November 17, 2010 10:00:00 AM
A Mississippi man was declared dead nearly 10 years ago, yet openly lived, and was even arrested, using his own name and ID information. According to the story in The Dispatch, there is no national data base for deaths in the US. It''s worse than that. The paper, any paper, can print obituary notices all day long and the names of deceased STILL appear on active voter rolls.
We need a law that allows for the removal of the names of deceased persons from voter rolls using newspaper obits, immediately after the obit appears in the paper. Almost nobody thinks to go to the courthouse after burying a loved one to have that name removed from the voter rolls (and jury pool). Every county in Mississippi would benefit from such a law, but some politicians might not. The law would need to be made retroactive so that names of deceased from days past could be removed, cleaning up bloated voter rolls.
No two people with the same name will have the same date-of-birth, so those with the same names shouldn''t have any problems when John Doe tries to vote but is told his name was removed because his obit was in last month''s paper. What about it, public servants? Anybody interested in writing a useful bill for a change? Make the information available to authorities via a website so when the U.S. finally catches up with technology we''ll be ready.