An agreement with Pennsylvania, one of the key battlegrounds for the 2020 election, has been settled last week, stating that it would delete about 21,000 names of dead people from voter registration rolls.
Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an election-integrity watchdog, was able to screen out thousands of voter registrations that appeared in the state’s system just one month ahead of the presidential election.
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 in aiding the cause of election integrity and fighting 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.
It filed a lawsuit in Nov. 2020 demanding the state have its database extracted from Electronic Registration Information Center to be compared with the Social Security Death Index and filter out ineligible non-alive voters.
“The Department of State shall inform the county commissions that they should promptly cancel the registrations of those registrants identified as deceased,” the settlement agreement terms read.
Reportedly, among the 21,000 death registrants, PILF found that 9,212 of the dead voters had not been alive for at least five years, 1,990 for at least ten years, and 197 for at least twenty years.
Meanwhile, election officials in Pennsylvania are required by law to refuse ballots cast by deceased people. As the state neglected to update voter records, it created opportunities for election fraudulence.
Election officials in Pittsburgh admitted that duplicate ballots were mailed out to voters in May.
Pittsburgh election official, Dave Voye, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Allegheny county officials miscalculated the proper number.
Judicial Watch notably sued Pennsylvania for maintaining more than 800,000 inactive voter registrations—with the concentration in nearby Philadelphia counties Bucks, Chester, and Delaware.
“This marks an important victory for the integrity of elections in Pennsylvania,” Public Interest Legal Foundation President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said in a victory announcement statement on the group’s website. “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 agreement includes a sum of $7,500 to be paid by the Department of State to cover some of the foundation’s legal bills and other expenses.
On April 7, Washington Times updated that the state did not consent to PILF’s accusations over the number of dead voters identified by the foundation. It only agreed to “a one-time analysis and is disputing whether there are 21,000 dead voters on its rolls”, reported the news settler.
PILF filed the lawsuit just one day in advance of Joe Biden’s announced victory over his rival, former President Trump, with roughly 99% of the vote counted and Biden ahead with 80,555 votes.
The Department of State must provide deceased names to every county commissioner for officials to cancel registrations effectively. In three-month intervals, the Watchdog group is mandated to be given voter export data. The data will be provided to PILF by the Department of State on May 30, 2021, August 31, 2021, and November 30, 2021.
Attorney David Schoen told The Federalist, “The idea that it took any time at all to settle this issue is a horrible commentary on the state election authorities involved. We should not have to depend on public interest organizations to spend their time and resources litigating this kind of issue, but it is fortunate that we have them to do it. A victory for election integrity is a victory for every voter and every candidate and for our Democracy.”
In a statement to The Federalist, The Department of State said that it “is pleased that this agreement will offer Pennsylvania’s county boards of election another valuable tool to maintain the most accurate and up-to-date voter rolls possible.”
The general public may be concerned by the lack of accountability in the terms of the settlement: “By executing this Agreement, the Foundation fully, finally, and forever unconditionally releases, acquits, and discharges the Acting Secretary, the Department of State, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its departments, agencies, current and former officials, agents, employees and attorneys (the “Releasees”),
“… from any and all debts, demands, actions, causes of action, suits, accounts, covenants, contracts, agreements, damages, losses, debts, expenses (including attorneys’ fees and costs incurred), claims or rights under any and all federal and state laws.
” … any and all claims, demands, and liabilities whatsoever of every name and nature, both in law and in equity, whether known or not, which the Foundation now has or ever has had against the Releasees related to the claims asserted in this Litigation, up to and including the date the Parties sign the Agreement.
“Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Foundation may bring an action to enforce the provisions of this Agreement.