Some 24 million voter registrations in the United States contain significant errors, including about 1.8 million dead people still on the rolls and many more approved to vote in multiple states, according to a report released Tuesday.
Even though the inaccuracies impact one in eight registrations, researchers at the Pew Center on the States said they don’t see it as an indicator of widespread fraud. Rather, they believe outdated systems are failing to keep pace with the most basic changes in people’s lives, feeding perceptions that U.S. elections are not as airtight as they could be.
In conjunction with Pew’s report, eight states said they are working this year on a centralized data system to help identify people whose registrations may be out of date.
“A lot of people probably assume we do this already,” said Sam Reed, who oversees elections as Washington’s secretary of state. “I think it’s going to bring more trust and confidence in the election system.”
About 2.7 million people have active registrations in multiple states, including about 2,000 people registered in four or more states, according to the Pew report. Elections officials said it is difficult to track when someone has moved to another state without canceling their previous registration.