Pa. Department of State Corrects Clerical Error in Number of Voters Who Have Changed Parties

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of State yesterday issued revised numbers of voters who have changed parties in the run up to the Primary Election due to a clerical error made in the process of updating a public dataset.

The dataset in question is created manually by a Department of State contractor. Due to inadequate capabilities in the voter database software, it cannot be automatically generated. Over the weekend, Department of State professionals reviewed all the data and corrected all errors. The department is in the process of reviewing all datasets to ensure their accuracy.

“It came to our attention that the numbers we received from the contractors about voters switching party affiliation included figures from 2015. As soon as we learned that was the case, we took immediate action, reviewed all current and historical datasets and the numbers have now been corrected”, Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés said yesterday.

“Unfortunately, due to the way our database was created in 2006, some datasets are updated manually which increases the margin of human error as happened in this case.” The Department has reviewed and enhanced its existing quality assurance process. The data now will go through various layers of review. The errors were made by a contractor after data was reported out of the voter database and the Department is confident the integrity of voting data in the system is not responsible for the error or at all in question.

From January 1 to April 3, 2016, 60,222 voters changed their party affiliation to Democrat, 89,234 changed to Republican, and 9,573 to other. The updated numbers are available on and are likely to change as counties continue to process new registrations and updates.

The counties have until April 18, 2016, to certify precincts level voter registration totals.

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