The Truth About Voter List Maintenance

Another election conspiracy has made its way to Pennsylvania mere months before a major election. Neither the tactic nor the people using it are new.

As if on cue, another election conspiracy has made its way to Pennsylvania mere months before a major election. Neither the tactic nor the people using it are new.  

Similar efforts in other states have emerged in recent weeks. To be clear: this is not a grass-roots effort to protect elections. This is a well-funded, orchestrated, and coordinated attack on voters.   

This time, these persistent anti-democracy actors are targeting voter registration lists to purge tens of thousands of voters from the voting rolls before this November’s election. Despite having zero evidence of widespread voter fraud, they claim that Pennsylvania’s voting rolls are full-to-bursting with ineligible voters.

As a reminder, these are the same people who: 

  • Filed several dozen frivolous lawsuits to try to get the 2020 election results overturned 
  • Tried to give access to voting machine software to secretive third parties in at least 1 Pennsylvania county 
  • Invited election deniers to spread disinformation in public hearings 

The people behind these efforts have no interest in free and fair elections. They only want to keep eligible voters from casting their ballot to control the election outcome before the first vote is even cast. 

Here are the facts about voter list maintenance in Pennsylvania: 

1. The people who want to purge eligible voters from the voter rolls are the same people who want to eliminate ERIC.  

One of the two elected officials who side with these out of state groups trying to purge Pennsylvania’s voting rolls, Senator Cris Dush, has also proposed withdrawing Pennsylvania from ERIC. 

This begs the question: why try so hard to eliminate the best tool available to counties to keep voting rolls up to date? The answer is simple: because it’s not about keeping voting rolls up to date. It never has been. It’s about disenfranchising voters and controlling the outcome of an election, even before the first vote is cast. 

2. Pennsylvania counties already perform regular voter list maintenance 

States are required by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to conduct regular voter list maintenance, and several reviews have confirmed that Pennsylvania counties comply with federal law. In fact, Pennsylvania cleans approximately 240,000 voter registrations every year.  

The removal process is complex, and for good reason. There are many safeguards in place to ensure that qualified voters are not inadvertently removed from the rolls. 

Voters who either haven’t voted in five years or who’ve been flagged by the ERIC system as having moved or died will be made inactive, after which:  

  1. The county will notify the voter by forwardable mail of their inactive status.
  2. A voter can respond to the notification or vote to reactivate their registration. 
  3. If the voter does not respond or cast a vote within the cancellation window, their registration will be cancelled. 

These steps ensure that voting rolls are kept up to date, but also that voters aren’t accidentally or intentional purged from the rolls when they’re not supposed to be.  

3. Pennsylvania uses the best tool available to keep voter lists up to date.

Pennsylvania participates in ERIC, the interstate voter registration verification system created by a bipartisan team of election officials in 2012. Through ERIC states can share motor vehicle and change of address data to help keep their voting rolls up to date.  


ERIC is the best tool states have to maintain accurate voting rolls. States that have left ERIC or that do not participate have a much harder time verifying voter eligibility.   

4. Pennsylvania’s automatic voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles does not register noncitizens to vote.

These partisan actors point to Pennsylvania’s roll-out of automatic voter registration in Department of Transportation interactions as evidence of a sinister plot to bloat PA’s voting rolls with ineligible voters. 

 The truth of the matter is that noncitizens cannot register to vote through the Department of Transportation. No matter how many times they make the claim, automatic voter registration is not registering noncitizens to vote. 

Find out more about how AVR in Pennsylvania works here. 


If you haven’t voted in a while, you may want to check your registration, which you can do here:  

If you haven’t registered to vote, you can do that here: 

See More: Voting & Elections