Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt says a glitch in the state’s “motor-voter” process has allowed non-U.S. citizens to register to vote, even though he thinks they did so accidentally.
Why is that “glitches” always work in the same direction? The glitch was that PennDOT’s automated driver’s license system would ask everyone, including people who identified as non-citizens, if they also wanted to register to vote.
Secretary of State Pedro Cortes issued a statement saying PennDOT is changing its system to prevent the problem in the future and has already made improvements:
In August 2016, the department changed the order and simplified the language of the Motor Voter screens. After selecting a language, applicants are immediately asked if they are U.S. citizens. If the answer is no, the process stops and no further Motor Voter questions are presented to the PennDOT customer.
Pennsylvania State officials matched driver’s license records with voter rolls and came up with nearly 11,200 names of non-citizens on the state’s voter rolls. Why is that the state did not release the names to State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican and former chairman of a House government oversight panel or to Rep. Garth Everett, a Republican and chairman of the House State Government Committee, so they weren’t able to figure out how many had cast ballots?
“Demonstrating, much less discussing, noncitizen voting activity is the worst form of heresy one can commit for left-wing groups,” said Logan Churchwell, director of communications and research at the Public Interest Legal Foundation, which is involved in lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Texas to try to pry loose voter data.
He and other advocates said states need to act.
“It is the tip of the iceberg,” Tom Fitton, director of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, told The Times. “This shows the urgent need for citizenship verification for voting. The Department of Justice should follow up with a national investigation.”
No state requires proof of citizenship to register to vote. A U.S. District Court judge last year struck down a law championed by then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to require citizenship documentation. Kansas took the ruling to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.