Pennsylvania Republicans introduce legislation to secure all-new election bureau

by Summer Lane

In the wake of endless election audits and investigations across the country that has followed on the heels of a hotly contested 2020 presidential election, Pennsylvania Republicans are joining the chorus of proponents for election integrity, calling for an all-new Bureau of Election Audits (BEA).

Pennsylvania, one of the key swing states in the presidential race, is just one of the battleground states that went blue for Biden, due to thousands of ballots that were found after election day. Per the U.S. Constitution, Election Day is exactly that: a single day. Pennsylvania’s dubious election process, in which votes were continually counted for days after Election Day, is just one of multiple reasons why the people of Pennsylvania have lost faith in the system. 

Biden supposedly won Pennsylvania by a margin of just 80,555 votes, but President Trump has been quick to point out that the margin of fraud far exceeds Biden’s so-called margin of victory. In fact, Trump fired off a determinative letter to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) last month, responding to their attempts to downplay the impact of voter fraud in Pennsylvania and clearly outlining the reports of fraud that occurred during the election:

  • 10,515 mail-in ballots from people who don’t exist on the PA voter rolls,
  • 71,893 mail-in ballots that were returned after Nov. 3 at 8:00 p.m.,
  • 120,000 excess voters not accounted for by the PA Dept. of State,
  • 39,771 people who registered to vote after the Oct. 19 deadline who still voted,
  • 305,874 voters removed from voter rolls after Nov. 3,
  • 58,823 first-time voters aged 70 and older,
  • 17,000 mail-in ballots sent to addresses outside of PA,
  • 78,000 phantom voters in Montgomery County, and
  • 51,792 inactive voter registrations at the end of 2020 who still voted in November.

Senate Republicans in Pennsylvania recently launched a forensic investigation of the election in September 2021, and it is still underway right now. Legislation to overhaul the BEA was introduced by Republican House Speaker Bryan Cutler, who also pointed out that election officials shouldn’t be allowed to audit their own elections.

“We should not allow individuals in government to self-audit,” he said. For most, that might seem like a no-brainer, but the election system in Pennsylvania – along with many other states like Arizona and Wisconsin – are woefully unorganized and borderline nonfunctional.

HB 1482 will “establish the Bureau of Election Audits under the Office of the Auditor General. The legislation would require the auditor general to appoint an independent special auditor when the auditor general position is on the ballot,” according to a report from Just The News. 

Democrats in Pennsylvania are pushing back against the legislation, claiming that reports of fraud in the state are fabricated. Of course, the level of determinative data that has been collected through multiple investigations is staggering. Even more disturbingly, 71,893 mail-in ballots that were returned after the Nov. 3 deadline were in violation of federal and state voting laws.

Again, the Constitution simply doesn’t allow for ballots to be counted after Election Day, and unless the Pennsylvania State Legislature approved of such a change beforehand (which they didn’t), every ballot counted after the Election Day deadline should legally be considered illegitimate. 

President Trump, who has confidently contended that Republicans will continue to sweep elections across the country, culminating in potential 2022 midterm victories – as well as a much-anticipated White House bid from Trump himself in 2024 – has pushed hard for election audits in the battleground states like Georgia and Michigan.

Last week in an address to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), Trump stated: “If we do our jobs and stick together, one year from now we will be watching a massive red wave sweep across our entire country and we are going to be celebrating the election of the largest house republican majority in American history.” 

Republicans, including President Trump himself, need safe and trustworthy elections if they want any chance at fairly winning in 2022 and 2024. The newest election legislation from Pennsylvania is a step in the right direction for election integrity and overhaul, bringing the Keystone State a little closer to establishing baseline, trustworthy elections again. 

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