Pennsylvania attorney general sues Republicans to stop election subpoena

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: 2020 U.S. presidential election in Pennsylvania

By Nathan Layne

(Reuters) - Pennsylvania's Democratic attorney general filed a lawsuit against Republican state lawmakers on Thursday in an attempt to stop their subpoena for detailed personal information on voters as part of their partisan review of the 2020 election.

The move comes after Republicans on a state Senate committee overseeing the review issued a subpoena last week to Veronica Degraffenreid, acting head of Pennsylvania's Department of State, seeking information on millions of voters, including drivers license numbers and partial Social Security numbers.

The lawsuit, filed by Attorney General Josh Shapiro in state court, argues that the subpoena targets constitutionally protected information without justification, given the lack of evidence of widespread electoral fraud in the state.

"Giving this data away would compromise the privacy of every Pennsylvania voter — that violates Pennsylvanians’ constitutional rights," Shapiro said in a statement.

The election review in Pennsylvania is part of a broader effort by Republicans in battleground states to cast doubt on the 2020 result, spurred on by former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that he lost due to systemic fraud.

Trump's loss in Pennsylvania to President Joe Biden by nearly 81,000 votes was confirmed by multiple audits and certified months ago. Both chambers of Pennsylvania's legislature have also held hearings on the election, and no evidence has emerged to raise questions over Biden's win.

Shapiro's lawsuit was filed against Pennsylvania state Senators Chris Dush and Jake Corman and the Senate committee leading the review. It follows a lawsuit filed last week by Democratic members of the committee, who are seeking to stop the subpoenas by arguing the review is an attempt to contest the election months after the legal window to do so.

Dush, who heads the committee, has said the review was not aimed at reversing Trump's loss but rather finding any flaws in the state's voting systems to inform future legislative fixes.

Responding to Shapiro's lawsuit, Corman spokesman Jason Thompson said the attorney general was trying to stop the lawmakers from "performing our constitutional duty of providing oversight of the executive branch."

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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