People who have been concerned about privacy and individual freedoms regarding masking and COVID vaccines should be very concerned about the latest moves by lawmakers in Harrisburg regarding voting.
As part of a Republican-led push for a statewide forensic investigation of last year’s presidential election — the only one they really care about because no one has ever doubted the legitimacy of the other races on the ballot last November — Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg want to collect personal information on every registered Pennsylvania voter.
Elected officials have said they don’t question the results and there is no evidence of widespread fraud. They are attacking the process and changes in guidance in the days and hours before the election.
On Wednesday, the GOP-controlled Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee issued subpoenas to collect detailed information on those who voted in November, including their driver’s license number and the last four digits of their Social Security number. Additionally, The Associated Press reports, lawmakers want “to know by what method each person voted, whether in-person or by mail, absentee or provisional ballot, as well as information on when each registered voter last cast a ballot.”
The committee also aims to gain “access to communications between state elections officials and elections officials in every county.” Remember, as the election neared last November, the Pennsylvania Department of State offered changing guidance regarding mail-in ballots, including how to handle them and to also allow for additional time for mail-in ballots to arrive due to delays in mail delivery.
According to Spotlight Pa, lawmakers “are seeking copies of any guidance by the Department of State to county election administrators; all training materials used to prepare county-level election workers to count votes; information on the Pennsylvanians who cast ballots during the primary and general elections; and any changes made to voter rolls.”
Some of that information can be relevant, including changing guidance and training materials. Others, including the personal information and potential changes to voter rolls, are not and represent a dangerous overreach.
“We saw an extraordinary number of changes and guidance and clarifications and modifications of that guidance leading up to the election,” said Jason Thompson, a spokesperson for Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman. “Certain aspects of that guidance we felt were partisan.”
Top Republican officials in Harrisburg know there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
There are a dozen other issues — the pandemic, jobs, infrastructure to name a few — that lawmakers could be using their time, energy and state taxpayer dollars on right now. Instead, they are going down a rabbit hole without a legitimate reason to prove something to which everyone knows the answer.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.