Don’t let November 6, 2012 be “Day of the Zombie Voter”
I read an article on Politico.com the other day which stated that there are nearly 2 million deceased people still listed on voter registration databases across the United States. Dead people voting? Come on now! We all remember the scene from “The Sixth Sense” where little Haley Joel Osment says “I see dead people”. That’s a movie, and just for our entertainment, but what if one of these people who say they can “talk to the dead” gets the word out to more of these zombies? All it’s gonna take is for James Van Praagh to start spreading the news that the dead have voting rights and we will have an epic horror show come election day!!!
Here’s an example of how this can happen: You live in Michigan where you’ve been a registered voter all of your adult life. At some point you get tired of the cold and snow, and up and move to Florida to warm your bones and eat soft, bland foods with all the other retired gray & blue hairs. You don’t vote anymore because you have a hard enough time keeping your prescriptions straight. But your long term memory is solid, and you haven’t forgotten the Florida debacle of 2000. Missing the Early Bird Special only to have your ballot thrown out due to a pregnant Chad hardly seems worth it. Eventually the day comes when you pass into the next life, or great beyond or whatever you believe happens next. BUT, since the state of Michigan hasn’t updated its database in many years, you’re still registered to vote there! (possibly along with your great-great grandfather and crazy Aunt Millie)
Thankfully, you’re still alive and kicking and not one of the “Walking Dead” from that new cult flavored television show. You have a right to vote, you pay your taxes, you probably work for a living! Dead people don’t pay taxes, and they surely should not have voting rights. Still, 953 ballots were cast in a recent election in S. Carolina by deceased voters. Apparently this was partly due to clerical error and the need to update their database. Perhaps someone submitted absentee ballots on behalf of the departed. Or did the election officials just not want to admit to seeing the zombies???
The technology to cleanse the zombies from your database is right at your fingertips. Keeping them won’t create the potential for fraud in most cases, but removing them could save you money in the long term, both in saved postage, and in saved relationships with those who were left behind. If you repeatedly mail to someone who is deceased, on some level (conscious or not), it’s likely a negative emotion may be tied to your business in the mind of the recipient of that mail.