Loup, Blaine and Wheeler Counties are among seven Nebraska counties with more registered voters than people older than 18. That’s according to Nebraska Watchdog which recently analyzed U.S. Census and voter registration data.
Loup County, has had more voters than the U.S. Census says there are people over the age of 18 for more than seven years. Its current voter registration list is 106 percent of the voting age population.
Election officials say that’s because federal law mandates a long process to purge ineligible voters from their rolls.
Loup County Clerk and election commissioner, Debbie Postany said the National Voter Registration Act requires her to wait two federal election cycles before removing an inactive voter who hasn’t communicated with her. She said it can take six to eight years to remove a voter from the list.
The 2010 Census shows Loup County has 632 residents, with 491 older than 18. Postany said 505 people are registered to vote, but 38 are going through the removal process. That leaves 467 active voters of the 491 people counted by the Census.
Besides Loup the other six counties with more registered voters than adults are Blaine, Hooker, Wheeler, Keya Paha, Kimball and Hayes.
Another 11 counties have are near the 100 percent mark – Sheridan, Arthur, Custer, Logan, McPherson, Thurston, Banner, Boone, Gosper, Keith and York counties.
But in a state without any requirement that voters show identification, election watchdogs worry those lists of inactive voters could be used to commit voter fraud.
In smaller elections that come down to one or two votes, such a fraud would be easier to pull off. But Postany said committing voter fraud would be very difficult in Loup County because her election board know everybody that walks in to vote.
According to Nebraska Secretary of State, John Gale, while there’s a remote possibility a few random impersonators could take advantage of voter bloat, it’s highly unlikely a massive fraud could be pulled off.
To influence an election, thousands of people would have to be coordinated and persuaded to commit a felony.
“What’s the gain?” Gale said. “Who’s gonna risk a felony?”