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Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Missouri rolls likely inflated

October 20, 2004

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— Voter rolls suggest a record 4.2 million Missourians are eligible to cast ballots on Nov. 2, but officials acknowledged Tuesday the figure likely is inflated by people who are registered more than once.

There are fewer than 4.3 million voting-age residents, according to the most recent Census Bureau estimate. If Missouri's voter rolls were accurate, that would mean 98 percent of adults are registered to vote.

"It's inflated somewhat," said Betsy Byers, an election director, "but I don't know what to tell you as far as how much."

The inflated rolls could allow some people to illegally vote twice, Byers acknowledged. A more likely outcome, she said, is that many of the duplicate registrants will vote only once or not at all.

Missouri has no way to automatically update its central voter registration database when a resident moves to another city, county or state. And under federal law, it can take more than four years to remove a voter whose address cannot be verified.

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