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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 4, 2022 09:12 AM
From: Senator Doug Mastriano
To: All Senate members
Subject: Timely removal of deceased voters from the SURE system
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to ensure timely removal of deceased registered voters from the SURE system.

In a 2020 report, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) provided the Department of State with the names of at least 21,000 deceased registrants who remained on the voter rolls less than a month before the 2020 election. According to PILF, 9,212 of these registrants had been deceased for at least five years, 1,990 had been deceased for at least ten years, and 197 had been deceased for at least twenty years.

Following a briefing and a statement of interest by the U.S. Department of Justice in support of PILF’s position on key allegations in the case, the Department of State settled a lawsuit from PILF and agreed to compare its full voter registration database against the Cumulative Social Security Death Index. DOS also agreed to direct all county election commissions to immediately remove the names of deceased voters. 

Failure to quickly remove deceased registrants on a regular basis creates a vast opportunity for clerical errors and voter fraud.

My bill will amend Title 25 to state that the Department of Health must provide notice of a deceased individual to a county election commission within seven days of the individual’s death. Under current statute, the Department of Health can wait up to 60 days to report the decreased individual.

In Virginia, a similar proposal recently passed the Senate with a significant bi-partisan vote.

I invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of this important legislation.

Introduced as SB1097