Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Here’s some gloomy news just ahead of next week’s Democratic primary: A new audit testing accuracy of the District’s voter rolls found a high rate of dead people erroneously left on the books as registered D.C. voters.

As part of the D.C. Auditor report, investigators ran through the voter database the names of 33 people who had died between 2011 and 2014. Each one of them was still considered a registered voter in the city as of 2015. That’s a colossal screw-up rate for the D.C. Board of Elections, and raises questions about how many other dead people could be impersonated at the polls.

“That’s fairly wild,” says D.C. Auditor Kathy Patterson

The audit also found that nearly 7,000 registered voter erroneously had birth years from the 19th century listed in the database. Rather than revealing a potentially immortal group of District voters, though, the birth year error is the result of a longstanding database problem. 

“There cannot be active voters who were born in that time period,” the audit notes.

In a letter to the auditor, DCBOE chairman D. Michael Bennett asked for more time after next week’s primary to respond to the audit’s findings.