HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Improving the integrity of Pennsylvania elections? Or continuing the big lie? An obscure Senate committee rolled back the clock and put the 2020 election under the Microscope on Thursday.
The rarely convened intergovernmental operations committee and its new chair Senator Cris Dush (R) addressed the GOP elephant in the room. “Today’s hearing and the investigation we are conducting in this committee are not about President Trump as some reports in the news have implied,” Dush said.
But Democrats aren’t buying it. Calling the hearing an extension of the big lie. “This sham revue is not the pursuit of transparency. The goal is simply to stoke distrust and division not just in political families but across the country,” Senator Anthony Williams (D) said. “This is sad and this is wrong.”
The Republican counter-argument. “I have constituents that are asking questions. They want answers,” Senator Judy Ward (R- Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon) said.
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Fulton County Commission Stuart Ulsh answered questions about changing guidance from the Department of State. “It was overwhelming for a small county and a small staff,” Ulsh said.
After the election, Fulton and Ulsh allowed a third-party company access to its machines to audit the 2020 results. It was free, Ulsh said and added he doesn’t know how much it cost or who paid for it. He also said Senator Judy Ward encouraged it. His county’s machines have been decertified by the Department of State and he said voter trust has been harmed. “I’ve had multiple people say they’ll never vote again because of everything they’ve seen on TV and everything they heard was going on, that was one of the things that led me to do what I done,” Ulsh said.
Interestingly, that audit found no irregularities in the election but Democrats fear that hearings like this send the message that something was not on the up and up. The Department of State didn’t send anyone to testify saying because the general assembly issuing them over this issue they didn’t want to come out and testify.