3; Wright 100.