Woman, Dead Nine Years, Gets Absentee Ballot

Women Dead Nine Yrs Got Absentee Ballot

Buffalo, N.Y. - At virtually every rally, it's one of Donald Trump's main claims: that the election is "rigged," and that people who shouldn't be eligible to vote will help steal the election from him. 
 
And it's something that's resonating with Lori Carden of West Seneca.
 
She posted a photo on Facebook of an absentee ballot received from the Erie County Board of Elections, saying "hmm...going through my dad's mail and he just received my grandmother's absentee ballot...she passed away in 2007....so no chance of voter fraud?"
 
"Before this election, I was like whatever, I just shredded (the absentee ballots), and didn't really pay any attention to them. And then with all this voter fraud becoming a big issue this year, when I received it right in the middle of all this going on, I was like wow, this could be a really big issue."
 
We took Lori's concerns to one Erie County's elections commissioners.
 
Scott Brown: "Someone who's been dead nine years is still receiving an absentee ballot, how is that possible?"
 
Elections Commissioner Len Lenihan: "First it's very, very seldom that something like this could happen."
 
Lenihan says board employees proactively check death records with cities and towns in the county, and get state health department records of deaths as well.
 
In a typical year, Lenihan says the board will purge 5,000 people from the voter rolls.
 
He also points out that every registered voter every year receives one of these cards trying to confirm that the resident is still eligible to vote.
 
Scott Brown: "This person, upon receiving this absentee ballot, what should they have done?"
 
Len Lenihan: "They should have called us. Every year we ask somebody in that home to let us know if these people are still living there.  So there is a level of responsibility on the household level to let us know." 
 
And after we brought that to Lori's attention, she said she had received one of the cards from the Board of Elections, but she just hadn't read it all that carefully and didn't realize she had to send the card back to have her grandmother taken off the voter rolls.
 
Lenihan says there will be some 20,000 people in the county voting by absentee ballot this year. Those ballots have to be postmarked by the day before the election, November 7th in order to be valid. 
 
 


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