One of the country’s biggest battleground states is in trouble after inviting millions of its unregistered voters residents to sign up before the deadline, including many who are not eligible to vote. According to LifeZette, Pennsylvania sent 2.5 million voter registration forms out to its registered drivers who had not yet registered to vote to implore them to sign up to cast their ballot in November.
Many of those who received the registration cards turned out to not be American citizens, and therefore, are ineligible to vote. With the threat of voter fraud high, critics are furious that the state was so quick to issue registration cards without taking the time to properly verify the citizenship of the recipients.
“Why would you rush this mailing right before an election if it’s not recorded properly?” Christopher Staab asked LifeZette. Staab’s wife is a legal resident but not a citizen and received a card. “What is going on is not OK.”
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State, Pedro Cortes, told a state House of Representatives committee last week that seven people told the department that they received voter registration postcards despite being ineligible to vote. This only accounts for a handful of people that came forward and informed the state government of their mistake, but some say there is potential for many more.
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Butler County Republican who chairs the State Government Committee, told LifeZette that there is “certainly the potential for hundreds, if not thousands, of foreigners here legally and illegally to be on our voter rolls, and a certain percentage who are casting ballots.”
“We’ve got a lot of integrity issues that need to be addressed,” he said.
ERIC, the Electronic Registration Information Center, is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2012 to assist states in improving the accuracy of voter rolls and increase registration of eligible citizens. ERIC contrasts participating state’s voter data with that of the DMV, social security, and post office to compare eligible residents with registered voters.
With Pennsylvania’s participation with the group, the state government was required to issue voter registration cards to drivers who were not yet registered. However, information of whether or not the drivers were U.S. citizens and eligible transferred, which let many non-citizen drivers receive voter registration postcards.
The mishandling of voter information and potential voter fraud is not unique to Pennsylvania. Voter fraud has been found in states across the country, including Colorado, where they found a plethora of dead people casting ballots.