The LNP | LancasterOnline editorial page made some accusations about sowing doubt in this election but did so by ignoring several key events and reasons anyone is questioning this election process (“Unfounded claims,” Nov. 12 editorial).
The editorial stated that I believe there is a cloud hanging over the legitimacy of Pennsylvania’s election.
However, I quote this very newspaper, which also reported me indicating that “the intention of this audit is to address issues for future elections, not to make any changes to this election’s results” (“House panel to audit election conduct,” Nov. 11).
As I’ve told reporters every time I am asked (and would have answered if anyone from the LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board even attempted to contact me), the audit our chamber is moving forward with is about the process and administration of the election. Not the results.
This legislative session, the House passed six bills with bipartisan support expanding or changing our election code, plus a constitutional amendment. Most of the legislation was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unconstitutionally intervened in those laws, and the Pennsylvania secretary of state issued conflicting, and in some cases unlawful, guidance to counties on multiple occasions.
Counties had concerns and voters were confused. Maybe not where we voted, but these points are indisputable across the commonwealth.
It is our duty as elected leaders and lawmakers to truly understand the lasting impact of laws we write. This audit is a step in that process. When we required the Department of State to produce a comprehensive report on the primary, I don’t remember this newspaper crying foul at the time. What has changed now?
Let me be clear, if President Donald Trump had won Pennsylvania, we would still be calling for this audit. It is the responsible thing to do when you change laws to the magnitude that we have around elections, and to see what changes need to be made prior to the next election.
We applaud the voters, election officials and volunteers who made this election possible.
Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once said that failure to address election issues, “risks cheating both sides, robbing the winners of the pride that comes from an indisputable honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat.”
We are moving forward with this investigative process to know what worked, what did not, and what may need to be changed. Not to undermine the vote, but to strengthen our belief in American democracy and the process.
Pennsylvania Rep. Bryan Cutler, a Republican from Peach Bottom, is the state House speaker.