When election officials don’t care about ineligible voters on the rolls, who will?
There are serious problems with Pennsylvania voter rolls. A new report from the Public Interest Legal Foundation documents the “systemic failure” of Philadelphia election officials to keep non-citizens and ineligible felons from illegally registering and voting.
List maintenance information obtained by PILF under the National Voter Registration Act revealed that in the years 2013-2015, the city cancelled the registrations of 86 non-citizens who had been added to the voter rolls; 40 of them had voted in at least one Philadelphia election. “These are just the ones we know about because they voluntarily asked to be removed from the rolls. The City does nothing to actively prevent or discover noncitizen registration.”
it is clear that the checkbox system on the registration forms is a failure. Sometimes people are registered even when they check “no”. There is no verification for those who check “yes” even though they are not citizens…
The vast majority of the noncitizens who ended up on the rolls registered through license branches under Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, popularly known as “Motor Voter”. Our research reveals that this system is fraught with error and provides no filter at all to prevent noncitizens from registering to vote. In several instances, the person did not even realize that they were registering to vote.
PILF also discovered that incarcerated felons are not removed from Philadelphia’s voter rolls even though they are ineligible to vote.
These incarcerated felon registrations are not placed on the inactive list either. In fact, city election officials have absolutely no information on whether a registrant has been incarcerated for a felony. City of Philadelphia election officials behave as if Pennsylvania law prohibiting certain felons from voting doesn’t even exist. This is rank lawlessness.
…the voter registration office in Philadelphia has absolutely no way of knowing whether an absentee ballot request received from a penal institution is from a felon or a non-felon. City election officials simply devote no attention to the matter by their own admissions…
In testimony before Pennsylvania’s House State Government Committee, PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams concluded, “Aliens and ineligible felons being on the list of eligible voters must not be permitted to persist. Clean rolls are the most important ingredient for clean elections.”