A potential cure for one voting headache.

A potential cure for one voting headache.

HARRISBURG PA – Dead men don’t cast ballots … usually.

There have been public elections in the past, of course, in which a deceased voter or two mysteriously managed to choose candidates. Pennsylvania has tried to foil the practice by having local registrars send death certificates to county election boards as a way to ensure the electoral process remained legitimate.

As with so many other things in life, or beyond it, this too is passing.

Gov. Edward Rendell on Thursday (July 2, 2009) signed a law to modernize the way voter rolls are updated. Instead of dealing with death certificate paperwork, the law requires the state Department of Health to send a monthly report about deaths of all residents age 18 and older to the Department of State. Its workers will then enter updates directly into the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors database.

Notice the database acronym: it’s the “SURE” system.

Counties, in turn, will rely on the database to purge their registration files of ineligible voters.

The change takes effect in early September (2009).

Photo by Clipart.com