Pennsylvania Asks: Why Are Noncitizens on Our Voter Rolls?


The Pennsylvania state representative who chairs the committee in charge of elections oversight wants to know something seemingly basic when it comes to democracy — what is the state doing to make sure only eligible citizens vote?

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican who chairs the House State Government Committee, said the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s Office has failed to provide a responsive answer to questions he posed in a recent letter. He said he hopes a hearing scheduled for Wednesday in Harrisburg will shed some light on the issue.

“We’re hoping to get answers to those questions and find out what they intend to do to make sure people’s votes are not canceled out by people who aren’t eligible to vote in Pennsylvania or any other state,” he said.

In Pennsylvania — and other states — it is not just an academic question. A voter integrity firm called the Public Interest Legal Foundation, last year uncovered data indicating that 86 noncitizens had registered to vote from 2013 to 2015 in Philadelphia — and that 40 of them actually had illegally cast ballots in elections.

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