Legal group sues for records of up to 100,000 noncitizens on Pennsylvania voter rolls

By Will Racke

A conservative legal group is suing Pennsylvania for records that could show thousands of noncitizen residents registered to vote over the last two decades.

Filed Monday in federal court in Harrisburg, Pa., the suit by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) seeks to pry information pertaining to the maintenance of voter rolls from state election officials. The suit stems from a Pennsylvania study of noncitizen driver’s license holders that found names matching roughly 100,000 voters in the statewide registration database.

PILF had previously sought further information about the problem under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), which allows private citizens to inspect “records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters.”

But state officials have on several occasions refused to turn over the requested information, according to PILF’s lawsuit, which seeks a court order compelling the release of the records.

“For months, Pennsylvania bureaucrats have concealed facts about noncitizens registering and voting — that ends today,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said in a statement Monday. “Before this lawsuit, the State admitted to a ‘glitch’’that exposed thousands of driver’s license customers to voter registration offers despite their noncitizen status since the 1990s.”

Adams was referring to testimony given by Philadelphia Commissioner Al Schmidt to state lawmakers in 2017, detailing a longstanding problem with the state’s  ‘motor voter’ system. Schmidt said the glitch enabled legal permanent residents to register to vote at kiosks when they applied for or renewed their driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations.

PILF has obtained records from at least four Pennsylvania counties that “plainly demonstrate” that noncitizens have been improperly registering to vote in through the Department of Transportation-administered program, according to the lawsuit. The group says the records it seeks will shine a light on the defective process for removing ineligible noncitizens from the state voter rolls.

PILF’s lawsuit builds on research it has conducted into improper voter registration by legal and illegal immigrants in Pennsylvania and other states. In 2016, the group found more than 80 noncitizens registered to vote in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2015, nearly half of whom had voted in at least one election.

The group has also used public records searches to uncover improper voter registration in Virginia, where it found more than 5,000 noncitizens had been removed from voter rolls between 2011 and 2017.

About one-third of those registrants had voted in at least one election.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/WastedTime

8 thoughts on “Legal group sues for records of up to 100,000 noncitizens on Pennsylvania voter rolls

  1. Is Condos paying attention?

    If such gross malfeasance/fraud happens in Pennsylvania, it could not happen in Vermont?

    Anybody applying for renewing a VT driver’s license can lie about being a permanent VT resident (more than 6 months in a calandar year) and being a citizen (NO PROOF IS ASKED FOR ON THE RENEWAL APPLICATION, NOR BY THE DEPARTMENT CLERKS),

    – get the new license and be
    – AUTOMATICALLY entered on the voting list of that person’s town.

    This is crazy.
    That law should be repealed.

  2. I bet that the numbers nation wide would scare them hell out of any citizen legal voter.

  3. I live in TN and have to show my driver’s license in order to get a ballot which I don’t mind. Should be the same everywhere.

  4. You’ll get know where on this issue , Voter registration numbers are well hidden and will never see the light of day …………….

    As we all know you can trust your elected officials ……………… LOL !!

    • Well, I don’t really mean “talk to”……
      Voter information is OUR information.

  5. if true, THIS IS DYNAMITE. Lets talk to our VT officials–Sec’y of state and AG

    Dennis Morrisseau
    USArmy Officer [Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR

    Lieutenant Morrisseau’s Rebellion
    LIBERTY UNION founder
    Second Vermont Republic, VFM
    POB 177, W. Pawlet, VT 05775
    802 645 9727 9727

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