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Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are poised to subpoena state officials for identifying information about registered voters as part of a "full forensic investigation" into the 2020 election, according to new reports.
The state Senate's Intergovernmental Operations Committee will vote Wednesday on whether to issue a subpoena to the Department of State, which oversees elections, as part of an inquiry by the GOP-controlled legislature into how it administrated the 2020 election.
The subpoena seeks nonpublic personal information of every registered Pennsylvania voter, such as the last four digits of Social Security and driver’s license numbers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.
Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman called for subpoenas last week after acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid declined to testify in a hearing.
"The Department of State failed to appear yesterday to provide answers to the lingering questions about their role in creating doubts about the fairness of the 2020 General Election," Corman said in a statement Friday.
Corman blamed Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration of a "dereliction of duty" for "refusing to take accountability for weaponizing an agency that is supposed to be non-partisan."
Senate Republicans in Pennsylvania have been pursuing an investigation into the 2020 election for several months, similar to those underway in Arizona and Wisconsin. All three states are "battleground" states that former President Donald Trump won in 2016 but lost last year.
Corman recently elevated Republican Sen. Cris Dush, who chairs Intergovernmental Operations, to be the leader of the state GOP's effort to investigate the election, replacing state Sen. Doug Mastrianop. Corman accused Mastriano of being "interested in politics and showmanship and not actually getting things done."
Mastriano requested election materials from Tioga, Philadelphia, and York counties in July. The requests prompted pushback from each county, with Republican-heavy Tioga and York counties expressing concern election officials would deem expensive voting machines compromised and decertify them, which happened in Maricopa County, Arizona, and Fulton County, Pennsylvania.
Officials in the Democratic stronghold of Philadelphia also declined to comply. City commissioners told Mastriano they "cannot agree to the undertaking of your proposed review of the county’s election equipment."
"There is no claim that Philadelphia County’s election systems or processes were compromised nor is there any basis to jeopardize the constitutionally mandated secrecy of the votes cast by City of Philadelphia residents, to expose the taxpayers of the city to tens of millions of dollars in additional and unanticipated expenses, or to risk the very ability of Philadelphians to cast ballots in future elections if Philadelphia’s system was decertified," they said.
The dispute over the election led Wolf to recall Degraffenreid's nomination to be secretary, which requires a Senate confirmation. Wolf blamed "bad faith" actions by Republicans concerning the election.
"It is clear that instead of providing advice and consent on my nominee for Secretary of the Commonwealth, they instead plan on using her confirmation as an opportunity to descend further into conspiracy theories and work to please the former president [Donald Trump] by spreading lies about last year's election, instead of working together to address real issues facing Pennsylvanians," Wolf said Monday.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman