Pennsylvania elections 'have never been more safe and secure,' official says

Jonathan D. Salant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania's chief elections administrator says the state's elections have never been more safe and secure, even as voting procedures increasingly are questioned, prominent Republicans refuse to say they'll accept the results, and 4 in 10 Pennsylvanians doubt that the 2020 presidential election was conducted fairly.

Secretary of State Al Schmidt said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that the state now uses a paper trail and two audits to guarantee the outcome is correct.

"Elections have changed a lot in Pennsylvania in the last several years, but they've changed for the better," he said. "Elections have never been more safe and secure with a voter-verifiable paper-ballot record of every vote that's cast that is used in not one but two audits after every election to ensure the tabulated results are accurate. So, they've changed a lot."

Schmidt joined secretaries of states from three other battlegrounds — Arizona, Georgia and Michigan — to discuss the 2024 elections at a time when former President Donald Trump and his allies still insist against all evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.

In a recent Muhlenberg College poll, 43% of Pennsylvania voters said they had little or no confidence that Biden received more votes than Trump, while 56% said they were very or somewhat confident.

Schmidt acknowledged that there remain plenty of legitimate questions about updated voting procedures.


"It's all of our responsibility to answer those questions, provided those people are asking questions that they actually want to know the truth about elections," he said. "When you know more about elections, you have more confidence in them."

He isn't alone.

"We said a lot in our darkest moments after the 2020 election, when we were just inundated with lies and misinformation in an effort to overturn a valid and legitimate election, that the truth is on our side and that transparency is our friend," Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said. "So, we welcome people to ask us questions."

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, named Schmidt, a former Republican city commissioner from Philadelphia, to the post in 2023. Schmidt had served as vice chair of the city's Board of Elections and rejected claims by Trump and other Republicans of massive fraud. For refusing to along with those disproven allegations, Schmidt said he and his family received death threats.


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