Pa. State Dept Threatened With Lawsuit For Stonewalling Noncitizen Election Records

Public Interest Legal Foundation promises litigation if Pennsylvania does not hand over voter roll data

Philadelphia City Hall / Getty Images
December 12, 2017

An election integrity group is threatening to sue the Pennsylvania Department of State for allegedly stonewalling requests for records of noncitizens contained on the state's voter rolls.

Christian Adams, the president and general counsel of the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an election integrity group, said in testimony submitted before the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee on Tuesday that his organization has attempted four times to inspect records detailing the full scope of noncitizens on the voter registry but the state has been unresponsive to their requests.

"Should Pennsylvania fail to disclose the full scale of failures allowing—even inviting—noncitizens of legal presence into the voter registry, it will risk maintaining similar flawed Motor Voter configurations not yet properly exposed in other jurisdictions subject to the National Voter Registration Act," Adams said in the testimony.

"Our voting, immigration, and entitlement programs have become increasingly interwoven in the decades following the enactment of the NVRA to a point that its authors did not adequately anticipate," Adams continued. "Incomplete study and disclosure of Pennsylvania's now partially-admitted failings will harm eligible voters and prospective citizens alike."

Adams says that his group—which has experienced identical stonewalling in Philadelphia, ultimately leading to a lawsuit against the city—will bring forth litigation against the Pennsylvania Department of State if they do not adhere to their records requests.

"This investigation could reveal the largest finding of noncitizen registered voters to date," Logan Churchwell, spokesman for PILF, told the Washington Free Beacon. "The State has already admitted that it was offering voter applications to ineligible immigrants getting driver's licenses since the 1990s. Green Card holders were encouraged to vote before the 2016 Election by the Secretary of State. That same Secretary of State mysteriously resigned after PILF and the City of Philadelphia started finding noncitizen voters."

"If we want to get to the bottom of the 'foreign influence' of our elections, we should look carefully in Pennsylvania, first," said Churchwell.

The Pennsylvania Department of State declined to provide a comment.

PILF has successfully obtained information regarding noncitizens illegally registered to vote in a number of cities and states.

The group previously discovered that 5,550 voters in Virginia were removed from the rolls for being noncitizens.

Dozens of ineligible aliens were registered to vote in Philadelphia between 2013 and 2015 and 40 of those individuals were found to have cast a ballot in at least one election. More than 600 admitted noncitizen voters were also found in the statewide voter registration system in New Jersey.

The group discovered in 2015 that 141 counties across the United States had more registered voters than people.