– The results of the 2020 Pennsylvania general election should not be certified until the state Legislature is able to complete a fair and comprehensive audit to ensure the integrity of the outcome. That is the stance local state Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks/Lancaster) took this week in the state Capitol, and a group of state representatives shares his perspective.
“We want to conduct an audit so Pennsylvanians and Americans can have confidence in the integrity of our election,” Cox said. “We need to make sure the government gets this right.”
Cox and his colleagues are calling for the establishment of a bipartisan investigatory committee with subpoena power to audit the election.
Cox said constituents have been contacting his office with concerns about the legitimacy of this year’s election. Specific concerns have been raised about the number and handling of mail-in ballots.
Cox 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.
Cox said there were rules in place for handling defective mail-in ballots that lacked a voter’s signature or some other essential component. A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision and last-minute guidance provided by the Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees elections, led to confusion and a lack of uniformity among local election officials. Cox and his colleagues have heard that ballot defects were handled differently by local authorities, which raises concerns about the fair and equal treatment of votes.
Some counties reportedly contacted voters who had voted by mail, alerted them to a defect in their ballot and sought to have the voters fix the defect. The same process was not available to voters in other counties.
“It boils down to a question of whether or not each vote is receiving equal treatment,” Cox said.
In those instances where counties contacted voters about their defective mail-in ballots, poll watchers should have been able to view and verify the process. They reportedly were denied that opportunity, which Cox says casts a shadow of doubt over the handling of those ballots.
“The rules we all agreed on – before a single vote was cast – must be followed to ensure the integrity of our election,” Cox said. “I believe fairness, accuracy and integrity are essential to our election process.”
Representative Jim Cox
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Daniel Massing