BREAKING: Outage in PA voter database as election day nears

"Commonwealth Enterprise is experiencing a widespread outage which is impacting various services of SURE. This outage is currently impacting report, correspondence, and poll book generation."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
The Pennsylvania Department of State issued a memo on Friday telling election officials in all counties that a "widespread outage" is impacting Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) services. This means that the voter databases, as maintained by the state, is essentially non-functioning as election day approaches.

SURE is the state-wide system to maintain accurate voting records that county election officials can rely on when managing and facilitating polling places in their counties. 

The memo, ontained by The Post Millennial, has the subject "Enterprise Outage Impacting SURE Services" and reads "Commonwealth Enterprise is experiencing a widespread outage which is impacting various services of SURE. This outage is currently impacting report, correspondence, and poll book generation."

"A priority call was assembled to triage and investigate the cause. Enterprise teams are now working to resolve the outage," it continues.

SURE is an agency within the Pennsylvania Department of State that states as its responsibilities: "Overview of the statewide systems, Description of our top-down configuration and support all 67 counties, Highlight partnership w/counties, We assist with training & user development, Continuous improvement in processing and workflow for election administrators."

When the agency was enacted, it was designed to be "a Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors, and it ws required that it would "be developed as a single, uniform integrated computer system. All commissions shall be connected electronically to the SURE system and shall maintain their registration records in the system."

It was designed to "Contain a database of all registered electors in this Commonwealth," and to "Ensure the integrity and accuracy of all registration records in the system by prohibiting unauthorized entry, modification or deletion of registration records."

Further, SURE was tasked with: assigning "a unique SURE registration number to each individual currently registered in this Commonwealth," permitting "the commissions to add, modify and delete information in the system as is necessary and appropriate," permitting "each commission and the department to have instant access to a commission's registration records maintained on the system," being "the general register for a commission once the commission is connected to the SURE system," and permitting "each commission and the department to review and search the system and to permit the sending of notices to the appropriate officials regarding death, change of address or other information which could affect the qualifications of an applicant or the registration of a registered elector." 

SURE comes under the Bureau of Election Security and Technology, or BEST, which is "responsible for overseeing election technology, ensuring data integrity, and developing secure administrative procedures related to election administration in Pennsylvania. Our primary goals, working with our state, national, and local partners and key stakeholders, is to strengthen the security, integrity, and accessibility of elections for all eligible Pennsylvanians."

SURE has been reached for comment.


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