Tricks Not Treats From Some Republicans

As a pre- Halloween gift to the gullible, Urban Elephants posted a third hand report claiming that dead people are voting for Democrats in New York.

Here’s the post.

Via Instapundit, just in time for Halloween, despite Republican John Ravitz serving as head of the Board of Elections, it seems that the dead still vote frequently here in NYC-- generally for Democrats.

Check it out.

So what will it take to clean up the New York voter database once and for all?

So I checked it out. It was supposedly a summary of a story in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Here are the “scary” highlights of the post –

Among the Journal's findings:

- There were dead people on the voter rolls in all of New York's 62 counties and people in as many as 45 counties who had votes recorded after they had died.

- One Bronx address was listed as the home for as many as 191 registered voters who had died. The address is 5901 Palisade Ave., in Riverdale, site of the Hebrew Home for the Aged.

- Democrats who cast votes after they died outnumbered Republicans by more than 4 to 1. The reason: Most of them came from Democrat-dominated New York City, where the higher population produced more matches.

However I decided to read the actual news story on which the posts were based and found some things that the partisan Republicans left out –

The numbers do not indicate how much fraud is the result of dead voters in New York, only the potential for it. Typically, records of votes by the dead are the result of bookkeeping errors and do not mean any extra ballots were actually cast.

The Journal did not find any fraud in the local matches it investigated.

In most cases, instances of dead voters can be attributed to database mismatches and clerical errors. For instance, the Social Security Administration admits there are people in its master death index who are not dead.

They include Wappingers Falls resident Hilde Stafford, an 85-year-old native of Germany. The master index lists her date of death as June 15, 1997.

"I'm still alive," she said. "I still vote."

In Ulster County, Vermilye, the former Croton resident, voted for the last time in his life in 2000. Vermilye was suffering from a malignant brain tumor and needed a wheelchair to get around. He asked his daughter, Lydia Weiss, to take him to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senate primary.

"Something like that with a wheelchair and a 200-plus pound man who was immobilized was no easy endeavor," Weiss said. "He lived five miles away, and the whole thing took maybe an hour and a half. The whole reason we went and made such an effort is he thought it was going to be his last. He knew that Hillary had the primary in the bag, but wanted her to have one more vote on her side."

Vermilye lived long enough to cast one more vote, by absentee ballot, in the November general election. He died June 19, 2001, at age 54.

So it came as some surprise to his daughter that the Ulster County Board of Elections had a record of him voting in the 2004 general election. Again, there was no fraud. Ulster officials found that an absentee ballot cast by Vermilye's son, Jamie, had mistakenly been added to his father's record.