Senate and House Republican Leadership Announce Plans to Restore Confidence in Voting System

(HARRISBURG) – In response to the distrust that grew out of the 2020 general election, Senate and House Republican leaders today announced plans to restore confidence in the state’s election system and begin the process of making meaningful reforms.

In a statement, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, House Speaker Bryan Cutler, Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward and House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said the General Assembly will use its statutory power to investigate and seek answers to the questions presented in the 2020 General Election because it is “crucial to restoring public confidence in elections.”

“There are very legitimate and credible issues which need to be resolved after the 2020 election about the security of mail-in ballots and the process of counting votes,” the leaders said in the statement. “We as leaders of the Senate and House have set into motion a major legislative initiative that will be pursued with the same resolve shown over the last eight months in taking on the Governor’s unilateral pandemic actions.”

The legislature will specifically review three of the most pressing issues the Senate and House found over the last three weeks of investigation:

  1. The security of voting and manner in which votes are counted.
  2. The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s management of the 2020 General Election.
  3. The impact of the Judiciary on the 2020 General Election and subsequent candidate legal challenges. 

“We will stand up and continue to fight through the legislative process and oversight hearings,” the statement said.  “We will make sure there are answers to the questions and concerns that are being brought forward from every corner of our Commonwealth.”

The General Assembly will continue the efforts of Senate and House Republican leaders over the past several months to protect the integrity of Pennsylvania’s elections. Both before and after the election, Senate and House Republicans fought against the Department of State’s illegal and partisan actions that directly contradicted the plain language in the Election Code and the direction of the courts.

In response to the Secretary of State’s blatant refusal to follow the law and meet her responsibility to oversee a free and fair election, Senate and House Republican leaders called for her resignation.

The House State Government Committee recently issued an interim report on the 2020 election that details many of the concerns that have been shared with lawmakers. In the weeks following the election, the Senate State Government Committee also announced that it would thoroughly investigate the issues and irregularities that have been reported.

In a statement released today, Senate and House leaders outlined why it is impossible under the Pennsylvania Constitution for the General Assembly to convene a December session. They also highlighted the reasons why immediate legislative action to change the state’s slate of electors would have ignored state statutes and the Constitutional responsibilities that House and Senate Republicans have fought so hard to protect.

“We cannot take steps to appoint electors for this election given these provisions in the Election Code,” the statement said. “Doing so would violate our Election Code and Constitution, particularly a provision that prohibits us from changing the rules for election contests of the President after the election…Make no mistake, this should not be misconstrued to suggest we will allow the issues presented with the 2020 General Election to evade complete legislative review and action.”

Senate and House leaders reaffirmed their commitment to making the necessary reforms to ensure the election system is repaired and public trust is restored.

CONTACT:          

Jenn Kocher (Corman/Ward) – jkocher@pasen.gov
Mike Straub (Cutler) – mstraub@pahousegop.com
Jason Gottesman (Benninghoff) – jgottesman@pahousegop.com