Friday, September 17, 2021

Pennsylvania Senate committee insists on moving election investigation

After heated debate, Pennsylvania’s Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee voted along party lines on Wednesday, issuing subpoenas to Acting Secretary of State Veronica DeGraffnerid, requiring her office to provide an avalanche of recent election information. . Democrats are expected to block the summons in court.

“It has been made clear that the Department of State and Acting Secretary of State DeGraffnerade are unwilling to participate in this investigation in the 2020 general election and the 2021 primary election, and how the election code is working following extensive changes to Act 77. of 2020,” said committee majority chairman Chris Dush, a Republican, in opening remarks to the meeting.

Act 77, signed by Governor Tom Wolf in 2019, created a new option to vote by mail without excuse, previously required for voters using absentee ballots. It also allowed a 50-day mail-in voting period, the longest vote-by-mail period in the country; The deadline for registering to vote has been increased from 30 days before the election to 15 days; and extended the mail-in and absentee submission deadlines from Friday before the election to 8 p.m. on election day.

Wednesday’s summons asks the Senate Republican Caucus for the State Department to provide the following information by October 1:

all communications between the State Department and any county elections director and other election officials; A copy of each version of the instructions, guidance, policies and procedures in effect during specified dates relating to elections, the election system, mail-in ballot applications, ballots, polling places or poll watchers; And all the training material is used to train the election workers.

The summons also asks for a list of all changes made to the voter record; a copy of the certified results of each race or ballot question for both elections; a copy of all audits or reviews of the voting system; and a copy of the annual report submitted to the State Department in 2021.

Detailed voter list requested by summons, including name, date of birth, driver’s license number, last four digits of Social Security number, address, and in some cases date of last voting activity. This information was requested for a list of all registered voters who voted in the 2020 general election or the May 2021 primary, in person, by mail-in, absentee or provisional ballot.

Opposition to Democrats

Democrat committee members took issue with requests for drivers licenses and partial Social Security numbers.

“You’re asking for a lot of information for about 7 million people,” Democrat State Sen. Steven Santarcero said. “What do you hope to do with that information?

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Dush said those documents are part of any audit that the Auditor General will conduct, or any that seeks to verify the identities of individuals, their places of residence and their eligibility to vote.

“There are questions about the legitimacy of people who voted – whether they exist or not. We are not responding to proven allegations,” Dush said. “We are investigating the allegations to determine whether they are factual. are or not.”

If there are problems, Dush said, the legislature has a responsibility to make laws that can prevent problems in future elections.

Santarcero grills the dash for the price and the name of the seller handling the investigation.

“We are still looking at vendors who will handle the information,” Dush said. “I’m not going to hire political activists to investigate.”

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Democrats opposed the summons so strongly that three times, Dash blocked the meeting because it was broadcast across Pennsylvania.

“This meeting is relaxing! Cut the feed,” said Dash when Democrat State Sen. Vincent Hughes complained about members of the Senate who were “involved in the rebellion” who had access to investigative information.

He was referring to Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano who has said he attended a rally and march for President Donald Trump in Washington on January 6, and he followed the law there.

“We have a public that is concerned about how the last election went,” said Republican State Sen. Jake Corman. “Credibility is important to all of us. One of two things will happen when we see the results of this investigation. Either it will give us action items to improve our laws, or it will address people’s concerns.”

Ultimately the committee voted 7-4 to issue the summons.

“I thought it was completely unfair,” Minority Speaker Anthony Williams, a Democrat, told The Epoch Times. “I was feeling disappointed by the way it was done and the substance. We don’t know the cost, we don’t know who the sellers will be, we don’t know what they’ll do with the information.

Williams said the Senate Democratic caucus is expected to file papers in Commonwealth Court on Wednesday seeking an injunction to block the summons.

Beth Brelje is an investigative journalist covering the most interesting and sometimes elusive news from Pennsylvania politics, the courts and the Commonwealth. Send him your story ideas:


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Pennsylvania Senate committee insists on moving election investigation
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