No fraud? Pennsylvania county settles lawsuit over voter rolls that included nearly 1,600 dead people

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Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — home to the city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs — has settled a lawsuit directing officials to clean up voter registration rolls.

County officials settled the suit on Monday with the Public Interest Legal Foundation, which focuses on election integrity, after the Allegheny election manager and three board of elections members were sued over registration rolls containing duplicate entries and the names of persons who had died, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Representatives of the elections watchdog said researchers discovered almost 1,600 dead registrants, nearly 7,500 with erroneous data, and more than 1,500 who were older than 100 years — including 49 who were born in the 1800s.

The lawsuit accused county officials of failing to maintain up-to-date registration rolls as is required by federal law.

In the settlement, the county agreed to turn over records related to dead registrants as well as issue letters to people with incorrect birthdates on file, examine records of people aged 110 or older to see if death notices have been missed, and to accept “list maintenance leads” from the group over the course of the next year.

The suit forcing Allegheny County to fix its voter registration lists comes just six months before the presidential election where Pennsylvania figures to be a battleground state. In 2016, President Donald Trump only won the state with fewer than 45,000 votes.

The president and general counsel of the election integrity organization, J. Christian Adams, said the county should get credit for agreeing to fix the “serious problem with elections there.”

He added that some county residents were registered “two, three, four, even seven times to vote.”

“We found those problems, and the County agreed to fix them,” Adams said. “This settlement demonstrates what can be accomplished when good government groups work with election officials in good faith without the interference of ideologically driven activists who oppose such measures.

“Those same activists push radical changes to vote by mail, which shows how important this settlement was for a clean election in Pennsylvania,” he continued.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation has also filed an identical lawsuit against the city of Detroit for similar issues, including thousands of dead people on voter registration rolls.

Besides Adams’ group, legal watchdog Judicial Watch has also been working to clean up voter registration rolls ahead of the 2020 election.

Last year Judicial Watch won a lawsuit against the state of California which required it to purge 1.5 million inactive voters from its registration rolls, as required by federal voter registration law.

“Los Angeles County has a registration rate of 112 percent of its adult citizen population,” the watchdog group noted in a statement in January 2019. “The entire State of California has a registration rate of about 101 percent of its age-eligible citizenry.”

There have been many instances of voter registration ‘errors’ discovered since Trump’s 2016 win, including in Ohio, where, again, scores of people listed as being well over 100 years old were discovered on registration rolls.

The two groups are working to clean up voter registration rolls as Democrats push for nationwide mail-in balloting ahead of the 2020 election, claiming that it’s the only ‘safe’ way to do it amid the ongoing — but now waning — coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans and President Trump have criticized mail-in voting as being ripe for fraud, concerns that appear justified with each new instance of voter registration rolls found to be grossly outdated and incorrect.

Jon Dougherty

Staff Writer

Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years' worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.
Jon Dougherty

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