State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

PA bands with other states to check for duplicate registrations

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Aug 20, 2013 1:59 PM
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The agency in charge of overseeing elections in Pennsylvania is joining 23 other states that swap voter registration rolls to check for duplicates.

The Department of State announced the move Tuesday in Philadelphia. Spokesman Ron Ruman said it's a way to make sure voters registered in Pennsylvania aren't also on the rolls in other states.

"I think the practical matter is when someone moves, particularly to another state, one of the last things they're probably thinking about is calling the county where they used to live and saying, 'Hey, by the way, cancel my registration,'" said Ruman.

It's not considered fraud to be registered in more than one state - only to vote in multiple states in the same election.

The cross-check program is based in Kansas. DOS officials say it comes with no additional cost to the commonwealth. Pennsylvania already uses something similar to check for duplicate voter registrations among the counties.

Ruman said the fact that election boards are individually contacting voters is the best way to ensure no eligible voters are taken off Pennsylvania's rolls during a crosscheck process.

"Between the two states, they should be able to figure out where the person is and where they should be voting," said Ruman. "So someone shouldn't be concerned about being removed unduly from a voter registration list."

The only border state to Pennsylvania participating in the program is Ohio. The others, according to DOS, are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia.

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