All Politics is Local

“Ghost voters” in Clark County? Who ya gonna call?

Clark county Auditor Greg Kimsey

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey ain’t afraid of no ghost.

A national conservative magazine is suggesting that Clark County’s voter rolls are haunted and need to be exorcised. But Clark County’s top election official says his office has them in check.

The conservative news magazine National Review published an article Friday about the supposedly large number of “ghost voters” –names on voter rolls that can’t possibly be real living people eligible to cast ballots.

Drawing on data analyzed by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, the article suggests that voter fraud is rampant in the country and singles out Washington’s Clark County as having a large “inaccuracy” between the number of registered voters and the number of estimated people over age 18.

“Washington’s Clark County is worrisome, given its 154 percent registration rate. This includes 166,811 ghost voters,” the author, Deroy Murdock, stated.

But Republican Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey said the author “had a huge factual error.” He said the author is labeling “ghost voters” as inactive voters.

An inactive voter is someone who is registered to vote, but has moved and changed his or her address and failed to update it with the auditor’s office. So from the 2016 general election, an estimated 166,000 people from Clark County have moved and failed to update their address. That makes them “inactive.”

“We have a lot of inactive voters,” Kimsey said, but he said that isn’t unusual.

“The election system has a very high level of accountability and integrity,” Kimsey said. “The system is designed to prevent someone voting twice.”

Over the weekend, state Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, posted the article on her Facebook page, drawing the attention from Kimsey, who responded with the correct information.

Pike has since deleted her post.

If people have concerns about elections process, Kimsey encourages people to email him at Greg.Kimsey@Clark.Wa.Gov or call him at 360-397-2078.