Apr. 13, 2022
HARRISBURG – A federal court just ruled the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must release records pertaining to a “glitch” within its Department of Transportation that has allowed non-citizens to register to vote in the state for decades, highlighting the glaring need for Rep. David Maloney’s Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Act.
In 2017, it was discovered the computer system of the state’s Department of Transportation was allowing “non-United States citizens applying for or renewing a driver’s license to register to vote in the Commonwealth.”
When the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) inquired about the illegal immigrant registration process and what actions were taken by the commonwealth to address the errors in the state’s voting files, Pennsylvania government attempted to hide the voting histories of registrants by redacting the list.
After a four-year legal fight, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on March 31 ruled against Pennsylvania saying that under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is entitled access to documents detailing the prevalence of the issue and actions taken by the commonwealth to address the errors in the state’s voting files.
“When the state registers illegal immigrants to vote in U.S. elections and then spends four years in court at taxpayer expense trying to cover it up instead of being forthright suggests to me that a computer ‘glitch’ may not explain the totality of what is going on here,” Maloney said. “My legislation is very simple and pragmatic – it will require that those registering to vote must demonstrate that they are U.S. citizens before their registrations are considered completed, ensuring nothing like this ever happens again.”
To ensure federal law is adhered to – which is that only U.S. citizens may vote in federal, state or local elections – Maloney’s SAFE Act (House Bill 1334
) requires that copies of birth certificates for those seeking to register to vote be provided at no cost to potential voters.
Furthermore, the legislation requires the Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth and County Boards of Elections to attempt to obtain evidence of citizenship on behalf of all applicants who have not completed this requirement themselves.
“The SAFE Act, combined with a constitutional amendment to require voter ID, which I am also a co-sponsor of, is the simplest, most effective way to truly make it easy to vote but hard to cheat in Pennsylvania,” Maloney said.
Representative David Maloney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner