Pennsylvania Republicans begin “Election Integrity” review, angering Democrats

by Ashley Muñoz

Senate Republicans in the Keystone State began reviewing the accuracy of the 2020 presidential election results during a public hearing on Thursday.

The “election review,” a process that is intended to look deeper into the voting system and authenticity of Pennsylvania voters, isn’t meant to overturn the election results, rather it is intended to help restore the trust of the state’s voters, Republicans say.

The Republican-led state Senate ordered subpoenas from Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf’s office, asking for personal information about the state’s voters. This information would include; driver’s license information, partial social security numbers, any changes in voter registration, and whether the person voting did so in person, or by mail.

Also subpoenaed by the state’s Republican-controlled committee, was all of the communication between the county election officials and the Pennsylvania Secretary of State.

Although the state’s GOP believes there is a valid reason to move on with this review, Pennsylvania Democrats have voiced their staunch opposition to the process saying it is a waste of time, money, and resources.

In a statement, Gov. Wolf shared his discontentment with the review, saying it would compromise the security and integrity of election materials.

“Let’s be very clear, this information request is merely another step to undermine democracy, confidence in our elections and to capitulate to Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. It is a direct continuation of the same lies that resulted in the attack on the Capitol, and that have done so much to destabilize our political institutions over the ten months since last year’s election,” the Democrat said.

The governor also compared the “election integrity” review to the audit that is currently underway in Arizona, calling it a circus.

“We continue to strongly oppose any effort which would compromise the security and integrity of election materials, infrastructure and the personal information of Pennsylvania voters, while undermining confidence in our elections by bringing an Arizona-style circus to Pennsylvania,” said Wolf.

The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee Chair state Sen. Cris Dush, D-Jefferson, said in a statement that he invited the Pennsylvania Department of State to attend a hearing last week to discuss the controversial guidance issued to counties in the final weeks and days leading up to the 2020 General Election, but the department ignored his request. This refusal to cooperate with the committee, forced the Republicans to issue the subpoenas that were approved down party lines, in a 7 to 4 vote.

“There was no good reason for our invitation to be ignored,” Dush wrote. “We gave the Department of State more time to comply with our request than they gave counties to adjust to their last-second mandates before the 2020 General Election. Subpoenas were not our first choice of action, but the refusal of the Wolf Administration to work with us in a bipartisan manner left us no other options to get the answers Pennsylvanians deserve.”

Although Pennsylvania Republicans insist they aren’t attempting to overturn any results, they say they are focused on the assurance of election integrity in future elections.

The 2020 presidential election results from Pennsylvania show that Joe Biden beat President Trump with 50 percent of the vote, pulling slightly ahead of his 48.8 percent, a narrow margin of around 81,000 votes.

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