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Pennsylvania Republicans seek wealth of voter information in 2020 election review

Pennsylvania Senate Republicans on Wednesday authorized a series of broad subpoenas for personal voter information as part of a burgeoning effort to review the 2020 election results.

Information subpoenaed by Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration includes records on all voters in Pennsylvania, including partial Social Security numbers, driver’s license information, whether they voted by mail or in person. and any change in voter registration.

The Republican-controlled State Senate Intergovernmental Affairs Committee also subpoenaed all electoral guidelines issued by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the counties and all communications between the State Department and officials of the counties. county elections.

The subpoenas were approved by a 7-4 vote, according to the party line.

Pennsylvania Democrats, including those on the committee, decried the review as a waste of time and resources, pointing out that more than 10 months after the election, no evidence of fraud or impropriety has been produced. . President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes to win the state.

It is not clear what the committee’s taxpayer-funded review is looking for. A first hearing last week focused on election guidance provided by the State Department to counties in the run-up to election day in November.

State Senator Cris Dush, the Republican who chairs the committee, said in a statement it was necessary to subpoena State Department information because he did not attend the week’s hearing last. The State Department said it did not participate due to an ongoing litigation involving Fulton County. A senior Fulton County official testified before the panel Thursday.

Regarding voter information, Dush said it was necessary to have a good understanding of the state’s electoral system. A statement from his office said the subpoena files would not include information about party affiliation, any information that could determine who a person voted for or “anything that threatens secrecy. or voter safety “.

In a statement, Wolf, a Democrat, called the investigation a “sham” and said Republicans across the state continued to perpetuate “the big lie” about last fall’s results.

“Let’s be very clear, this request for information is just one more step to undermine democracy, confidence in our elections and to capitulate to Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories on the 2020 elections,” he said. -he declares. “This is a direct continuation of the same lies that led to the attack on Capitol Hill, and which have done so much to destabilize our political institutions in the ten months since last year’s elections. As do the members. of the Pennsylvania Republican caucus have recognized this, this masquerade must end. “

“We continue to strongly oppose any effort that would compromise the security and integrity of Pennsylvania electoral materials, infrastructure and personal information, while undermining confidence in our election by bringing an Arizona-style circus to Pennsylvania. “, he continued.

Pennsylvania conducted two post-election audits confirming the accuracy of last fall’s tally, and the results were certified. Republicans, who admit they have found no evidence of fraud, say the ongoing review is necessary to shape election law and allay the concerns of their constituents.

“Republican lawmakers may be the only people in the country who want to relive 2020,” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat candidate for the Senate, said in a statement. “The election was 10 months ago. Biden won. Overcome him. Stop wasting taxpayer money.”

At Thursday’s initial hearing, the only witness who testified was Stuart Ulsh, chairman of the Fulton County Electoral Board. Ulsh had authorized a third-party “audit” of his county’s election results, which showed a substantial victory for Trump, at the behest of a pro-Trump state senator late last year. During Thursday’s hearing, Ulsh said the review found nothing wrong with the way the 2020 election went.