Pennsylvania Republicans seek trove of voter information in 2020 election review

Pennsylvania Senate Republicans on Wednesday approved a sequence of broad subpoenas for private info on voters as a part of a burgeoning effort to evaluation the outcomes of the 2020 election.

The knowledge subpoenaed from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration consists of information on all Pennsylvania voters, together with partial Social Safety numbers, driver’s license info, whether or not they voted by mail or in individual and any adjustments in voter registration.

The Republican-controlled state Senate Intergovernmental Affairs Committee additionally subpoenaed all election steering issued by the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth to counties and all communications between the Division of State and county elections officers.

The subpoenas had been authorised by a 7-to-4, party-line vote.

Pennsylvania Democrats, together with these on the committee, have decried the evaluation as a waste of time and sources, pointing to the truth that greater than 10 months after the election, no proof of fraud or irregularities has been produced. President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by greater than 80,000 votes to win the state.

It is unclear what the committee’s taxpayer-funded evaluation is searching for. An preliminary listening to held final week targeted on elections steering offered by the Division of State to counties within the run-up to Election Day in November.

State Sen. Cris Dush, the Republican chairing the committee, mentioned in an announcement it was essential to subpoena info from the Division of State as a result of it didn’t take part in final week’s listening to. The Division of State mentioned it didn’t take part due to ongoing litigation involving Fulton County. A prime Fulton County official testified earlier than the panel Thursday.

On the voter info, Dush mentioned it was obligatory to collect a full understanding of the state’s election system. A launch from his workplace mentioned the subpoenaed information won’t embrace info on social gathering affiliation, any info that might decide who an individual voted for or “the rest that threatens voter secrecy or safety.”

In an announcement, Wolf, a Democrat, known as the investigation “a sham” and mentioned state Republicans are persevering with to perpetuate “the Large Lie” about final fall’s outcomes.

“Let’s be very clear, this info request is merely one other step to undermine democracy, confidence in our elections and to capitulate to Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories concerning the 2020 election,” he mentioned. “It’s a direct continuation of the identical lies that resulted within the assault on the Capitol, and which have accomplished a lot to destabilize our political establishments over the ten months since final yr’s election. As even members of the Pennsylvania Republican caucus have acknowledged, this charade has to cease.”

“We proceed to strongly oppose any effort which might compromise the safety and integrity of election supplies, infrastructure and the non-public info of Pennsylvania voters, whereas undermining confidence in our elections by bringing an Arizona-style circus to Pennsylvania,” he continued.

Pennsylvania performed two post-election audits confirming the accuracy of final fall’s rely, and the outcomes had been licensed. Republicans, who acknowledge they haven’t discovered proof of fraud, say the continuing evaluation is important to form election regulation and ease the considerations of their voters.

“Republican lawmakers could be the solely individuals within the nation who really wish to relive 2020,” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat working for Senate, mentioned in an announcement. “The election occurred 10 months in the past. Biden gained. Recover from it. Cease pissing away taxpayer cash.”

At Thursday’s preliminary listening to, the lone witness testifying was Stuart Ulsh, chair of the Fulton County Election Board. Ulsh had approved a third-party “audit” of his county’s election outcomes, which confirmed a considerable Trump win, on the request of a pro-Trump state senator late final yr. Throughout Thursday’s listening to, Ulsh testified that the evaluation discovered nothing unsuitable with how the 2020 election was performed.

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