Gov. Wolf: Bad Faith Republicans’ Actions Undermine Election Integrity and Duties of the Senate

September 13, 2021

Today, Governor Tom Wolf released a statement condemning the ongoing actions of PA Republicans to spread conspiracy theories and misinformation about the 2020 general election and undermine election integrity for future elections in Pennsylvania. These bad faith actions by Senate Republicans are interfering with the Senate’s duty to provide advice and consent on the Governor’s nominee for Secretary of the Commonwealth.

“For the last year we have seen Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate capitulate to Donald Trump’s fantasy that the 2020 election experienced irregularities that changed the outcome in Pennsylvania.

“The 2020 election that elected President Biden, as well as two Republican statewide officeholders, and Republican majorities in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, was freely and fairly run.

“There were no irregularities, no conspiracies and no fraud that occurred.

“The people of Pennsylvania voted and their votes were accurately counted.

“Unfortunately, for a year we’ve seen lies and misinformation coming from Republicans in the legislature escalate. They have threatened county election officials with subpoenas of election systems that would do nothing but destabilize our election system and cost taxpayers millions of dollars – all in service of protecting Donald Trump’s feelings about his election loss.

“Now, they have requested a record number of hearings prior to the confirmation hearing of Veronica Degraffenreid as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth that focus on the same issues that the Trump team has identified as parts of the supposed conspiracy. Just last week, Senator Corman appeared on Steve Bannon’s radio show to accuse Acting Secretary Degraffenreid of hiding something, threatening subpoenas for noncompliance before she had the opportunity to even respond. These smears on a dedicated public servant are desperate and utterly baseless.

“Acting Secretary Degraffenreid is a career professional, having previously served as Director of Election Operations for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, where she managed a team of election technology and election program specialists responsible for providing training, support and administrative oversight to North Carolina’s 100 county boards of elections. In this role she led efforts to modernize North Carolina’s aging statewide voter registration and election management system and developed the state’s first voting systems certification program. Prior to joining the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Degraffenreid was a Special Litigation Legal Assistant with the North Carolina Department of Justice, specializing in redistricting and election-related litigation.

“It is clear that the Senate Republicans have no intention of having a rational conversation about the leadership of the Department of State or our election systems. It is clear that instead of providing advice and consent on my nominee for Secretary of the Commonwealth, they instead plan on using her confirmation as an opportunity to descend further into conspiracy theories and work to please the former President by spreading lies about last year’s election, instead of working together to address real issues facing Pennsylvanians. It is clear that Veronica Degraffenreid will not receive a fair hearing from this Senate on her merits. Therefore, I am recalling her nomination, and she will continue to serve as the Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth, where I have the utmost confidence that she will continue to serve the commonwealth and its citizens with integrity and professionalism.”

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