Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers are making a disputed claim in a long-running, and possibly futile, effort by elections officials to determine how many non-U.S. citizens had registered to vote over the years. On Tuesday, the lawmakers, Republican state Reps. Daryl Metcalfe and Garth Everett, issued a statement saying there had been confirmation that 11,198 foreign nationals had illegally registered to vote in Pennsylvania. But that is not what state election officials said. The Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees elections, first reported in July that it had identified 11,198 registered voters with some indicator they may not have been a citizen. The department did not give a specific period of time for when those people registered, but said it searched every record in its database. All the names turned up in a search of the state driver license database; Pennsylvania allows residents to register to vote while getting their license, and election officials reported a flaw in that system in 2016. That’s not where it ends.
As a follow-up, the agency reached out to everyone on the list, and 1,915 responded they are eligible to vote, the state said. That could reflect the fact that some had become citizens after they got a driver’s license, either before or after they registered to vote. About 300 canceled their registration.
The department then forwarded the rest, about 8,700 registrations, to county election offices to track down because they had undeliverable addresses or didn’t respond. Those registrations came from 64 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, according to state data.