voice for democracy

Pennsylvania election audit: How it undermines democracy – The Morning Call

In a recent Your View column (”A meteor strike is more likely than a breach of your election info”), Pennsylvania Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, defended the “forensic audit” of the 2020 election he is championing, and the subpoena of detailed personal information of millions of Pennsylvania voters.
He characterized lawsuits by Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Pennsylvania Senate Democrats alleging that the subpoena would jeopardize the security of the information as “wild accusations.”
In essence, the column was a plea for the voters to trust him.
Earning voters’ trust is hardly automatic. Rather, it is granted based on one’s track record for honesty, and courage in standing up for the truth. How is Sen. Dush doing regarding these factors?
Dush distorts the basis of Shapiro’s lawsuit by giving the impression that the only issue in the suit is information security. Rather, Shapiro’s office broadly asked the court to block the subpoena because it serves no legitimate legislative purpose and stems from Trump’s efforts to undermine trust in the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The Associated Press reports the lawsuit targets certain information requests in the subpoena as “illegal or unconstitutional, and unenforceable.
“For instance, granting the subpoena’s request for voter information — including names, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and partial Social Security numbers — would violate a person’s constitutional privacy protections, particularly because the subpoena isn’t based on proof of wrongdoing.”
It also attempts to block the Republicans’ request for copies of reports from audits and reviews of the state’s voter registration system, since “that information is deemed to be ‘critical infrastructure information’ submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is barred from public disclosure by federal law.”
These are serious issues that go well beyond mere information security.
Dush and other Republican legislators repeatedly defended their audit because of the large number of Trump supporters who refuse to accept the results of the 2020 election. While the existence of the doubters is real, an important issue is whether these doubts have any reasonable basis in fact.
That they do not has been abundantly clear for some time. At least 63 lawsuits were filed by the Trump campaign and others in multiple states. Some of the suits were heard by judges appointed by Trump himself. All but one of the suits were dismissed or dropped due to lack of evidence. Election law scholars characterized the suits as ranging from the merely frivolous to truly outlandish.
Only one ruling was initially in Trump’s favor: the timing within which first-time Pennsylvania voters must provide proper identification if they wanted their ballots to count. This ruling affected an insignificant number of votes and was later overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Extensive vote recounting in Georgia confirmed that state’s results. After prior audits, Arizona’s Republican Senate ran their own audit (or “clown show,” as former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent characterized it) which they placed in the hands of the inexperienced and politically biased Cyber Ninjas firm. The result: a net increase of 360 votes in favor of Biden.
And Sen. Dush wants to repeat the clown show?
Continuing to dispute the results of the election is not without consequences. The doubters will inevitably interpret Dush’s actions as lending credibility to the false election claims. This tears at the very foundations of our democracy and may prepare the ground for more Jan. 6-style insurrections.
Following the events of Jan. 6, conservative Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said this: “No … audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the president will continue to claim that the election was stolen. The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership.
By leading this farce, Sen. Dush perpetuates a lie.
Respecting the results of elections goes to the very core of what is America and its Constitution. In the absence of credible evidence to the contrary, Sen. Dush’s failure to acknowledge the results of an election violates the spirit of the oath he took to defend the constitutions of the United States and Pennsylvania.
Sen. Dush, you have squandered our trust.
Fritz Walker, a South Whitehall Township resident, is involved in several nonpartisan efforts to improve our communities.

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