Word from the Salt Lake clerk…

These dates are not errors but are rather a means of preserving the right to vote for our senior voters.

In response to today’s posts, an explanation from Salt Lake officials is here. Copy and paste:

The birthdates from the 1800′s are not data errors. The state did not require voters to provide a date of birth when they registered until the 1950s or 1960′s. When voter records became automated, the computers required a date, any date. In Salt Lake County, 090909 was used as a default date for all voters for whom we did not have a birthdate until Y2K when, for some reason, the date needed to be changed again to a date in the 1800′s (I don’t know why). When we receive an updated registration, the birthdate is updated but we have not actively sought out these voters for birthdates if they have had no other changes. The number of voters in this group gets smaller everyday as registrations are updated or the voters pass on.

These dates are not errors but are rather a means of preserving the right to vote for our senior voters.

Scott Konopasek
SL County Director of Elections

Possibly related posts:

About Adam Brown

Adam Brown is an assistant professor of political science at Brigham Young University and a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. You can learn more about him at his website.
This entry was posted in Everything and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.