They're Back! Ballot Box Ghouls Haunt 2004 Election
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- This year Halloween comes just two days before the fiercely contested election which in many jurisdictions will feature touch screen voting and no paper trail -- perfect for ghosts, goblins and ghouls. And oddly appropriate because in nearly all states there are many thousands of voters listed as eligible and poised to cast their ballots but who are in fact -- dead. Campaigns that acquired voter files early in the election year should be aware that they will need a seance to reach some voters. This year in the spirit of an especially highly charged Halloween, Aristotle's ghost busters have put the "Deadwood Game" online. At the website (http://www.aristotle.com) a visitor can go to the upper tab, "Voter and Contributor Lists", click on "Deadwood" to select a state, then try to correctly guess the percent of the state's voters who have joined the choir invisible, passed to the great beyond, are gone to meet their Maker, mingling with the moles: in a word, Kaput. As a matter of public policy no local authority would eliminate the name of a citizen who may in fact be eligible and able to vote or spend precious resources on hiring the technical staff, costly state-of-the-art equipment to do time-consuming and expensive roll cleaning. Moreover, through no fault of their own, local jurisdictions are legally unable to synchronize their records with all other jurisdictions in order to determine which citizens have shuffled off their mortal coil. They simply can't just take a broom to the voter rolls and sweep them clean of the dead since most Americans are unable or unwilling to share their bereavement news with their various governments As a result, many thousands of ghost voters still haunt the rolls in nearly every jurisdiction. In the current contentious and suspicion-filled election season, the Aristotle RIP file had become an especially useful metric of accuracy in projecting what ghostly results we can expect at the polls. On the other hand, some journalists will see this phenomenon as a clue to the identities of the undecided voters that populate the baffling daily polling reports from key states. Aristotle International, the principal nonpartisan voter data and software provider to US political campaigns, has tabulated the percent of "ghost voters" in each of many selected states -- in some instances, down to the county level. For more than a decade, Aristotle has been ghost-busting in order to provide the most accurate voter data to campaigns and the press. Known in the past as the "RIP" files (from the Latin tombstone inscription: requiescat in pace -- may he/she rest in peace), these voter tabulations are the most current and extensive available anywhere, and far more so than in any prior election. Thoughtful reflections on this issue may be heard at the website, from respected journalist, Charles Kuralt -- make that the late Charles Kuralt ... A notice from Aristotle International going out by Sunday -- which is Halloween, to its national customer base reads in part, " ... Did you know that "Deadwood" -- registered voters who have moved or passed away, tops a staggering 25% of the voter rolls in some counties. To determine exactly how much deadwood there is on your community's voter rolls, go to your account at http://www.voterlistsonline.com. Using lists from the US government and US Postal Service, we've "undertaken" to identify and remove deceased voters and those who have moved. We've also updated listed phone numbers for every living voter in your district. This insures your GOTV calls and walk lists only include the names of voters who are here, not in the hereafter ... "
SOURCE Aristotle International
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