(Harrisburg, PA) – October 1, 2021: The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed amicus briefs in two cases (Costa v. Corman and Pennsylvania v. Dush) arguing for transparency regarding election administration in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Senate Intergovernmental Operation Committee issued a subpoena to the Department of State requesting voting and registration data for the 2020 General Election. Democrat Senators and the Commonwealth’s Attorney General have sued to prevent the release of this election-related information to the Committee.
The Foundation’s amicus briefs inform the court that much of the requested data is already a matter of public records under federal and state law. For example, the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993 allows any member of the public to physically inspect “all” voter list maintenance records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, Pennsylvania law makes numerous types of election-administration data publicly available.
The Foundation also explains that the privacy arguments made by the petitioners are flawed since the Pennsylvania Department of State has a history of sharing voter registration data to perform election-related investigations. In fact, the Department of State makes every registered voters’ personal information available for public sale on its website. PILF is personally aware of these instances through litigation with the Department of State over access to records relating to an error that allowed non-citizens to register to vote. To investigate the error, the Department shared voter registration records for the entire Commonwealth with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and with a third-party analyst, who was not a State Department employee.
Linda A. Kerns serves as local counsel in this case.
“Without transparency, public confidence in election results will decline,” said PILF President J. Christian Adams. “Examining the integrity of voter registration data should be encouraged. Accurate voter rolls are vital to free and fair elections. We have fought in Pennsylvania for transparency before and will continue to do so. Pennsylvanians have a right to know about the errors and flaws in their election system.”