A partisan battle is brewing in Pennsylvania over Republican plans to subpoena voting records in a probe of the 2020 presidential election — records that would include driver’s licenses, birth dates and the last four digits of Social Security numbers of the nearly 7 million voters who cast ballots.
Republicans on the state Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee on Wednesday approved subpoenas for all communications from the Pennsylvania Department of State to county officials and materials related to the November 2020 general election and May 2021 primary election.
Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, who has promised a “full forensic investigation” of the 2020 election, said voter information provided to as-yet-undetermined vendors will remain protected.
“Every necessary step will be taken to ensure this information is secure, including making any vendor personnel sign non-disclosure agreements to make sure the data are protected under penalty of law,” Mr. Corman said in a statement.
State Republicans have said the probe has nothing to do with former President Donald Trump’s calls for a probe, although he has publicly pressured Mr. Corman to start an investigation and threatened to unseat him if Mr. Corman doesn’t cooperate.
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said he will stand in the way of any election subpoenas.
He expressed concern that “voters’ private and sensitive information is also being requested.”
“To be clear, there is no way you are getting Pennsylvanians’ private information to give to some mystery company without going through me,” he tweeted.
State Senate Democrats accused the GOP of a “power grab,” and said they would sue the Senate Republican caucus to block the investigation.
Taxpayers will pay for the investigation, said Republican Committee Chairman Cris Dush of Jefferson County. The subpoenas require Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State to turn over the information by Oct. 1.
The certified results of the presidential election showed Joseph R. Biden defeating Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania by 80,555 votes, or 1.2% of the total ballots cast. Mr. Trump and his allies have alleged widespread cheating and illegal expansion of vote-by-mail.