The battle to publicize the findings of an investigation into non-citizens registered to vote in Pennsylvania is finally over. Governor Tom Wolf had been blocking the release of the information since last summer, fighting requests for the data in court. But now the governor has conceded defeat and allowed the public to find out what’s been going on. How many non-citizens are on the voter rolls in the Keystone State? More than 11,000. (Washington Times)

Pennsylvania officials have admitted to finding names of 11,198 non-citizens registered to vote on the state’s rolls — though top lawmakers suspect the number could still be higher.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration turned the numbers over to the state legislature earlier this month, after ceding a long battle to block the information’s release. The 11,198 names the state found are less than an earlier estimate of 100,000 names, though they still represent a sizable chunk of people who could have cast illegal ballots in elections, and gone without detection.

“I believe that we need to take action and have those people removed immediately from the tolls. They were never eligible to vote,” said state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican who fought a legal battle to force the Wolf administration to reveal the numbers.

Making this problem worse isn’t the fact that there are that many non-citizens registered to vote, but that the Governor fought tooth and nail to prevent this information from going public until after the election. The original investigation took place in plenty of time for the news to be released last year, but the Governor dragged his feet until a hearing was scheduled for December. Once the election was safely out of the way, the Governor withdrew his objections.

So how did this happen? Once again it came down to computer errors in the state’s “motor voter” registration process. In state after state this automatic voter registration system has led to such problems, particularly in California. States that allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses and register their vehicles at the DMV compound the issue further and somehow always seem to generate these problems.

Vehicle registration (or renewing your driver’s license) and voter registration are not the same things. They’re not even vaguely related. Why the DMV is handling voter registration to begin with is something of a mystery, but if we’re going to keep doing it that way, let’s at least be smart about it. If you want to make sure people have every possible opportunity to register to vote, make it the standard practice for DMV workers to verbally remind customers that they can register and ask them if they would like to. Then hand them a separate form and make sure they’re actually eligible.

This shouldn’t be rocket science, folks. And yet we continue to expand motor voter producing results like we’re seeing in Pennsylvania and too many other states. Why do we continue to create problems when we’re supposed to be trying to solve them?