My mother died on April 30, 2006. She was three months short of her 100th birthday. Her social security checks had been regularly deposited in her bank account about the 10th of each month. Somewhere among all the other things I needed to do just then I remember thinking that Social Security would have to be informed of her death. I’d read of people collecting social security checks of dead relatives for years and then being found out and presented with a bill from the government demanding that all the money they had collected be returned, with interest. I knew I didn’t want to any further automated deposits into her bank account and made a mental note to find out how to notify the proper office. Of course, with all the other arrangements that I needed to make just then, it slipped my mind until a few days after her funeral. By that time the 10th of May had come and gone and I feared that there may have been a posthumous deposit into her account. As soon as I got myself appointed personal representative I examined her bank account. No deposit had been made.
Those deposits had been made on the same day every month without fail for over 30 years. Now she was gone, I had not notified social security, but the deposit that would have come just 10 days after her death did not happen. I had not notified anyone at Social Security, but somehow they must have known. How did they know? Then it hit me. I bet the funeral home just takes care of that as one more routine task they do for the big bucks they are paid by bereaved families. Well good, I didn’t know who to call anyway and I didn’t want to go the trouble of finding out.
Since then I have learned that Social Security knows when you die because of something called the Nationwide Social Security Death Index. It’s a massive software program that stops automated direct deposits into recipients’ bank accounts when their death has been picked up by the index. Apparently, it is one government program that actually works.
Well, that’s cool. It saves taxpayers the costs that would be associated with finding out who died and employing teams of bureaucrats to chase down relatives to get overpayments returned to the government.
So, if the government is so proficient at stopping Social Security payments to dead people, why can’t it do a better job of stopping dead people from voting?
Governor Rick Scott of Florida must have been asking that question because he used this same software to identify 53,000 dead people on the voter registration roles, and purged them. Some of his county elections officials are protesting and Eric Holder’s Justice Department is threatening legal action.
Voting is an important right. Apparently so important it can’t be denied to anyone merely because they have died.
Two more questions. Why is it that after someone dies they vote exclusively for Democrats? If Eric Holder finds out how proficient Social Security is at stopping payments to dead people, will he threaten legal action? After all, those are Democrat voters.