According to the Election Board, there is some evidence that dead people are “voting” and “signing” recall petitions.
Election Board chairman Ed Martin says that he will turn that evidence over to prosecutors.
He should do even more:
Conduct his own investigation to determine whether other dead people are on the petition and on the active voter rolls, and whether the signatures of any living persons on the petition were forged.
Withhold certification of the recall petition until his investigation and the prosecutors’ criminal investigation are complete. If necessary, he should dedicate the people and resources needed to meet statutory deadlines.
Going backward, request a list of death records from the Missouri Bureau of Vital Statistics for the last five years and reconcile his voting records with that list.
Going forward, adopt a policy to reconcile voter lists with death records every month.
Use the Secretary of State’s office for in-service training of all commissioners, directors, senior management, and legal counsel concerning the applicable state and federal election laws.
Identify an employee with information systems training and credentials who can integrate external data systems from the Missouri Bureau of Vital Statistics and Missouri Department of Revenue.
After the November 2002 election — well before Mr. Martin accepted his appointment from Gov. Matt Blunt
— I sent a series of recommendations for improvement to the Board of Elections. I have sent Mr. Martin a new copy, along with my hope that the new Board considers them.