The court will not force Pennsylvania to release election records
A Pennsylvania appeals court said Thursday it will not order Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration to produce voter and election system records sought by Republican lawmakers in an order inspired by former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
The Commonwealth Court decision came a year and a half after a Republican-controlled state Senate committee voted to issue a subpoena seeking detailed state election records.
Those records include information that Democratic lawmakers and the state attorney general’s office said are protected by privacy laws, including driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers on 9 million registered voters, as well as details about election systems.
The court said that the Senate committee voted to issue the summons under its own internal rules and can enforce it under state contempt laws. But that process, it said, does not involve seeking a court order to enforce it.
“The Senate committee has chosen to seek the election-related material by legislative subpoena, and it is bound by that choice,” Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt wrote in the 21-page decision.
Republicans have since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal bills and an election contractor who has yet to produce any kind of report on the results.
Senate Republican officials had no immediate comment Thursday on whether the committee would continue to follow up on the records.