Pennsylvania Republicans on Wednesday moved to obtain personal information on every state voter as part of a brewing partisan review of 2020 election results, stamping more than a dozen subpoenas for driver’s license numbers and partial Social Security numbers.
The expanded request for personal information, addressed to the Pennsylvania State Department and approved in a vote by Republicans in the Senate subcommittee, is the first major step in the election investigation. The move adds Pennsylvania to a growing list of states that have Initiated party-led reviews of the 2020 elections, including widely criticized An attempt to undermine the result in the largest county in Arizona.
Senate Democrats questioned whether the committee even had the power to request such information, that is, state law in general Shields from public disclosureHe denounced the investigation as frankly partisan and baseless.
The 17 subpoenas also included a request for communications between state and county election officials. It did not include requests for election machinery or equipment.
Republicans in several states have conducted similar reviews—misleadingly labeled “audits” to suggest a credible, nonpartisan investigation—in the name of protecting “election integrity.” Reviews have often focused on unsubstantiated allegations and debunked conspiracy theories about the presidential contest, fueled in part by the lies peddled by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies.
President Biden wins Pennsylvania Over 80,000 votesThe state Department of State has reconfirmed the findings.
“The entirety of our actions today, and the issuance of subpoenas, is on such an unsupported basis,” said Anthony Williams, a Democratic senator who represents a district near Philadelphia. He added, “It was deeply concerning and actually leads us to darker days in this country, as when hearings like this were held, under McCarthy, where voices were silenced and liberties denied, and intimidated by the power of government.”
State Senator Jake Corman, the House’s top Republican, who approved the review last month, portrayed the investigation as merely an attempt to inform future legislation and criticized Democrats, asking what they “afraid” of.
“All we do is look for facts, look for information, so we can make better public policy,” Mr. Corman said.
The Democrats’ main concern, other than the subpoenas, was to identify the people or companies who might have access to the stockpiles of personal information of the nearly seven million Pennsylvanians who voted in the 2020 election.
State Senator Stephen J. Santarcero, a Democrat from suburban Philadelphia, lobbied Republican Committee Chairman, State Senator Chris Dosh, who is leading the investigation, about his selection process. Mr. Santarcero specifically asked if any of the vendors the Republicans are considering have ties to Sidney Powell, the lawyer who Lots of false conspiracy theories spread about the 2020 elections.
“The answer to that is I don’t really know, because it’s not something closely related to my design,” answered Mr. Dosh.
“So that’s possible, then?” asked Mr. Santarsiero.
It’s entirely possible,” said Mr. Dosh.
The subpoenas are likely to face opposition from the administration of Governor Tom Wolff, a Democrat. Veronica Degravenried, the acting secretary of state, has advised provinces not to comply with previous requests for election information and machinery from the Republican-controlled state Senate.