Dush: Commonwealth Court Filing Reaffirms Legislature’s Authority to Conduct Election Investigation

Posted on Oct 22, 2021

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HARRISBURG – Fighting back against the false narratives and cheap scare tactics of Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Senate Democrats, Senator Cris Dush (R-Jefferson) and Senate Republicans responded in court today with a filing that reaffirms the General Assembly’s role to provide oversight and transparency of Pennsylvania’s elections.

One of the lynchpins of the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General and Senate Democrats is their spurious claim that the investigation jeopardizes the personal information of voters.

However, today’s legal filing notes that the Department of State provided the same information to the League of Women Voters in 2012 as part of the group’s lawsuit to overturn the state’s voter ID law.

“If they gave that information to a private third-party group then, how can they possibly argue against transferring that data to another co-equal branch of government now?” Dush said.

Dush and other defendants in the case also point out election data has been shared voluntarily with other parties, including private vendors maintaining the SURE system, the Electronic Registration Information Center, the Auditor General and every county in the Commonwealth.

In 2019, the Auditor General – a Democrat – was able to identify thousands of instances where single voters had multiple entries in the SURE system, which he concluded “could potentially allow a voter to vote more than once in an election.”

The filing highlights other flaws in the Democrats’ case, including the fact that having access to voter information is not a violation of the Constitution. The subpoena would only transfer information from one government entity to another, rendering the Constitutional concerns invalid.

In addition, the filing outlines the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee’s statutory authority to review the information requested in the subpoena. It also raises the point that Rules of Parliamentary Practice state the General Assembly has the power to govern its own deliberations.

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Legal Filings

CONTACT: Jason Thompson