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State Republicans call for voting integrity

Republicans have repeatedly challenged the integrity of the most recent election spurred by claims of voting fraud led by President Donald Trump.

Local lawmakers have heard the pleas for an investigative process that would perhaps help prevent any wrongdoing from occurring in future elections.

State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, noted he has received hundreds of calls and thousands of emails from people frustrated over the outcome and security of the 2020 election.

“Senate and House Republicans have publicly announced that we will use our statutory power to investigate and seek answers to many of the claims made about the integrity of the 2020 election and seek to restore voter confidence. However, the recent calls to my office have claimed that the Legislature could, through the passage of a simple Senate resolution, declare the 2020 presidential election in dispute and assign a new slate of electors contrary to the winner of the popular vote in Pennsylvania.”

But Yaw pointed out that passage of Senate Resolution 410 would not impact the election results.

For one, delegates are chosen by the Legislature to follow the popular vote winner. Both the state and U.S. Constitution prohibit changing the laws after an event to “retroactively add a provision not present before the event occurred.”

“It’s been that way since 1937,” he said. “This is a basic principal of our government.”

Yaw noted that state election results have already been certified and signed by the governor.

He noted also that state and federal courts have failed to produce facts to support allegations of fraud and widespread irregularities in the election.

In addition, the state Legislature ended its most recent session Nov. 30, and a special session would have to reconvene to consider the resolution which would require support from the governor, who would be likely to veto any such action anyway.

“Senate Resolution 410 is dead,” Yaw said. “I don’t think it was ever going to go anywhere.”

Many people, he said, simply must realize the election really is over even if the outcome wasn’t what they had hoped.

State Rep. Jeff Wheeland, R-Loyalsock Township, acknowledged that little in the way of fraud or irregularities in the election process occurred.

However, he strongly believes any such allegations always need to be investigated.

“There are questions and before we move on to future elections we need to investigate these allegations fully so we can give surety to future elections,” he said.

Wheeland did note some instances of cheating, including voters in two counties who voted for their parents.

Anyone, he said, who breaks the sanctity of the voting process should be prosecuted.

Without a thorough investigation, people will be very cautious about even casing ballots in future elections, he added.

Newly elected 84th state House Rep. Joe Hamm said he shares the concerns and frustrations of many people across the state.

He stressed the importance of election integrity.

“And I believe all Pennsylvanians and Americans want an election with honest and trustworthy results,” he said. “I have joined many of my colleagues in calling for a forensic audit of the 2020 election that will investigate the irregularities and statistical anomalies of Pennsylvania. I believe that it’s vital that all legal votes are counted and all illegal votes are discarded.”

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