Failure of the Checkbox: Potentially Thousands of Illegal Voters Registered in Pennsylvania

How do ineligible non-citizens end up on Pennsylvania’s voter rolls? Sometimes by invitation:

The Pennsylvania secretary of state’s office recently sent out 2.5 million postcards to licensed drivers who were not registered to vote, inviting them to sign up in time for the November election.

 

Trouble is, some of those drivers are not American citizens.

The problem is that the National Voter Registration Act, aka Motor Voter, requires everyone applying for a driver’s license to be offered a voter registration application, but with no way to verify whether applicants are eligible citizens beyond asking them to check a box.

 

Joseph Vanderhulst, an attorney with Public Interest Legal Foundation, says it’s a flaw in voter registration integrity that isn’t unique to Pennsylvania.

“It kind of just reinforces the issue, which is no filter on the front end and a lack of effort on the back end,” he said. “It’s a failure of the checkbox. The only filter we have is that checkbox … This is, to us, proof that that box is a total failure.”