Pennsylvania taxpayers will foot the bill — at least $270,000 — to investigate the 2020 election results in the commonwealth. The “forensic audit” will show that President Joe Biden won, as did all the other audits counties and the state did in the wake of the election.

A similar audit in Arizona — which showed Joe Biden won by more votes than originally counted — cost $6 million.

But this audit, and the others like it across the nation, aren’t about election integrity. They are about reeling in election laws, limiting who can vote and how, and staying on the good side of former President Donald Trump.

“The goal is to determine what flaws exist in our election system and to fix them through legislation,” Committee spokesperson Jason Thompson said of the review.

Pennsylvania already fixed its election system through legislation and in a bipartisan manner, recently. Go look up Act 77 of 2019, the act that overhauled the state’s elections laws a little more than two years ago.

That bill expanded mail-in voting, allowed for more time to register to vote and created a paper trail for auditing purposes. The state allocated $90 million for counties to purchase new voting systems.

“This bill was not written to benefit one party or the other, or any one candidate or single election,” said House Majority Leader Representative Bryan Cutler on Oct. 31, 2019, the day the bill was signed by Gov. Tom Wolf. “It was developed over a multi-year period with input of people from different backgrounds and regions of Pennsylvania. It serves to preserve the integrity of every election and lift the voice of every voter in the commonwealth.”

And Sen. Jake Corman, now running for governor after calling for subpoenas to access voters’ personal information, said this when the bill was signed: “We are thankful for the governor’s willingness to work with us to enact the most historic change in how we cast votes since the election code was enacted in 1937. Compromise has given Pennsylvanians a modernized election code that preserves the integrity of the ballot box and makes it easier for voters to choose the people who represent them.”

Corman and Cutler used nearly identical language in 2019 — the bill was to preserve the integrity of the election. It was a win-win for voters and elected officials. Until it wasn’t. That happened when too many voters didn’t vote for the “right” guy a year ago.

Pennsylvania has real problems to deal with right now. We learned last week the state ranks fourth nationally in the number of overdose deaths. There is crumbling infrastructure, a pandemic that is ramping back up, and issues with job creation.

Yet “election integrity” is what lawmakers in Harrisburg have chosen to spend their time and your money on.

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.

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