HARRISBURG – State Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford/Erie) and some of his colleagues in the state House today are calling for the creation of a bipartisan legislative investigatory committee to audit Pennsylvania’s recent election before the vote tallies are certified.
“We want to defend the integrity of this election,” Roae said. “So many questions have been raised, especially about the mail-in ballots. Pennsylvanians deserve to know their election was fair.”
Roae and his colleagues want to give the bipartisan legislative investigatory committee subpoena powers to conduct a comprehensive audit.
Constituents have been calling Roae’s office with concerns about the fairness of this year’s election. Most of the concerns seem to be related to the large number and handling of mail-in ballots.
Roae and his colleagues in the state Legislature earlier this year approved and the governor signed into law a series of election reforms, including one enabling an expansion of mail-in voting.
The rules for handling mail-in ballots – especially those found to have defects –initially were clear. A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision and last-minute guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees elections, led to confusion among local election officials and a lack of uniformity with how mail-in ballots were processed.
Mail-in ballot defects were handled differently depending on the county in which the ballots were cast, which raises concerns about the fair and equal treatment of votes.
After receiving mail-in ballots with defects, some counties reportedly contacted the voters who cast them and sought to have them fix the problem. Voters who cast mail-in ballots with defects in other counties were not afforded the same opportunity.
“Each voter should have the same opportunity to have his or her vote counted,” Roae said. “Treating a Crawford County voter or an Erie County voter differently than an Allegheny County or Philadelphia voter simply isn’t fair. Free and fair elections are the foundation of our representative form of government.”
More information about Roae is available by visiting his website at RepRoae.com
and following him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepRoae
Representative Brad Roae
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing