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Pennsylvania Republicans find 'alarming discrepancy' twice the margin of Biden's victory

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 12/29/2020 Daniel Chaitin
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Washington Examiner

Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania say an "alarming discrepancy" in the presidential vote count is two times larger than the margin of President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state.

Their analysis, released on Monday by state Rep. Frank Ryan and more than a dozen colleagues, found different vote counts when comparing Election Day data from counties and the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors, or SURE, system used by Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar. They also raised suspicions about there being tens of thousands fewer votes in the presidential race than overall ballots.

Boockvar, a Democrat, cast the analysis as yet another misinformation effort designed to cast doubt on the integrity of the election. Wanda Murren, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told the Washington Examiner that the "so-called analysis was based on incomplete data."

President Trump seized on the GOP assessment, tweeting that the findings were more proof that the election was stolen from him even as federal and state officials say they have not seen evidence of widespread voter fraud and dozens of lawsuits challenging the results in several battleground states have had little to no success.

All this comes more than a month after Boockvar certified election results and Gov. Tom Wolf issued a certificate of ascertainment of presidential electors, stating that Biden received 80,555 more votes than Trump.

According to the GOP analysis, county election results showed 6,962,607 total ballots were reported as being cast, while the SURE system indicated that only 6,760,230 total voters actually voted, which is a difference of 202,377 votes. The Republicans said this 202,377 gap, coupled with 31,547 fewer presidential race votes seen in county data, amounts to "an alarming discrepancy" of 170,830 votes, which is more than twice the reported statewide difference between Biden and Trump.

A small graph that appears at the bottom of their press release states that three small rural counties have not fully posted their results online, and therefore the assessment only goes off what has been reported.

table: Graph courtesy of Pennsylvania state Rep. Frank Ryan. © Provided by Washington Examiner Graph courtesy of Pennsylvania state Rep. Frank Ryan.

“We were already concerned with the actions of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Executive branch, and election officials in certain counties contravening and undermining the Pennsylvania Election Code by eliminating signature verification, postmarks, and due dates while allowing the proliferation of drop boxes with questionable security measures and the unauthorized curing of ballots, as well as the questionable treatment of poll watchers, all of which created wholesale opportunities for irregularities in the 2020 presidential election," the lawmakers said.

“However, we are now seeing discrepancies on the retail level which raise even more troubling questions regarding irregularities in the election returns. These findings call into question the accuracy of the SURE system, consistency in the application of the Pennsylvania Election Code from county to county, and the competency of those charged with oversight of elections in our Commonwealth," the GOP lawmakers added. “These numbers just don’t add up, and the alleged certification of Pennsylvania’s presidential election results was absolutely premature, unconfirmed, and in error."

Murren said the GOP legislators "have given us another perfect example of the dangers of uninformed, lay analysis combined with a basic lack of election administration knowledge." The spokeswoman for Boockvar said it was unclear what data was cited by the Republicans, insisting that the "only way" to determine the number of active voters from the SURE system is through the vote histories, which she stressed were not fully up to date.

"At this time, there are still a few counties that have not completed uploading their vote histories to the SURE system. These counties, which include Philadelphia, Allegheny, Butler, and Cambria, would account for a significant number of voters," Murren said. "The numbers certified by the counties, not the uploading of voter histories into the SURE system, determines the ultimate certification of an election by the secretary."

On the issue of whether there were fewer votes cast in the presidential race than for the election at-large, Murren said it is "quite common to have significant 'undervotes' for down-ballot races in a presidential election, particularly when there isn't a U.S. Senate race on the ballot." She pointed to the 2000 election when Rick Santorum received 200,000 more votes in his Senate race than George W. Bush got in the presidential contest, but the Senate race still had more than 100,000 fewer votes than the presidential race.

"This obvious misinformation put forth by Rep. Ryan and others is the hallmark of so many of the claims made about this year’s presidential election. When exposed to even the simplest examination, courts at every level have found these and similar conspiratorial claims to be wholly without basis," she added.

Trump, who huddled last week with conservative lawmakers who are planning a long-shot bid to object when the House and Senate meet on Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College results, tweeted about the GOP analysis on Monday and Tuesday with a focus on the finding that there may have been roughly 200,000 more votes than there were Pennsylvanians who voted in 2020.

"This is far more votes than is needed by me to win Pennsylvania, not to mention hundreds of thousands of votes in other categories which increase my already big lead into a landslide. All other Swing States show likewise," he said in one string of tweets before criticizing Republican leaders in Congress for not doing more to challenge Biden's victory.

Tags: News, Pennsylvania, 2020 Elections, Donald Trump

Original Author: Daniel Chaitin

Original Location: Pennsylvania Republicans find 'alarming discrepancy' twice the margin of Biden's victory

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