support of the motion for preliminary injunction, counsel for plaintiffs have suggested that the number "improperly" stricken "may well number over 10,000 and close to 50,000" (p. 3 Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction), but the figures represent pure speculation since nothing in the evidence suggests any such conclusion. While it appears fairly certain that some of the persons stricken for non-voting still meet the citizenship, age and residency requirements, we cannot hazard a guess whether the number is substantial.
Plaintiffs also contend that there is no reasonable relationship between non-voting and eligibility to vote; that other procedures authorized by statute (e.g., inspectors canvass, mail canvass, public records relating to death, reports of discontinuance of service by utility companies, reports from real estate agents, landlords and moving companies that persons had moved) make unnecessary the use of non-voting as a basis for removal; and that removal from the voting rolls for non-voting is an overly broad device to prevent vote fraud and is unduly restrictive of the right to vote.
It appears from the evidence presented at the hearing that the non-vote purge is an important and effective tool for keeping the voting lists current. Many of the devices authorized by statute (e.g., reports from utility companies, real estate agents and landlords) are so unreliable that they have been virtually abandoned by defendants as a means for ascertaining if voters have changed their residences. The other procedures (inspectors canvass, mail canvass, etc.), while effective, cannot be relied on for a thorough job of weeding out ineligibles.
The evidence discloses that Pennsylvania adopted permanent registration in 1937 by legislation which contained a four-year non-vote purge provision. In the early 1940's a citizens' committee (Committee of Seventy) instituted litigation aimed at eliminating widespread vote frauds caused by the presence on the voting rolls of large numbers of phantom voters. This litigation led to adoption in 1945 of the legislation presently under attack, which reduced the non-vote purge period to two years. Plaintiffs did produce testimony of Dr. Stanley Kelley, Jr., Professor of Political Science at Princeton University that, from a study of 104 cities of over 100,000 population, he found there was no necessary relationship between non-voting and being otherwise eligible to vote, but at this stage of the proceedings we cannot say that plaintiffs have established that there is no reasonable relationship between non-voting and vote frauds, which is a matter of legitimate concern to defendants and to the general electorate.
Plaintiffs complain that the two-year non-vote purge has an especially heavy impact on municipal elections. They point to the fact that in the municipal election years 1967 and 1971 the number of two-year non-vote notices was significantly higher than in the intervening years. The figures for the years 1967-1971, stated in round numbers, are:
1967 1968 1969 1970 1971
First notices 94,000 35,000 31,000 33,000 92,000
Second notices 80,000 31,000 29,000 31,000 81,000
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