Politico has a report today based on a Pew study of the vast shortcomings of our state-and-local-government run system of voter registration and election administration. Already, conservatives are beginning to seize on this as indirect evidence of something they have never, ever, been able to prove: Yes, voter fraud!

Check this out from Rick Moran at The American Thinker:

I can’t help but channel Kevin Bacon from Animal House while reading the news that 1.8 million dead people are registered to vote.

Remember: We don’t need Voter ID laws because our system is sound as…well, a dollar….

The findings don’t “suggest” voter fraud. They only “suggest” it is extremely likely. The childlike faith in the honesty and integrity of both political parties is charming – if not misplaced.

Afraid you are missing the point, Rick. The findings suggest that the states you are encouraging to enact highly partisan voter ID laws (speaking of “childlike faith in the honesty and integrity of both political parties”!) are the main problem in the first place.

Josh Marshall nails this one:

Does anyone imagine that when you die the coroner or the hospital contacts the board of canvassers in your state? What if you don’t die in the town you live in? What if you’re out of state? Mailing lists also have dead people on them. People die. We don’t have a universal citizenship computer that takes you off every list when you die. The big reason that these things don’t happen is that there is huge resistance to at all federalizing the voting process.

If there was any evidence at all that a trailing number of deceased people on voting rolls was helping anyone commit vote fraud this might be an issue. Since there’s no evidence of this, it’s really not a big thing to get up in arms about.

If you want perfect voting rolls that don’t include dead people and doesn’t remove people because they have the same name as someone who died, then federalize the system, tie it to the Social Security cards. Or invest a vast amount of money in keeping them pristine without purging them of real voters. Otherwise, shut up.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.