There is a lot of disinformation floating around about Pennsylvania, audits, and the fight for election integrity in the Keystone State. Almost every day I read an article suggesting that Pennsylvania is about to follow Arizona down the road of really digging into what happened in the November 2020 elections. That is not anywhere close to true. Here is the ground truth from the Keystone State.
- Pennsylvania moved to no excuse mail-in voting in 2020 pursuant to a vote of the legislature. That legislature was then and is now controlled by the Republican Party. Subsequent interpretations of the new law by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Secretary of State made the new law, Act 77, worse in the sense of providing even more opportunities for electoral fraud, but the move to mail-in voting was made by Republican lawmakers.
- The Pennsylvania GOP agreed to move to mail-in voting as part of a deal brokered with the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania. In exchange for GOP support for mail-in voting, the Democrats agreed to support ending straight-party voting, which until then had been possible in Pennsylvania elections. The Pennsylvania GOP wanted to end this practice because party leadership had concluded President Trump would be a drag on down-ballot GOP candidates. The powers that be in Harrisburg wanted to cut away the sitting President of the United States.
- There is currently no serious effort underway in Harrisburg to repeal Act 77 and return the Commonwealth to in-person voting.
- There is also no serious effort underway to conduct any meaningful audit of the November election. If and when any audit is initiated, it will be a partial audit of the results in some counties and will be informational only. That is, it will be specifically limited to retrospective analysis and will be declared in advance to have no impact on the ‘certified’ results. No one is going to dig into what happened and even contemplate overturning the November 2020 outcome.
- House Bill 1300 has already been introduced in the legislature. This bill represents the absolute maximum amount of “reform” that the state GOP is prepared to make. It does not return the state to in-person voting. It retains mail-in voting. It also retains drop boxes for ballots. It also allows mail-in voting without providing ID of any kind. It makes a handful of tweaks to the existing system but addresses literally none of the key concerns that have been expressed to the legislature since November.
- House Bill 1300 will likely pass the House of Representatives in the very near future with very minor revisions. Its prospects for passage in the state Senate are equally good. This bill could be law before the end of the month. Following passage of this bill, the legislature will go into recess and go home.
- The leadership of the Pennsylvania GOP is well aware that the base of the party remains furious about the results of the November election. They understand completely that the base wants a full audit of the vote. They understand fully that the base wants an immediate return to in-person voting, on paper ballots with ID. They do not care. They have made the calculus that they can ignore the base, feed them weak lines about how House Bill 1300 is the best that anyone can hope for, and move on. They have heard the talk about primary challenges and have decided to dismiss it as the idle talk of a small group of ‘radicals’ who are no real threat.
This is the state of play in Pennsylvania. We are not on the brink of some historic moment in which Republican leaders will stand up, fight for the truth, and push back on election fraud and corruption. We are about to see old school, business as usual politics in all its glory. The populace may want answers, courage, and backbone. It will get none of those.
The stage is now set for the fight, which will decide the fate of the GOP in Pennsylvania and perhaps around the nation. The career politicians in Harrisburg who desperately want to roll back the odometer to pre-2016 politics are flexing their muscles and preparing to steamroll all opposition. The ball will then be in the people’s court.
The battle lines are drawn. It will now be up to patriots all across the state (and nation) to demonstrate the power they have, to mobilize, and to show the boys and girls in Harrisburg (and other state capitals) that what plays well in the back rooms of the state capital does not play well with the people who cast the votes. It will be time to send a whole bunch of people in the legislature looking for new careers.
It will be time for a reckoning.
Editor’s note: PA House Bill 1300 passed the afternoon of June 23rd and is headed for approval in the PA Senate.