(Credit: Ben Bowens Photography)

On October 4, 2021, the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a motion to intervene on behalf of three advocacy organizations and eight individual voters in Commonwealth v. Dush and Corman, a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania attorney general challenging subpoenas issued by the state Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee to the Department of State for the personally identifying information of all registered voters in Pennsylvania. With co-counsel from national ACLU’s Voting Rights Project and the law firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, the ACLU of Pennsylvania argues that the privacy rights of the voters and the members of Common Cause PA, the League of Women Voters of PA, and Make the Road PA will be impacted by the outcome of the case.

If granted by the Commonwealth Court, the intervenors will be parties to the case on the side of the attorney general and the secretary of state, meaning that their attorneys will participate in all court proceedings to help prevent the disclosure of nine million Pennsylvania voters’ personal data, including driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of social security numbers.

On September 15, the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee issued subpoenas demanding a long list of personal data of Pennsylvania’s registered voters, including names, addresses, dates of birth, driver’s license and non-driving identification numbers, and partial Social Security numbers. Neither when the committee issued the subpoenas nor to this date has the committee publicly explained how the data would be protected or even identified the private company that would house and analyze the data.

In their motion to intervene, the voters and advocates argue that the release of personally identifying information to the committee and a private company violates their right to privacy under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Attorney(s)

Witold Walczak and Marian Schneider, ACLU of Pennsylvania; Sophia Lakin, ACLU Voting Rights Project

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Keith Whitson, Karen Baillie and Stephen Shapiro of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Status

Filed