TARGET 8: Hillsborough woman died in June, still eligible to vote

Ray Thomas checked and found his brother was removed from the voter registration rolls, but a neighbor who died was not.

HILLSBOROUGH, Fla. (WFLA) — Dead people voting is a hot topic on the internet. Ray Thomas of Valrico got a little hot under the collar, recently, when he checked the voter status of Colleen Quirk, a neighbor of his who died in June.

He discovered she is eligible to vote in next week’s election. “This is something that should be looked at,” said Thomas.

According to Thomas, what really got to him is a conversation he had with someone at the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections office.

“And she said, ‘Well it’s not up to us, it’s up to the relatives to inform us of a death so that we can remove the name from the roll’,” added Thomas.

He suggested removing Colleen’s name from the voter registration rolls. “She said, ‘It’s not up to us, it’s up to the families’. I said, ‘Well why can’t you do that.’  She said, ‘It’s not our job’,” explained Thomas.

A flyer issued by Craig Latimer’s office, states;  “Our voter registration database is scrubbed each night to remove deceased voters and felons.”

Target 8 checked the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections database today. Colleen Quirk is still there, still eligible to vote.

Gerri Kramer, who is director of communications for the Supervisor of Elections sent this response in an email:

“Ms. Quirk is still listed as active, because we have received no evidence of her death. She has not voted since 2012, and no ballot has been sent to her for this election. Please remember that voters have to provide ID to vote. If the neighbor is concerned that someone would try to vote in her name, he can issue a challenge to the voter. Or if he’s friends with his neighbors, he should ask the husband to provide us with the death certificate, so that she can be properly removed from the roles. It’s disappointing that you are creating this elevated level of fear among your viewers,” Ms Kramer wrote.

State law requires the Florida Department of Health to update the Division of Elections on a monthly basis about people 17 years and older who have died. That info is shared with elections offices around the state.

Efforts to contact Florida’s Department of Health to find out if they even have Ms. Quirk listed as having died were unsuccessful.

Thomas spent a career in the Air Force defending this country and people’s right to vote.  He worries about the potential for voter fraud and the attitude about it he encountered.

“It doesn’t sit well, and I say to those individuals, why don’t you make it your job, we the people want you to make it your job,” said Thomas.

Target 8 Contact Steve AndrewsRELATED: provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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