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Our opinion: Taking a look at the ballots

Statehouse Republicans would be wise to read an op-ed written by Sens. Ryan Aument and Scott Martin for Lancaster Online last week.

Aument and Martin were writing, at the time, regarding a bill that would give legislators the power to choose Electoral College voters in defiance of the state’s popular vote results.

“In this tenuous moment, it is absolutely critical that our elected officials lead with integrity,” the senators said. “The people of Pennsylvania want and deserve results, and our Constitution eloquently lays out a process by which we attain those results. However, we refuse to partake in a campaign that gives false hope to those who believe the election results can be overturned by the Legislature.”

When the statehouse route failed, some 75 statehouse Republicans sent three letters to the federal government on Friday. Aument and Martin did not sign the most stringent of the three letters, which asked Congress to object to Electoral College votes received from Pennsylvania during the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6. That letter is signed by Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren; Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Greenville, and Sen. Scott Hutchinson, R-Oil City.

At least the Republicans aren’t using the same arguments that have been tried and dismissed by President Donald Trump. The Republicans are instead saying Gov. Tom Wolf’s executive orders since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in heightened powers for the governor violated recently passed election reforms, that Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State issued guidance encouraging counties to ignore sections of the state Election Code regarding deficient ballot inspection and curing before Election Day as well as counting defective absentee and mail-in ballots; and finally that ballots have been counted without the presence of poll watchers.

Again, Aument and Martin didn’t sign on to that letter. They did sign on to letters asking for investigations by the Attorney General and Inspector General. That falls in line with reviews Republicans have planned at the state level as well.

“To be clear, Republicans cannot only advocate for the rule of law when it is to our political advantage to do so,” the senators wrote in their editorial for Lancaster Online. “Our fidelity to the Constitution and adherence to the laws of this commonwealth prohibit us from pursuing the course being proposed to assign a new slate of electors contrary to the certified winner of the statewide popular vote.”

For the past four years, Democrats have claimed Russians hacked the 2016 election. Countless investigations have taken place, helping entrench the gridlock we see in Washington, D.C.

Now, the shoe appears to be on the other foot, and Republicans can take one of two paths. They can do as Democrats have done for the past four years, which we have seen is not a productive way to govern, or say enough is enough, put the needs of the people first and put themselves in position to retake the White House in 2024 by governing effectively.

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