HARRISBURG — On Friday, Sen. Cris Dush, R-Brookville, chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, said the Senate Republican Caucus will execute a six-month option to extend the investigation’s vendor.
He gave an overview of what investigative work has been accomplished, and potential next steps.
“The investigation has identified critical systemic problems in our election system. We have discovered violations of Commonwealth Election Law and opened lines of investigative inquiry into several areas of concern. Based on our work, I can confidently state that our elections cannot reach the quality necessary to be reliably certified for future elections without additional legislation.”
The election investigation has proven that despite video surveillance of ballot drop boxes, ballot stuffing does happen in Pennsylvania. This evidence came to light during a hearing held by the Intergovernmental Operations Committee in March. Corroboration of these facts occurred only days later in early April with the publishing of an investigative report by the Lehigh County District Attorney.
Further, a recent incident reported in Luzerne County by Election Director Michael Susek brought to light even more evidence of inherent problems with drop boxes. He reported that after informing someone that it was illegal to turn-in other people’s ballots; they still placed them into a group of ballots he and a colleague were collecting on behalf of the county.
“Proof of ballot-stuffing is only the tip of the iceberg,” Dush said. “The investigation has uncovered significant systemic problems with how the Department of State certifies our voting machines, improprieties by third-party entities, and a dysfunctional voter registration system.”
This work is part of an on-going effort by the Pennsylvania Senate to restore the faith of Pennsylvanians in the election system. In November of 2021, the Senate Republican Caucus formally began investigating how Pennsylvania elections were running by hiring an investigative firm, Envoy Sage. The goal was to investigate the execution of the 2020 general election and 2021 primary elections in Pennsylvania to determine if further legislative action was necessary.
This coming after enacting the largest election law change in the Commonwealth since the 1930s. These two elections were the first of their type after Act 77 was passed.
“Election integrity is one of the top issues for Pennsylvania voters this year,” Dush said. “I appreciate the continued support of my colleagues on the Intergovernmental Operations Committee and especially the leadership of our majority leader, Kim Ward.”