Key Pennsylvania state senator backs Arizona-style election audit · Highlight PA

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HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania state senator, responsible for a key electoral committee, backs a November presidential contest review similar to the Arizona partisan ballot review four days after former President Donald Trump called him out and claimed he was hesitant.

Despite two reviews and assurances from all levels of government that the election was free from widespread fraud, Senator David Argall (R., Schuylkill) told Spotlight PA that he saw no “harm in trying to answer the question again” . Worries people have. “

But such an endeavor, especially when driven by a single political party, is sure to attract criticism and raise critical questions, including the cost of who would pay for it and why it would be more trustworthy than the widely accepted audits already completed .

Argall’s counterpart in the State House declined an additional review, but the Senate can order its own review, and Argall’s committee has the power to summon ballot papers.

“The results are the results,” Argall said during the Spotlight PA Capitol Live event Friday when asked if he recognized the November results as legitimate. “The electoral college has spoken, you know the president was sworn in. I understand that this is the reality.”

District election and state officials, as well as Trump’s own attorney general, have repeatedly said there is no evidence of widespread fraud in Pennsylvania and that the results are accurate and reflect the will of voters across the state.

Still, Pennsylvania was and is the focus of Trump and his most ardent supporters, who falsely claim the 2020 elections were stolen. Many Republican lawmakers, including leadership in the House, signed a letter urging Congress to turn down the state election for President Joe Biden, while prominent senators, including Argall, asked the panel to postpone certification of the electoral college because “inconsistent and questionable activity. “

On Monday, Trump targeted Argall and the President of the Senate of the state Pro Tempore Jake Corman (right, center), requested an examination and asked whether they were “stupid, corrupt or naive”.

“I am sure that if Corman continues on this path of resistance with its lack of transparency, it will be preferred and will lose in large numbers,” the former president said in a statement.

Despite continued efforts by Trump and some US Republicans to question the election results, Argall said, “I don’t know why people are so suspicious of the results.”

“I just know it’s you,” he said.

Argall said he was focused on the process, including rulings by the state Supreme Court and the Wolf Administration, which “completely ignored” the legislature’s intentions when they passed a major election overhaul in 2019, including the universal one Introduced postal voting.

Experts previously informed Spotlight PA and Votebeat that there are State Department guidelines on issues such as “healing” postal ballot papers with issues such as a missing privacy envelope was the result of loopholes in the law. In rulings by the state Supreme Court, including one that allowed postal ballot papers to be received beyond the standard deadline, the pandemic has been identified as a need for exceptional relief.

“Do I have 100 percent confidence … that everything was perfect? No, I really want us to look into this in detail, ”Argall said. “So we’re looking at changing parts of the electoral law, and I also think it wouldn’t hurt to go back, do that check and say, ‘How exactly did that work?'”

These concerns, and how to address them, have been the subject of 10 State House Panel hearings, culminating in one Comprehensive GOP proposal to change voting in Pennsylvania. Argall said he couldn’t be sure what further examination would reveal, if anything.

When asked if he thought the election was fair and safe, he said, “Can’t we take the test and respond so that we can all have a definitive answer?”

“So is that a yes or a no?” answered the interviewer.

“That means let’s do the audit and find out.”

Argall chairs the Senate’s powerful government committee, which is considering redistribution of laws in addition to electoral laws. In an in-depth interview with Spotlight PA, the Senator said there were talks to move forward with an amended version of a bill that would add additional barriers to the ten-year process of drawing new political maps.

The statement, proposed by Senator Lisa Boscola (D., Northampton), would make the process of redistributing laws and conventions more transparent. But Joe Kelly, their chief of staff, told Spotlight PA and Votebeat on Friday that Argall’s proposed change would only focus on the process by which the map of Congress is created.

Kelly said the Senator was disappointed that the bill would not include reforms to the way the State House and Senate maps were drawn up. In contrast to the congress card, only a five-member committee made up of leaders of the General Assembly and an appointed third chairman can approve the legislative cards.

Boscola was not involved in drafting the amendment, Kelly said, and was briefed on Thursday.

Argall declined to provide details on which provisions were included in the change and which could be removed, but said there seemed to be a consensus that the parish, county and school district boundaries should be kept intact. When asked why he has not given priority to laws or similar reallocation reform laws in the past, Argall said he was not interested in postponing actions that will not happen through the House.

This chamber is currently focused on a major overhaul of the elections that includes stricter rules for voter ID, signature verification requirements for postal votes and personal early voting.

Rep. Seth Grove, chairman of the government committee of the House of Representatives, said earlier this month the chamber would “not approve further reviews of previous elections” and instead focus on amending the state’s electoral law.

But Argall said Friday he thinks it would be “not a bad idea to move on to an exam” and hopes to “close” the issue in the next few weeks. He said he wanted the review to be independent, whether through the state audit office or an investigation commissioned by the Senate.

There are also options when it comes to paying for an additional exam, he said.

“One would be to do it with public funds,” he said. “The other would be the Arizona model, where I think they found private donors willing to pay the cost.”

A private option contradicts electoral legislation urging Argall’s GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives, which would prohibit counties from taking private dollars to pay for the voting administration.

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