– The House approved a resolution requiring the non-partisan Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to conduct a risk-limiting audit of the election, Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) announced.
“This fall, we had the first general election using new voting machines and mail-in ballots in the Commonwealth. Many people were unsure of and uncomfortable with the new process,” Dowling said. “I’ve also heard from others who are sincerely concerned about election fraud. We cannot allow skepticism about the integrity of our election system to go without a response.”
In addition to auditing a statistically significant sample from all 67 counties in the state, an accompanying report must provide basic information for each county and the Commonwealth as a whole, including the number of absentee and mail-in ballots requested, approved and returned by the voters; the number of provisional ballots; and the number of voter registration applications received fewer than 30 and 15 days before the election.
The report must also provide information about problems that occurred, such as ballots being sent to the wrong person or address, ballots that were used by anyone other than the person who applied for them and ballots that were returned unlawfully.
“This legislation is about looking for ways to improve the process just as much as it’s about making sure our election results are accurate. It’s a critical step we need to take so people trust the results and begin easing the divide Pennsylvania is experiencing like so much of the country,” Dowling added.
The LBFC, which will continue to operate after the 2019-20 legislative session ends on Nov. 30, is comprised of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate. Its audit will require data sets and encompass much larger samples than the audit the Department of State conducts after each election. The audit and report must be submitted to the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, as well as the Secretary of the Commonwealth, no later than 60 days after the 2020 General Election.
Representative Matt Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Evans