Assault On The Ballot Box – Lessons Learned In Pennsylvania


Democracy, done well, depends on fair, open, and honest elections. From roughly the time of the first election, people have sought ways to gain an advantage over their opponents, some within the rules and some not so much.

This nation has seen its share of election dishonesty but the 2020 General Election witnessed industrial-scale election fraud.  Please spare me the nonsense that there was no fraud.  There was and I will prove it.

In this article, I will demonstrate the fact that fraud occurred in Pennsylvania, here in Washington County, in fact, and how election officials at all levels violated the law in certifying election results.  I will do this using their own numbers and their own source documents, documents anyone can obtain, examine and come to the same conclusions.  I will then suggest some actions that must be taken to first mitigate this type of fraud and then eliminate a good part of it.

In Pennsylvania, a person must be a registered voter to vote.  Whether a person votes by mail-in ballot or at a polling place, there are processes in place that are supposed to check that the person is registered and then record in a voter registry a notation against that person’s name the person voted and on what day.

How 202,391 votes in Pennsylvania cannot be attributed to a registered voter…

Using the same December 14 data for the entire state, 6,962,621 ballots were cast and the SURE system showed 6,760,230 registered voters had voted.  This is a total of 202,391 votes that cannot be attributed to a registered voter.  Where did these votes come from?  Not from registered voters according to the state’s own data and documents.

Dave Ball (quoted from below)

It would seem a reasonable and straightforward assertion that, if an election is honestly conducted, only registered voters vote and when votes are tallied up, for every vote cast there should be an equal number of registered voters on the voter roll who voted.  The law, in fact, requires this.

This is where the problem arises in Pennsylvania because, when the votes were tallied and even certified, the state and all but 18 counties reported many more votes than they could find registered voters on their voter rolls who had voted.  How can this be when, first of all, a person cannot vote without being registered and on the voter roll, then being marked by a computer system as having voted when the person votes?  Additionally, in a certification process, the Director of Elections in each county attests that every vote corresponded to a registered voter on the voter roll who had voted, and the Secretary of the Commonwealth attests that every County has properly certified its vote.  Not to have done so means that each has violated the law.  Let’s look into this a bit.

On Election Day, there were 9,091,371 people on the voter roll registered to vote in the State of Pennsylvania.  The counties certified that 6,962,621 ballots were cast in the election.  Notice I said ballots cast.  We are going to work with these numbers in a moment.

All the 9 million registered voters are contained in a database called the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE).  The SURE database is constantly being updated as new voters are registered, voters change addresses, parties, or names, die or move away.  The point is that it is a dynamic database, always changing.  Information in the SURE database must be made available to each precinct on Election Day so that voters may be confirmed as eligible to vote – and the fact that they voted noted in the system.

Voter information is supplied to the precinct polling locations through “Poll Books.”  These are either electronic devices or manual paper lists.  In either case, they must be prepared sometime prior to Election Day.  In the time between when the poll books are initially prepared and Election Day, the SURE System can change so updates are issued to the precincts as supplemental paper lists.

On Election Day, poll workers must frequently check back and forth between two or more sets of poll books to locate voter information.  This takes time, causes confusion, and may generate errors.  The major causes of late changes to the SURE database are allowing late registration and mail-in ballots.

When mail in ballots are sent to voters, that is noted on the voter records.  Returned mail in ballots are received at the Election Office and must be recorded as received and then verified as legitimate by checking them against the SURE system.  When they are verified as legitimate, they are recorded in the SURE system as received ballots and noted as such so that the voter cannot also vote at a poll.  When mail-in ballots may be received close to Election Day, it is very difficult to update SURE and get that information to the polls which creates a lot of confusion and the possibility of errors as well as an opportunity to game the system for fraud by overwhelming it with late mail-in ballots.

The confusion noted above is compounded when voters claim that they applied for a mail-in ballot and never received the ballot or received it and lost it and want a replacement ballot.  Now the system must account for an original ballot for which there is no proof of loss plus a second ballot to the same person.  There are multiple ways, using ‘timing of voting’, that it might be possible for a person to vote twice.  In theory, the system should catch these attempts but gamers have pointed out ways the system is unlikely to catch attempts, also.

By the provisions of Section 3154 of the Election Code, before a county certifies its vote to the state, it is required to assure that the total number of votes cast does not exceed the total number of registered voters who voted.  If this is not so, the discrepancy must be resolved before results are reported.  Likewise, the state is required to do the same before it certifies its vote to the Federal Government.  That seems like a reasonable requirement but in the 2020 General Election, only 18 of 67 counties met the requirement and the State of Pennsylvania failed to meet the requirement.  That is clearly an egregious disregard of the law and a major contributor to public distrust of the election process.

How do we know this?

The Secretary of State certified the election results of all 67 counties in Pennsylvania on 24 November 2020.  The data that is cited in this article is taken from publically available sources, primarily the SURE database file dated 14 December 2020 known as the “Full Voter Export File” or FVE that may be purchased by anyone from the Department of State website.  Other data was obtained from the Summary Results Report – Official Results, Several County Voter Rolls and the Report of Absentee Ballots dated 13 November 2020.

From the SURE data, the number of registered voters who voted may be obtained by summing the number of voters with a “last date voted” of 11-03-20 back to the first date mail in ballots were accepted (or later in the case of mail in military ballots).  This number changes over time so the SURE system is locked down for 14 days from election day so counties can reconcile votes against a stable system.  The number changes as people move in and move out as previously explained.

TotalTotal VotersTotal VotersTotal VotersTotal VotersTotal VotersTotal VotersTotal Voters

BallotsWho VotedWho VotedWho VotedWho VotedWho VotedWho VotedWho Voted











The table above displays, first the number of voters that the SURE systems shows as having voted.  The Nov. 9 number is low because much of the poll book data had not yet been entered.  The December 14 number reflects the data that was available when the County reconciled its vote.  The first number, Total Ballots Cast, is the official number of ballots cast reported to the state, 119,139.  The SURE system showed 117,156 registered voters who voted.  The difference of 1,983 are unexplained votes.  They are votes that cannot be attached to a registered voter.  It doesn’t appear to be lagging data because the number of SURE voters does not change appreciably although the election office found a couple precinct’s poll books in January that had not been added to the database of voters.  A purge of over 10,000 Inactive voters in January did not impact the data, confirming both that the Inactive voters were truly inactive and that the voted numbers were probably good.

Using the same December 14 data for the entire state, 6,962,621 ballots were cast and the SURE system showed 6,760,230 registered voters had voted.  This is a total of 202,391 votes that cannot be attributed to a registered voter.  Where did these votes come from?  Not from registered voters according to the state’s own data and documents.

While the data in the SURE database changes slightly over time as people are added and subtracted from the database, the significant fact is that on the dates when county votes were certified to the state and when the state’s vote was certified to the Federal Government, both the counties and the state were derelict in their legal responsibility to reconcile actual votes to actual registered voters and reported incorrect votes.  Neither could possibly have reconciled their votes leaving a large question as to the integrity of the votes.  Very simply, they had no idea if what they were reporting was correct or not.  It was definitely not provable.

Taking this a step further, if the counties failed to reconcile votes at the poll and mail in votes to registered voters who voted, how could they even begin to consider provisional ballots?  Most of these were the result of questions about whether or not a mail in ballot was received and voted and if there was no conclusive list of previous votes, what could provisional ballots be compared against?

Agreeing that the number of votes cast and the number of registered voters recorded as having voted should be the same and agreeing that the law requires that they be reconciled leads only to the inescapable conclusions that county and state elections personnel did not do their jobs and that there are serious problems with either the records of registered voters, how votes are being recorded, how voters are being recorded or the number of ballots voted.

On November 19, 2020, Rep. Seth Grove sent a letter to Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar (Public Record) asking a number of questions regarding the election and the results.  Question 10. asked, “There were counties that mentioned more votes uploaded than cast.  Can you explain the difference in calculations and was that issue ever resolved?  If so, how?”

Sec. Boockvar replied, “It is worth noting that there is no instance in which a county-certified results in any race in excess of the number of votes cast.”  The data show this statement to be incorrect.  (While not clear in the question or answer, we are assuming this meant cast by registered voters.)

The SURE system is the official repository of vote information.  As is demonstrated above, 49 of 67 counties reported more votes than the SURE system reported registered voters who had voted.  Is that not more votes than votes cast?  If not, why is the SURE system not recording the votes, if they are indeed real votes?  How were votes cast that were not checked against voters in the poll books and recorded as having voted?  If the voter was not recorded as having voted, this leaves open the possibility the voter could vote again.  Why was no investigation done as to why this mismatch existed which should have precluded certification? Something is very wrong despite the Secretary’s bright assurances.  

How about the integrity of the data in the SURE system?  In 2019 the Auditor General attempted to audit the SURE system.  He was unable to do a complete audit because the Department of State under Secretary Boockvar was very uncooperative in providing the requested information.  The Auditor General’s report was able to come to some conclusions regarding the data in the SURE system, however.  The AG found “tens of thousands of potentially duplicate and inaccurate voter records as well as 3000 voter records for deceased voters.” (In fact, a public interest lawsuit was just settled by which the State of Pennsylvania agreed to remove 21,000 registered dead voters from the rolls.  Why does it take a lawsuit to remove dead voters?)  They also found areas of laxity in computer security, information technology general controls, and interface controls.  The audit “disclosed internal control weaknesses related to input and maintenance of voter records.”  Significantly, the AG noted that he was “concerned that DOS, and therefore the counties, will not utilize the information provided to them in the audit because it is assuming that the data in the SURE system is accurate.  This data strongly suggests otherwise.”

Examination of the Washington County SURE database information indicated a very large number of inactive voters, in the thousands, who should have been removed from the voter roll long ago.  It also indicated a number of deceased and duplicate voters.

Why is the data integrity in the SURE database suspect?  One major reason is the involvement of third parties such as Pennsylvania Voice and Rock the Vote.  These organizations have a free App that feeds voter registration information directly into Pennsylvania’s voter registration Web API.  Pennsylvania, at least at the time this was implemented, was the only state that allowed approved third parties to directly upload registrations and signatures to its voter registration database.  This system allows voters – even without PennDOT ID – to get registered.  It is available in English and Spanish.  Let’s see, a third party is supposed to check the validity of information for people who do not speak English and have no ID.  No chance of problems here.

Another problem is the simple fact that one really does not have to have any ID to register.  Look at a registration form.  If you do not have a driver’s license or a Social Security card or an ID card of any kind, a utility bill will do or any one of a bunch of other forms of lax ID.  If someone has no ID, has no permanent address, can only make an x indicating some street corner as a living area, and can indicate no employment for a pay stub or something, why would anyone be suspicious that person is a citizen?  It’s a good bet the Rock the Vote App signs up many of these..

The purpose of this article is not to catalog all that is wrong with the current voting system.  I do hope that I have dispelled the notion that there is nothing wrong with the system.  I would like to look at two specific areas that are badly in need of immediate action; mail-in voting and voter registration.  I also want to clearly make the case for reconciling the vote before certification.  It is not being done and the law requires it.  

So let’s talk about some of the major things that need to be done.

Repeal Act 77 – ‘No Fault’ Mail in Voting

Much of what is wrong with the voting system today is tied in one way or another to the wild west show created by no-fault mail-in voting and all that goes with it.  With wide open mail-in ballots, control of the voting system is lost.  

The chain of custody of ballots is lost.  Ballots are mailed to unverified addresses to be received by unknown persons.  Maybe the voter, maybe not. The ballots are handled by an unknown number of unknown people between the voter and the election office with no assurance that the ballot has not been tampered with or that it even arrives.    

Proof of identification is lost.  An application arrives in the Election Office with some information and no assurance that the information actually references a real person or not.  As has been discussed, it is not hard to create false identities in the registration system.  The registration system, according to the Auditor General’s report, is full of duplicate voters and dead voters.  Any of these can apply for a ballot and probably receive one. 

The data presented on votes not being associated with registered voters is overwhelming.  If for no other reason, Act 77 and ‘No-Fault’ mail-in ballots must be eliminated

Return to one day voting.  There is nothing about mail-in voting that lends itself to voting integrity.

Clean Up the Voter Rolls

As has been demonstrated, the integrity of the voter rolls as contained in the SURE database is absolutely key to the integrity of an election outcome.  If that database contains ineligible voters, duplicate voters, non-citizen voters, deceased voters, and inactive voters, the possibility of fraud is greatly increased.  Extreme diligence as to the data going into the database as well as constant maintenance of existing data is essential.  A positive, federally acceptable ID is a must to register.  If a person truly has no ID, the Election Office can provide an acceptable ID.  The ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center) must be used regularly to assist in maintaining the data.  Inactive voters must be purged on a regular basis.  County and State death notices must be acted upon promptly.  The hygiene of the county voter roll should be a primary job evaluator of the County Elections Director.  The Auditor-General should be tasked with auditing the SURE system annually.

Reconcile Results Before Certifying

Section 3154 of the Election Code clearly states that both counties and the state must reconcile their votes before certifying their election results.  In the past election, this was clearly not done.  The volume of mail-in ballots the past two elections may have played a role in the poor performance but that is only more of a reason to eliminate mail-in ballots – not to break the law.

Reconciliation of votes cast and registered voters shown as voting is an absolute must.  It will catch voting irregularities when and where they need to be caught.  Enforce the law.

Ban Third Party Participation in the Election Process

The involvement of third parties became a major issue in the 2020 election.  Groups such as Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a far-left group that pushes leftist voting policies, provided many millions of dollars in grants to fund voting issues and operations.  The PA Department of State received a grant of nearly $13 million from CTCL with little or no legislative oversight.  Through the funding of various left-wing foundations, CTCL was known as the “Democratic Party Hogwarts for digital wizardry.”  Where and how they were involved in PA elections is not altogether clear but there are allegations it was decidedly in Democrat and swing counties. Third-party involvement of this type must be flatly prohibited.  It is inherently biased and not transparent.

Third parties were active in collecting registration information and registering voters.  There is significant doubt that their standards of eligibility verification consistently met state standards.  There is no reason for their participation and it should be prohibited.

One of the major causes of confusion in registration, mail-in ballots, and at the polls was the proliferation of groups soliciting registrations by mail, social media, and otherwise.  Many voters were overwhelmed and confused.  Prohibit voter registration solicitation by anyone other than official government agencies such as the county and state election offices.

Eliminate Drop Boxes

Drop boxes are a parallel service to the U.S. Postal Service and should be eliminated.  Drop boxes provide an opportunity to promote ballot harvesting and ballot culling.  They also present an egregious challenge to the chain of custody.  They serve no purpose a regular mailbox does not.  

If a drop box was to exist, it must be as secure as possible which means in a government building, available only during business hours, monitored full time, with video surveillance, and available to poll watchers.  Also, ballots would only be picked up by Election office personnel (not unknown, untrained, unaccountable third-party entities).

Mandatory Signature Verification

Make mandatory signature verification between mail in ballot envelope and voter roll as well as poll book and voter roll.  While the PA Supreme Court ruled that could not be done last year, it was because there was no specific provision for that in the Election Code.  The Legislature must put that in the Election Code.  There needs to be some positive identification as to who is proffering a mail in ballot.

Voter ID

Voter ID must be required for everyone to vote whether at a poll or by mail-in ballot.  ID must be an acceptable federal ID.  At the present time, proof of identity is required for first-time voters at a poll and first-time mail in ballot users.  This is easily subverted by overwhelming the mail-in facilities with ballots.  There is a high level of suspicion that ID is not checked with great fidelity.  There is a “folk tale” belief at many polls that you cannot ask for ID and if a voter says they don’t have a driver’s license, few poll workers know what to do next.

Be very clear that the solution to the large majority of the problems with our voting system is the repeal of Act 77 – ‘No-Fault’ Mail in Ballots.  Other nations have tried mail-in voting and rather quickly dropped the idea.  Forty-seven percent of the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) nations ban mail-in voting.  Of the 27 countries in the European Union (EU), 63 percent ban mail-in voting.  Of the remaining 16 countries in Europe, all ban mail-in voting.  There is obviously no real enthusiasm for mail-in voting anywhere for one simple reason – it does not work.  They have all learned the hard way what Pennsylvania learned this past election.  Mail-in ballots lead to fraud.  It is a large body of experience from which we would be wise to learn.  In fact, it would be immoral not to.

There was no earthly reason that should have compelled our legislature to have passed this Act.  Nothing was to be gained, at least nothing upon which sunlight shone.  Having seen the devastation it has caused, one would think that the same legislature would be clamoring to fix its error and mitigate the damage but such is not the case.  Instead, there seems to be placid denial among many lawmakers.  They are obviously unaware of the incipient revolution among the rank and file.  Party loyalists are angry.  Maybe angrier than they were about the 2005 midnight pay raise.

Unless there is a clear initiative to repeal Act 77, 2022 will be a very contentious year.  With a Democrat Governor maybe repeal will get vetoed but there had better be a bill on his desk for him to veto.  Anything less will be very bad for the denizens of the Elephant Caucus.

The other “fix” items I have suggested are things that must be done in the interim.  Some or all of them may well be vetoed also.  Some can be done by counties.  If they are done by the legislature and vetoed, the Governor will take the entire Democrat structure down with him.

One man – one vote is the heart and soul of Democracy and it is under attack.  It is time to rise to its defense.