Republican lawmakers controlling the state legislature in Pennsylvania have voted to create an 'election integrity' committee – which Democrats are warning could be used to subvert the popular vote and send a slate of Donald Trump electors in the case of disputed results.
The move follows repeated complaints by the president about mail-in ballots and an unusual move by the Justice Department to announce an investigation over nine discarded ballots that were uncovered.
The 5-person committee would have a Republican majority. It could subpoena witnesses and documents, can initiate legal filings and can get to work before the November 3 election, which Trump on Tuesday once again said would be filled with fraud.
Pennsylvania House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, speaks Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. He has raised alarms about a new GOP-run 'election integrity' committee
House Democratic Minority Leader Frank Dermody of Allegheny warned in a statement: 'To put it simply this is a dangerous threat to our democracy.'
The resolution passing the committee came on a party-line vote, and state Democrats are already claiming it could be part of a plot to overturn the will of the voters, in a state where Joe Biden is leading in the polls that was key to Donald Trump's 2016 victory.
This is an unprecedented attack on non-partisan election administrators at a time when we should all be doing everything we can to instill confidence in our elections,' said Gov. Tom Wolfe in a statement.
Another lawmaker, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, told the Huffington Post: 'The reality is, bad things are happening in this committee. This is a bad bill that never should have been brought up.”
Dermody, the minority leader, fumed to the publication that the resolution 'came out of nowhere. My guess is they wanted to have a companion operation going along with their plan to try and fix the Electoral College.'
The legislation creating the committee is titled: 'A Resolution establishing the Select Committee on Election Integrity to investigate, review and make recommendations concerning the regulation and conduct of the 2020 general election.'
Pennsylvania State Rep. Garth Everett, a Republican, introduced the resolution and defended the new committee
President Trump has repeatedly attacked mail-in voting
But Democrats are warning it could have a more pernicious role: pushing to have the legislature, by party vote, declare the results invalid and instead send a slate of Republican electors to Washington for the meeting of the Electoral College.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in