By: Christopher Chau
Following the contentious 2020 election, controversy surrounded the validity of Pennsylvania’s election process as voters requested and submitted record numbers of mail-in ballots. While no-excuse mail-in voting was legalized under Act 77 in 2019, Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate quickly turned against the practice and claimed that it was vulnerable to voter fraud. On September 3, 2021, the Republican majority announced a “full forensic investigation,” in what seems to be an audit of the election results, voting to subpoena the PA Department of State for voter records along with nonpublic personal identification information, such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers. According to Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman: “This is about looking at our system inside because hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Pennsylvanians, have questions.” While Corman asserted that voters’ information will be kept private, many remained concerned about the invasiveness of the audit. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats and PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro criticized the measure, citing that there was no evidence of voter fraud and that the investigation was a waste of taxpayer money and an invasion of voters’ privacy.