State Republicans full steam ahead on 2020 election reviews even as no evidence of vote rigging emerges
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania courtroom on Wednesday became the final battleground over allegations of rigging the 2020 presidential election, as Republicans across the country continued efforts to investigate the vote despite the lack of evidence of widespread fraud.
A panel of five judges in Harrisburg heard arguments from Democrats to block a subpoena requested by Republicans in the Senate, seeking information on voters and electoral systems. Democrats argue that the subpoena is an abuse of power and does not serve any legitimate legislative purpose.
An attorney for Senate Republicans insisted that lawmakers have a legitimate interest in obtaining information to improve election law, regardless of the background of former President Donald Trump trying to get allies in the states of the battleground to find evidence of electoral fraud.
“The fact that there is noise going around there should not be of concern to the court,” said attorney Matt Haverstick.
From the archives (March 2021): Voting rights escalate as partisan battleground, Democrats pushing HR 1, Republicans altering state-level election procedures
The Pennsylvania election review and another in Wisconsin are part of the larger story, as GOP lawmakers elsewhere advocate for similar efforts in their states. They cite concerns raised by claims by Trump and his allies, which referred to various conspiracy theories to explain his loss last November to Democrat Joe Biden.
Among the allegations there was widespread voter fraud, but an Associated Press review found fewer than 475 cases of potential voter fraud in the six states challenged by Trump – a number that would have made no difference in the ‘election.
““The intention of these reviews is to continue to create doubt, mistrust and confusion around an election that has been solicited, certified, audited, argued and reviewed so that they can continue the narrative.”“
Republican leaders argue their investigations are necessary to restore public confidence in the election, but experts say it is the reviews themselves that are undermining confidence in the U.S. election.
“The intention of these reviews is to continue to create doubt, mistrust and confusion around an election that has been solicited, certified, audited, argued and reviewed so that they can continue the narrative. So they can continue to fundraise and improve their political profile, ”said Matt Masterson, former senior election security official in the Trump administration.
Archives (November 2020): November 3 election was safest in U.S. history, cybersecurity experts say
In Pennsylvania, Republicans led by Pro Tempore Senate President Jake Corman insist the company has nothing to do with Trump or did not attempt to overturn last year’s election. On the contrary, they say the goal is to solve the problems with the state elections.
However, the 2020 election was at the center of Republican-controlled committees in the Senate and House. There were many hearings, hours of testimony and bills.
In an interview on Tuesday, Trump praised the work of Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and argued that many of the problems in the election were due to pandemic-related changes made outside of the legislative process.
Archives (June 2021): Pennsylvania Republicans seem to like what they see in the ongoing audit of the 2020 Arizona election
Also see: Wisconsin voting process ‘safe and secure’, non-partisan audit of 2020 election concludes
“They used COVID to cheat, as a way to cheat,” Trump said. “In Pennsylvania, Senator Corman and a whole bunch of people are totally engaged because they have now discovered that things are very different from what they were told.”
The PA’s review of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties has so far identified a total of 26 potential cases of voter fraud, which is just 0.03% of Biden’s margin of victory in the state. Six people have been charged.
To conduct their review, the Pennsylvania Republicans hired a small business with little background and no election experience. There was no call for tenders for the contract, nor any public call for tenders. A similar situation occurred in Arizona, where Senate Republicans seeking to review the 2020 election hired an outside company that has been criticized for its lack of knowledge of electoral systems and processes.
See: Right-wing Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick pays promised $ 25,000 bonus for illegal vote – by Pennsylvania-registered Republican
As well: Voters in Florida retirement community, Villages, accused of voting multiple times in 2020 election
Arizona’s review ended in September without providing any evidence to support Trump’s claims of a stolen election.
In Wisconsin this week, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the investigation he ordered into the 2020 presidential election would spill over into next year and cost more. So far, the effort has cost taxpayers almost $ 680,000.
Archives (December 2019): Trump’s campaign adviser told Republicans in Wisconsin on secret tape voting tactics will be stepped up
Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman has been asked to lead the investigation and has requested subpoenas from the mayors of the state’s five largest cities and the top election official in the state. State.
Democrats and some Republicans across the state criticized the investigation as a sham, given that some of those hired by Gableman worked in the Trump administration or supported conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
Trump lost Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes, a result that has been confirmed following recounts, several court rulings and a non-partisan audit.
Wisconsin election officials have so far identified 31 potential cases of voter fraud. In 26 of those cases, prosecutors refused to press charges after conducting a review, according to the PA’s findings.
Earlier this week, Republican lawmaker Kathy Bernier, chairman of the Senate Elections Committee and former Chippewa County Election Clerk, called the exam a “parody” designed to appease the conservative GOP base and said postponing in question the integrity of the elections will end up harming the participation of the Republicans. .
“I understand there is frustration when you have a president who says there is massive electoral fraud,” Bernier said. “We have a great system here, and no one should wrongly accuse election officials of cheating. “
Archives (June 2021): Iowa People’s Democratic Election Official Cites “Partisan Bullying” in Abrupt Resignation
The wave of election review demands also include reliable Republican states that Trump won in 2020.
Last week, a panel of majority GOP lawmakers in Utah approved an audit of the state’s electoral system. Unlike Arizona, Utah’s effort will be led by non-partisan legislative auditors and will not focus solely on 2020.
Republican Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson has warned that efforts to challenge the integrity of the state’s electoral system are “destructive” and “of great concern.”
“From everything I’ve seen, the end of the game here is to fundamentally destroy the voting system that we have here in the state of Utah,” Henderson said in an interview.
Archives (December 2020): Trump’s tactic to overturn election could have lasting effects