Dush said he’s in the process of interviewing contractors and will consult with Senate GOP lawyers to determine which materials will be shared with third parties. He said he’s also considering hiring outside counsel. The costs will be paid by taxpayers, out of the Senate’s budget, Dush said.
The subpoena — to be issued to the Department of State, which oversees elections — seeks lists of all registered voters and nonpublic information such as driver’s license numbers and partial Social Security numbers, as well as publicly available records like dates of birth and addresses.
It also requests information about whether voters cast ballots in person or by mail both last fall and in the May 2021 primary election; all changes to voter records between May 2020 and May 2021; communications between state and county elections officials during that same time period; guidance and directives regarding the administration of elections; and training materials for election workers.
The GOP-led Senate Intergovernmental Affairs and Operations Committee voted along party lines, 7-4, to issue the subpoena. It directs the department to produce the records by Oct. 1.
The vote came at the conclusion of a contentious hearing in which Democrats highlighted some Pennsylvania Republicans’ presence in Washington on Jan. 6, prompting Dush to halt the proceedings multiple times. Republicans brought up the yearslong Justice Department investigation into Trump’s connections with Russia.
Democrats questioned how lawmakers would ensure the contractor properly handles sensitive information.
“We will gather sensitive information, we will review sensitive information, and then we will secure that information,” Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, said. “That is my pledge, that is something that is paramount.”
The vote came as Republican-led legislatures in other swing states Biden won are continuing to question the results 10 months after the election. Officials in Arizona are awaiting the findings of a monthslong partisan review in the state’s largest county led by a contractor called Cyber Ninjas, whose CEO has amplified Trump’s false fraud claims.
Lawmakers in Wisconsin have launched multiple probes, and Georgia Republicans have been pushing for an Arizona-style review.
Dush, the Republican tapped by Corman to lead the Pennsylvania inquiry, traveled to Arizona in June to get a firsthand look at the review there.