News & Brews May 28, 2021

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Counting illegal votes? Not so fast…

In a sharply worded letter, House Republican leaders threatened to impeach Philadelphia commissioners if they continued with their announced plan to count undated ballots in defiance of a state Supreme Court ruling. Of the two commissioners who voted in favor of counting illegal ballots, leaders demanded, “you immediately rescind your endorsement of this unlawful action.” Read more in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Legislation introduced to create Bureau of Election Audits

Voter confidence in secure and accurate elections is the stated goal of House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s recently introduced legislation to create a state Bureau of Election Audits. The Center Square explains: “The [proposed] audits would examine processes and results, including equipment, absentee and mail-in ballots, performance audits of election systems at least every five years, and any other audit deemed necessary by the bureau to ensure public trust in election outcomes.” House Republicans also unveiled a package of bills this week aimed to reform state lobbying laws. Read more in the Center Square.

PA Dept. of Health keeps more data hidden

How much personal protective equipment (PPE) did the state purchase and distribute during the pandemic? The Department of Health refuses to tell. In yet another blow for supposed transparency from the Wolf administration, Right to Know requests from Broad + Liberty were denied (and are now being appealed). “In the case of PPE, there was clearly a breakdown in getting equipment to medical personnel and first responders who desperately needed it,” said Susan Schwartz, president of the Pennsylvania Freedom of Information Coalition. “Understanding what went wrong is vital to preventing similar problems if there is another pandemic. I can’t imagine how keeping documents that would show how it was obtained and distributed secret would protect anyone besides those who should be held responsible.”


Pa. to end mask order June 28 or when 70% of adults are fully vaccinated, whichever comes first,” (via PennLive)Honestly, at this point is it even worth pointing out the pattern of data-free dates and goals, in this case that could explain why June 28 (but not the 27th or the 26th) is a magical mask-less date that supersedes a vaccination rate objective? No? Okay, moving on.

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