Dead People And ‘Bad’ Addresses Included In Virginia Dems’ Ballot Manual

When creating voter contact lists, the Virginia Democratic Party instructs activists to include deceased citizens and “bad” addresses. Vote Builder, a database of all registered voters in Virginia operated by the Virginia Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, is a crucial tool for Virginia Dems to harvest votes. Virginia Democrats say, “this database contains the names and other important information about registered voters – information that we can use to target likely voters for Democratic campaigns.”

Through Vote Builder, Democrat activists can identify and make lists of likely Democratic voters for outreach, including phone banking and ballot harvesting. Virginia Democrats’ Vote Builder website provides instructions for using the tool for ballot harvesting or chasing absentee ballots. Besides generating absentee ballot “labels,” this process also collects voter addresses.

However, on the web page, there are screenshots of the Vote Builder database showing how activists can expand their outreach list by including voters with “bad” addresses, National Change of Address (NCOA) forwarding addresses, or even deceased voters to the baseline of registered voters. Activists can then contact these voters and collect their mail-in ballots from their phone numbers and addresses.

“I don’t know how you can in good conscience instruct your workers to solicit votes from people in those categories,” said Clara Belle Wheeler, former vice-chair of the Virginia State Board of Elections. “They’re instructing people to solicit votes from people who are not legally eligible to vote — they’ve either moved, are not a citizen of the United States, or are dead.”

The Democratic National Committee provided the software to state parties across the country. According to Voter Builder’s parent company, the database enables Democrat campaigns “to reach hundreds of millions of voters.” There may be deceased voters on lists depending on state list maintenance.

Voter fraud is more likely if volunteers are instructed by Virginia Democrats to include dead or “bad” addresses in voter files. “The existence of that option, along with instructions that include soliciting dead ‘people,’ would seem to be soliciting voter fraud,” said former Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli.