Harrisburg, Pa. – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted in support of House Resolution 1100, which provides for a comprehensive audit of the 2020 General Election. The audit is an effort to restore faith in the voting system and ensure all legal votes in the state were fairly counted.
The resolution allows the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to contract an outside agency to complete the audit. The LBFC audit would not question the results of the 2020 election, but rather scrutinize the process to guarantee integrity in every election.
“Simply put, this audit seeks to ensure that Pennsylvania’s election system is functioning properly,” said Representative Tina Pickett (Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna). “It will determine, with the highest level of certainty, that reported winners accurately reflect how voters marked their ballots. This review may also result in suggestions for improving future elections and restoring public confidence in their integrity.”
The audit would examine the process of recording and counting ballots to both confirm the accuracy of the results as well as provide suggestions about how the process might be improved in future elections.
The LBFC was chosen in part because it is made up by an equal number of Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate. In addition, the committee will continue to operate while the General Assembly’s 2019-20 session ends at the end of the month, allowing for the audit to proceed uninterrupted.
However, Governor Tom Wolf has said the bill is not as nonpartisan as Republican House leaders have said.
“HR 1100 allows partisan politicians in the legislature to audit their own election, a process that has been and should continue to be performed by non-partisan state and county election workers. The Legislative Budget Finance Committee has no expertise or role in election administration and no statutory authority outside the fiscal realm, and it is inappropriate to pretend it does," said Gov. Wolf.
"An audit by the LBFC would be incomplete, duplicative and unreliable. Instead of the House Republicans interfering in an existing and trustworthy audit process, especially when they were on the ballot, they should allow the non-partisan experts to do their job. That is the best way to ensure the public can have faith in the audit results."
Governor Wolf is advocated for a "reliable audit conducted by election experts" instead of the audit by LBFC as proposed by the House.
While the Pennsylvania Department of State does conduct its own audit of every election, which is based on small sample sizes, the LBFC risk-limiting audit would include much larger samples, according to a House GOP press release.
“Pennsylvania voters saw a much different election when filling out ballots in November,” Cutler added. “Every county used new voting machines after Gov. Wolf decertified every machine in the state over security concerns, or millions of people voted by mail for the first time. A thorough audit tests assumptions, confirms accuracy and restores faith in our process for every Pennsylvanian.”
House Resolution 1100 does not require the governor’s signature to take effect.