Data Center Failure Affecting Online Voter Registration and Other State Agency Services
HARRISBURG (SEP 4 2020) - A vendor equipment failure Saturday evening has knocked-out online services offered by multiple commonwealth agencies, including the state's online voter registration and mail-in ballot application.
“We are working around the clock with our vendors to bring services back online as quickly as possible and will continue to do so until operations are fully restored,” said Secretary of Administration Michael Newsome.
Many of the Department of State’s election-related and professional licensing services are among the applications affected, including online voter registration and the online application for mail ballots.
Pennsylvanians can still download and print the paper voter registration and mail ballot applications as well as other election-related forms and applications, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar noted. Those without access to a printer can call the department’s toll-free voter hotline, 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772), and request that an application be mailed to them.
Additionally, counties will still have the ability to process registrations and mail-in and absentee applications and ballots via alternative processes, and will also continue to be able to generate reports and export data for other continuing election processing.
The data center affected is run by Unisys through a contract with the commonwealth. “The outage is due to an issue with the contractor’s equipment, and there is no evidence of malicious interference,” Secretary Boockvar said. “All data was backed up, as always. Commonwealth IT personnel are working with Unisys to restore service as soon as possible.”
Most of the resources on the department’s votespa.com website, including contact information for county election offices and information on new voting systems, are still accessible. The department’s election-related and professional licensing services, including online voter registration and mail ballot application, are unavailable at this time as a result of the outage.
Online services for the departments of Revenue and Human Services and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board also are affected. The final day to register to vote prior to the November 3 General Election is Monday, October 19. Voters can register to vote, request a mail-in ballot, obtain a mail-in ballot, and/or deposit a completed mail-in ballot, all at the Monroe County Elections and Voter Registration Office, Monroe County Administrative Building, One Quaker Plaza, Room 105, Stroudsburg, PA 18360, (570) 517-3165. The office is open 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday.