Dead man receives mail-in ballot; son asks Maricopa County Recorder to remove him from voting rolls

The Maricopa County Recorder's Office says it receives reports like this from time to time: people who have passed away shouldn't receive ballots, but sometimes they do.

Virgil Madsen, Sr. received his mail-in ballot this year -- the same as he does every election, except he died back in 2005. His son, Virgil Jr., showed us the death certificate and can't understand why the ballots keep coming.

"Well, we got the ballot in the mail for him to vote and they send ballots every year and he has been dead and my mom and I wouldn't send in his ballot, but a lot of people would," he said.

FOX 10's Steve Krafft took this info about Virgil Madsen, Sr. who is still on the voting rolls and brought it to County Recorder Helen Purcell.

Purcell says her office scans the obituaries and state records, but doesn't get every deceased voter. The office relies on signature match scanning on mail-in ballots to make sure someone isn't voting using a deceased person's ballot.

It's a crime to forge a signature to vote.

The Recorder's Office asks people to let them know when a voter has passed away and present an official death certificate.

We told the County Recorder that Virgil Madsen, Jr. wants his father's name off the voting rolls, so she picked up the phone.

"Hello Virgil, this is Helen Purcell, County Recorder and I am looking at your father's death certificate which had been some time ago.. we did not have knowledge of his death," she said. "But now that I have seen it, I can have it removed from the rolls."