HARRISBURG – As a continuation of its oversight over federal and state elections and to ensure that all Pennsylvanians can have confidence in the use of new voting machines and the recently created no-excuse absentee mail-in ballot program, Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) joined a bipartisan majority of the House in support of House Resolution 1100, which provides for a comprehensive risk-limiting audit of the 2020 General Election.
“Elections are the bedrock of American democracy. Every voter, candidate and resident of our Commonwealth deserves to know every vote was counted accurately, treated fairly and the electoral process is secure,” Cutler said. “The legislature, the Governor and the courts made monumental changes to our election laws leading up to this election. An audit to ensure the intended processes operated correctly is not a political statement, but a requirement of open and transparent government.”
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.
The bipartisan 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.
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. It would also be required to provide data sets, much like what was done for an audit report on the 2020 primary election.
“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.