In a call with reporters this week, the president of the firm selected to conduct a probe of recent elections in Pennsylvania promised a nonpartisan effort to determine what facets of election security in the Keystone State need improvement.
“We have no preconceived notions of what we will or will not find,” said Steven Lahr, president of Dubuque, IA-based Envoy Sage. “The facts, as they are gathered, both digital and physical, will drive our investigative services. We will handle all concerns, data or information presented by the citizens of the Commonwealth through the [investigation] website, or to us by the committee, with fidelity, due diligence and the utmost discretion.”
Pennsylvania Senate Democrats filed a legal challenge in Commonwealth Court against what they call an “overreaching” subpoena of election records containing personal information for nearly 7 million voters.
The lawsuit filed late Friday alleges Republican members of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee – including Chairman Cris Dush, R-Wellsboro and President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte – broke the law when they issued a subpoena against the Department of State seeking the name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and partial social security number of each and every resident that voted by mail or in person during the last two elections.
In a joint statement, the Democratic members of the committee – including Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Pittsburgh; Minority Chairman Tony Williams, D-Philadelphia; Sen. Vince Hughes, D-Philadelphia; and Sen. Steve Santarsiero, D-Lower Makefield – said the consequences of the subpoena “are dire” and leave the personal information of residents in the hands of an “undisclosed third party vendor with no prescribed limits or protection.”
At Wednesday’s meeting concerning the Pennsylvania’s Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee’s election investigation, which saw Republicans winning a vote to subpoena voter records, Democrats fumed.
One angrily compared GOP colleagues to Joe McCarthy, the notoriously zealous anti-communist U.S. senator from Wisconsin who served from 1947 to 1957.
As Pennsylvania Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee Majority Chair Cris Dush (R-Wellsboro) investigates recent elections, Democratic lawmakers against tightening election security must contend with a withering 2019 audit of Pennsylvania’s voter registry.
At his investigation’s initial hearing last Thursday, Dush announced his intention to hold the Department of State (DOS) accountable for the mismanagement identified in the audit by calling the department to testify at the committee’s next hearing to be scheduled soon.
The Pennsylvania Senate committee tasked with investigating instances of election malfeasance asked residents this week to submit their testimony for its review.
Intergovernmental Operations Committee Chairman Cris Dush, R-Wellsboro, said residents should only submit their stories if they are willing to sign an affidavit and potentially testify under oath, under penalty of perjury, before the panel during forthcoming hearings.
An internal fight among legislators over a forensic election audit is spilling into public after Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Gettysburg, accused leaders in his own party of stonewalling his investigation.
The senator made the comments during a Thursday interview with One America News Network that he later doubled down on in a lengthy statement posted to his social media pages the following day.