More than 1.8 million dead Americans remain listed as active voters, according to a new study which describes the US voter registration system as “plagued with errors and inefficiencies”.
The research conducted by the non-partisan Pew Centre on the States also revealed one in every eight voter records contains inaccuracies, and at least 51 million eligible voters are not registered to take part in elections.
The study comes as the United States prepares for presidential and congressional elections in November.
“Voter registration is the gateway to participating in our democracy, but these antiquated, paper-based systems are plagued with errors and inefficiencies,” said David Becker, director of election initiatives at Pew.
“These problems waste taxpayer dollars, undermine voter confidence, and fuel partisan disputes over the integrity of our elections.”
Of the approximately 24 million incorrect voter registrations across the country, or 13 per cent of the national total, more than 1.8 million of those are for people who are deceased, the centre found.
Another 2.75 million people are registered in more than one state, while about 12 million records contain incorrect addresses.
Some of the errors can be explained by the fact that one in eight Americans moved during the 2008 and 2010 election years – mainly young people and members of the US military.
The 51 million eligible voters who are not registered represent nearly a quarter of all eligible citizens.
The Pew Centre said it was working with state election officials on ways to ensure greater accuracy, including cross-checking voter lists with other data sources such as motor vehicle records and allowing voters to register online to minimise human error.