Pennsylvania Republicans digging thru voters ‘shorts’ to pass private voter information to a private company

See also the related stories for Centre County at the bottom

Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre County, shown in a photo from Nov. 12, 2020 in Harrisburg. Mark Pynes |

Story by Danielle Ohl of Spotlight PA

HARRISBURG — The state Senate committee undertaking a controversial review of last year’s presidential election results on Wednesday authorized subpoenas for personal information on every registered voter in Pennsylvania.

The 7-to-4 vote along partisan lines by the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee allows the panel to demand that the Department of State, which oversees elections statewide, turn over the name, address, driver’s license and partial social security number of every voter registered as of last November.

The subpoenas also request all email and other written communications between the Department of State and elections officials in every Pennsylvania county.

That information, Senate officials said, would then be turned over to a yet-to-be-identified private company, which would carry out the review. The committee’s chair, Republican Sen. Cris Dush of Jefferson County, refused to provide any information about which companies he is vetting for the job.

Dush did say Wednesday, under questioning by Democratic senators critical of the investigation, that the company would be paid with taxpayer dollars.

Democratic opposition has stated,

“You are incapable right now today to tell the members of this committee and the public who will have access to that information … and whether that information will be made public,” said Sen. Steve Santarsiero (D., Bucks).

Sen. Anthony Williams (D., Philadelphia) was critical of the lack of information. He said turning over private voter information to an outside company “should be scary to all of us.”

“This should be seen as a betrayal of those who are here to represent you,” said Williams.

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters.

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