H.R. 1 (2021) Policy Breakdown

Lawsuit to Remove Dead Voters in Pennsylvania Ends with Win for Election Integrity

Settlement Secures Removing over 20,000 Deceased Registrants from PA Voter Rolls

(Harrisburg, PA.) – April 7, 2021: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) reached a settlement with the Pennsylvania Department of State to remove deceased voters from Pennsylvania’s voter rolls.

Prior to the initiation of the lawsuit, the Foundation provided the Commonwealth with the names of at least 21,000 deceased registrants who remained on the voter rolls less than a month before the pivotal 2020 election. PILF’s data revealed that 9,212 of these deceased registrants had been dead for at least five years, 1,990 had been dead for at least ten years, and 197 had been dead for at least twenty years.  In addition, hundreds of these registrants showed post-death voting credits for the 2016 and/or 2018 elections.

Following a briefing and a statement of interest by the U.S. Department of Justice in support of PILF’s position on key allegations in the case, the parties ultimately reached a voluntary settlement, which was finalized last week.  PILF sought and Pennsylvania agreed to compare its full voter registration database against the Cumulative Social Security Death Index in order to identify dead voters.  Pennsylvania then agreed to direct all county election commissions to remove the names of dead voters. 

The terms of the settlement also included an agreement to pay a portion of PILF’s attorneys fees.

“This marks an important victory for the integrity of elections in Pennsylvania” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. “The Commonwealth’s failure to remove deceased registrants created a vast opportunity for voter fraud and abuse. It is important to not have dead voters active on the rolls for 5, 10, or even 20 years. This settlement fixes that.”

The case was originally filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (No. 1:20-cv-01905).  PILF was represented by Bradley J. Schlozman, John Eastman, and Linda A. Kerns.

Settlement Terms Summary

-Before the 2021 statewide general election, the death data set received from the Electronic Registration Information Center will be compared to the full voter registration database to identify individuals who are ineligible to vote due to their death.

-The Pennsylvania Department of State will give each county commission the names of the individuals identified as deceased and inform the commissions that they should promptly cancel the registrations.

-The Department of State will provide PILF with copies of the full voter export at three-month intervals on three separate occasions—May 30, 2021, August 31, 2021 and November 30, 2021.  

Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) is a 501(c)(3) is the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity. The Foundation exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. PILF has brought lawsuits and won victories in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and across the United States.

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