850 voters in NYC are officially 164 years old

By Carl Campanile
October 22, 2014 | 1:54am

Elections workers check a machine during a tally in last year's election.Photo: Chad Rachman

A single Bronx voter listed in official records as being 164 years old led Board of Elections officials to review their files — where they turned up another 849 New Yorkers who were supposedly alive when Abe Lincoln was president.

The stunning discovery came after The Post reported last week that the birth date of Luz Pabellon, a spry 73-year-old who has been living and voting in The Bronx since the 1970s, was recorded as Jan. 1, 1850.

This week, a search of the records in all five boroughs found 849 more voters with the same wacky birth date.

Board officials chalked up the implausible age snafu to previous practices that allowed residents not to provide their exact birthdays when registering to vote.

Some of the new voters — mostly women — simply wrote that they were “21+” — above the legal voting age.

There was a reason to be vague. Voter registration records are open to the public, so anyone with the inclination can discover the real age of anyone in the files.

“It’s a leftover vestige from a bygone era,” explained Board of Elections executive director Mike Ryan.

“They were all listed as age 164. This was no accident. It’s a little quirk in the system. It’s not widespread,” he added, noting there are more than 4 million registered voters.

The board switched to computerized databases in 1999 and 2006.

To comply with state rules, election officials were required to write in a specific date of birth for all voters — or remove them from the rolls.
Officials twice sent out notices imploring the 164-year-olds to provide their real birth dates.

Most ignored the requests.

Since they registered under the old system, the board grandfathered them in and listed 01/01/1850 as their DOBs in the electronic voting rolls.

And that’s where things still stand as of today.

Residents who registered after 2006 are required to provide their true birth dates. The board, under state law, must remove voters from the rolls who fail to do so. A voter without a date of birth who shows up on Election Day won’t be in the register, and will be declared ineligible to vote. They can fill out an affidavit ballot, but it won’t count.

But the old-timers are not affected.

During a meeting Tuesday, Board of Elections commissioners and Ryan discussed ways to fix the age-old problem. They discussed sending out another letter pleading for the real dates of birth or even having staffers try to contact the 850 by telephone.

To prevent fraud, officials would still need a written statement from voters certifying their age, even if they divulge it over the phone.

Ryan said the matter will be revisited after the Nov. 4 election.