NEARLY two million Americans are still eligible to vote in local and federal elections even though they are dead, a new study of the current rolls of "active voters" has found.
The dysfunction in the system is laid out in a new report from the Pew Center on the States which also found that roughly one in four people - about 51 million citizens - who should be able to vote are not registered, and about one in eight registrations are inaccurate, out of date or duplicates.
Unlike most other western democracies, the US mostly relies on its citizens to take the necessary steps to register and there is scant use of modern data-matching technologies to keep the rolls up to date.
"Voter registration is the gateway to participating in our democracy, but these antiquated, paper-based systems are plagued with errors and inefficiencies," said David Becker, Pew's director of Election Initiatives.
"These problems waste taxpayer dollars, undermine voter confidence, and fuel partisan disputes over the integrity of our elections."
The scope for error is especially large when it comes to people who move around a lot, such as military personnel and students. who are meant to re-register upon moving to a new state but fail to do so.