Two top House Democrats have asked the Justice Department to investigate Pennsylvania Republicans’ attempt to review voter records from the 2020 presidential election, calling it an effort to intimidate minority voters.
House Administration Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren of California and Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, vice chair of the committee, told Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke in a letter that Pennsylvania Republican legislators are engaged in “highly inappropriate” action by issuing subpoenas for private voter information of nearly 7 million registered voters.
“We are concerned about the potential of this type of investigation to be directed at minority voters and to have an intimidating affect in which such voters are deterred from voting in the future,” the lawmakers told Ms. Clarke. “Investigating baseless allegations of fraud and election rigging is a highly inappropriate usage of voter records.”
Republicans on a state Senate committee last week authorized the subpoenas to gather voter data from the Pennsylvania department of state. They say a “forensic investigation” of the election, pushed by former President Donald Trump, is needed to restore public confidence in the election system.
Democratic leaders in Harrisburg on Friday sued to block the subpoenas, saying the Republicans’ move violates state law and risks exposing the private information of voters through a third-party vendor that would conduct the audit. The lawsuit called the GOP’s effort “untimely.”
President Biden defeated Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes, or 1.2% of the total ballots cast.
Ms. Scanlon called the state Republicans’ investigation a “fishing expedition.”