City and state voting rolls list deceased Bishop of Brooklyn as active voter two decades later

Late Catholic leader Francis Mugavero lives on in poll books

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklyn’s late bishop has found eternal life — on the New York State voter rolls.

Former Diocese of Brooklyn Bishop Francis Mugavero died in 1991, but according to the Board of Elections he remains an active voter — despite the Church’s efforts to get his registration cancelled.

Both city and state records have the deceased Catholic leader registered as an “active” — meaning his name appears in the poll book each Election Day — even though records show he last cast a ballot in 1989.

Church officials say they continue to receive Board of Elections mail for the Bishop at his former Clinton Hill residence — despite having sent letters and a copy of Mugavero’s death certificate to the agency.

“We get the material, and we keep saying ‘he’s dead,’ ” said Brooklyn Diocese spokesman Kieran Harrington, who now lives at the Bishop’s former home. “And every year I go to vote, his signature’s still there on the roll.”

Harrington said that this year Board of Elections even sent updated polling site information to Mugavero — but not to him.

“I found out where I was supposed to vote from his mail,” he said.

Harrington said he found the failure to remove Mugavero from the rolls disturbing — especially since the state law only requires voters to reproduce a signature beneath the one in the register.

“When people who are deceased are on the voter rolls for over 20 years, it indicates there’s a problem,” Father Harrington said. “This is one of the fundamentals of our democracy, and it’s clearly not maintained.”

A Board of Elections spokesman told us that it would have sent Mugavero a notice asking him to confirm his residence after he failed to vote in two consecutive federal election cycles — and would continue to list him as an active voter unless the Post Office returned the notice as undeliverable.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
So you can be an active voter if you're shown to be dead, but not if the Post Office can't deliver your mail? What a terrible response. What a terrible policy.
Nov. 12, 2013, 8:20 am
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
If they lose your registration, just go to Clinton Hill and vote as Bishop Mugavero.
Nov. 12, 2013, 12:32 pm
Ken from Williamsburg says:
I sent in an absentee ballot to 345 Adams St and it was returned by the Post Office as undeliverable
Nov. 12, 2013, 1:20 pm
ty from pps says:
The Postal Service in Brooklyn is a sad sad organization... how the head of this 'region' still has his/her post is baffling.
Nov. 12, 2013, 1:26 pm
o3 from bk says:
so if voters can elect a dead politican, then dead voters should be allowed to vote !

let every vote count babiee ))
Nov. 12, 2013, 1:50 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Of course, this is just the opinion of one man (John Wasserman), but I believe that once a human has passed away, he or she should be considered "void of opinion". Animals and cats are another story all together, but this does not apply here, in any case.
Nov. 12, 2013, 3:04 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
"Animals and cats" (ps, cats are animals) have opinions after death?
Nov. 12, 2013, 3:45 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Hi Ed. John Wasserman. If you don't mind, I'd like to keep on point and, as a believe I stated above...Hold on...Let me check...Yes, as stated above, it's another story all together and it does not apply here. But as a quick answer, "yes". Thank you for your being understanding with this important matter. Good day to you and I wish you great success in doing whatever it is you do.
Nov. 12, 2013, 4:06 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Yes We Can!
Nov. 13, 2013, 7:34 am

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