The joke has long been that dead people vote in Hudson County, New Jersey's legendary enclave of machine politics. But now the joke may be on New Jersey, according to a new analysis of voter records by the state's Republican Party.
Comparing information from county voter registration lists, Social Security death records and other public information, Republican officials announced on Thursday that 4,755 people who were listed as deceased appear to have voted in the 2004 general election. Another 4,397 people who were registered to vote in more than one county appeared to have voted twice, while 6,572 who were registered in New Jersey and in one of five other states selected for analysis voted in each state.
At a news conference at the State House, Tom Wilson, the state's party chairman, took pains to say that the analysis did not look at voters' party affiliation. He also said that the party was not accusing voters of committing fraud, suggesting instead that someone else may have exploited their names without their knowledge.
Mr. Wilson said the analysis did not examine whether any of the alleged fraudulent voting tipped a close race in 2004, but he said that it was imperative that all future races - including this year's race for governor between Douglas R. Forrester, a Republican, and Senator Jon S. Corzine, a Democrat - be as clean as possible.
Hudson County wasn't the only county studied, but it had the worst showing of any of the state's counties. Since the article states that political affiliation wasn't examined in relation to this, here's my take:
Hudson County went for John Kerry by an overwhelming 2:1 ratio in 2004. Democrats won at all levels of the county's elections. Most Democratic candidates won by at least a 2:1 ratio.
Draw your own conclusions, but I think that it is reasonable to consider that there were more Democrats than Republicans who casted votes when they were already dead.