Responding to Concerns About the 2020 Election
Many community residents have contacted me recently to share numerous concerns about the way that some issues have been handled during this week’s election. I support all of the ongoing efforts to identify and eliminate fraud while ensuring all legally submitted ballots are counted.
Counting the votes is only the first step in the process; it is not the final say. Candidates have the right to challenge those counts and request recounts in the results that are in question. One thing is clear – we intend to fight any and all cases of corruption or voter fraud until all avenues have been exhausted.
My concerns about this election are one reason why I joined Senate leaders in calling for the resignation of Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar. She took an oath to uphold the law, and she violated that oath. Her blatantly partisan actions have undermined the integrity of our election, and every day that she maintains her position is another day that we cannot have faith in the agency responsible for protecting the sanctity of our democratic process.
However, I also understand that simply calling for the resignation of Secretary Boockvar is not enough. We need to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of our elections to prevent the kind of abuses that have been reported to us in recent days.
Senate and House leaders were working in good faith with the Wolf Administration in September on several critical election security measures that would have prevented many of the issues we are seeing today, but these negotiations were halted after the state Supreme Court ruled that ballots could be counted even if they were received after Election Day. After that ruling, Governor Wolf made it clear he would veto any bill to provide enhanced election security.
Without the support of the governor, it is almost entirely up to state and federal courts – including the U.S. Supreme Court – to ensure the integrity of our electoral process for the 2020 election. I understand that numerous legal teams have been assembled to ensure the voices of voters are not drowned out by fraud and abuse. I am hopeful that these actions will hold any bad actors accountable and help address the numerous areas of concern that I am hearing from throughout the state. I will do my best to keep community residents up to date on the progress of these legal proceedings in the days and weeks ahead.
When the General Assembly returns to session in January, we have a responsibility to review all of the concerns that have been raised about this election and take decisive action to ensure we can once again have elections that are free from the shadow of doubt that has been cast over our democratic process. We need a package of reforms to make sure what happened in 2020 NEVER happens again.
I encourage all of the input and suggestions I have received, and I encourage community residents to keep sharing your thoughts and concerns so we can do what is necessary to restore trust in our election system.