Op-Ed: Election Concerns Must Lead to Meaningful Action

Since the 2020 election, numerous concerns have been raised about irregularities regarding the voting process. Allegations that our election was tainted by fraud and corruption are extremely serious, and the future of our republic hinges on our ability to shine a light in every dark corner to get to the bottom of these concerns. No matter where the facts lead us, the truth must prevail.

As lawmakers and others have worked to understand what went wrong, one question has been raised time and time again by community residents: what is being done to affect the outcome of the 2020 election?

The process to challenge the results of the election is laid out in the Constitution. Candidates have the right to present evidence of fraud in a court of law and have those concerns addressed through the legal system. That process is playing out now, and I wholeheartedly support the right of President Trump and other candidates to challenge the results and expose any instance of fraud that could have tainted our election.

In the weeks since the election, I have closely consulted with our Senate legal team to understand what role we can play in this process and the options the General Assembly has at our disposal. The answer is clear, but it is not the answer that many wanted to hear – lawmakers do not have the legal or Constitutional authority to retroactively affect the outcome of the 2020 election or to select our own slate of electors, even in the instance of fraud.

Some opportunistic pundits and others have perpetuated the myth that lawmakers can somehow pass a simple resolution that will overturn the current results. The truth is, we can do no such thing. The Constitution is abundantly clear – the General Assembly cannot change the method of selecting electors for an election or take any other action to change the rules governing an election after that election has been held.

It is not a matter of will or backbone. It is a matter of following the law and the Constitution. The power of the General Assembly to influence the outcome of the 2020 election simply does not exist in current law. We are not judges, nor are we law enforcement officers. That power to change the results is relegated to the courts, and the courts alone. Any suggestion to the contrary is blatantly misleading and irresponsible.

However, that does not mean we have to sit back and accept a broken election process. Our role is to investigate what went wrong, to study possible remedies, and ultimately to ensure we can have a process that is fair, secure and free from any specter of fraud. We cannot change the 2020 election, but we have a solemn obligation to right the wrongs that were inflicted on the election process and ensure what happened in November never happens again.

Many of you are angry. I am angry too. I am angry that our elections were subverted by a hopelessly partisan Secretary of State. I am angry that she ignored the clear language of the law and the guidance of the courts in order to create a political advantage for Democrats. I am angry that she did so at a time that prevented us from challenging her actions in court. I am angry that her gross mismanagement of this election cast doubt on the validity of the results. I am angry that she still has a job and continues to collect a paycheck from taxpayers after botching this election so terribly.

I am angry that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was equally partisan in unraveling the key election security measures put in place by lawmakers to prevent fraud. I am angry that Attorney General Shapiro, our state’s top law enforcement officer, has been asleep at the switch – or worse, has been purposefully turning a blind eye to the concerns of citizens in order to curry favor with the Democrat elite to support his own political future.

I am angry, and I plan to fight like hell to implement reforms that will restore integrity and trust to the election process. The 2020 elections taught us that our election laws need to be stronger. We need a law that is bulletproof, strong enough to withstand any effort by any bad actors – and the other branches of government – to infringe on the rights of Pennsylvanians for political gain.

You have my word that we will take action in the new legislative session to fulfill the promise of free, fair elections. If we do less, then we do not deserve to be in Harrisburg representing the people. 

CONTACT:  Katrina Hanna (717) 787-1463

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