The majority of state Republican lawmakers are election deniers, report says - TAI News
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Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg. (Ethan Edward Coston)

Election deniers make up nearly one-third of the lawmakers in Pennsylvania’s state House and almost half of the Senate, according to a recent report.

States United Action, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan organization advocating for free and fair elections, in March analyzed election deniers holding office in seven state legislatures. They defined election deniers as people who falsely claim former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election or engaged in conspiracy theories surrounding that election or subsequent elections, among other criteria.

The states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Mexico — were at the epicenter of attempts to overturn the 2020 election and have gone on to become “centers of the Election Denier movement, and hotbeds of election lies misinformation,” States United wrote in its “States of Denial” report.

The nonprofit discovered that the Pennsylvania state Legislature has more election deniers than any of the other states it evaluated, with election deniers making up 34% of the General Assembly, which constitutes both the state House and Senate. Election deniers hold 31.5% of the seats in the state House and 44% in the state Senate. Twenty-two of 28 Republicans in the state Senate are election deniers, according to States United. All of the election deniers in both the House and Senate are Republican, a trend that mirrors other state legislatures as well as Congress.

“Election deniers in the state legislature, especially when they serve in leadership or on powerful committees, can push for barriers to voting, seek to hamper election administration, and erode trust in elections and the officials who keep them free, fair and secure,” States United wrote.

“As voters head to the polls this year to select their state legislators, they deserve to be informed about the broad election powers of state legislators,” the group continued. “They also deserve to know which legislators can be trusted to use that power to strengthen the state’s elections, not weaken them.”

States United documented in its online report what each lawmaker has done to earn the election denier label. In Pennsylvania, the group made note of the GOP lawmakers who repeatedly urged Congress to delay certifying the 2020 election results.

Two days after 21 state senators sent a letter asking for such a delay, armed rioters, including people from Pennsylvania, on Jan 6, 2021 attempted to overthrow a democratically elected government in a fatal attack that followed a months-long campaign by Trump to claim victory in an election he lost both nationally and in Pennsylvania.

Since the 2020 election, Republicans in Pennsylvania’s House and Senate have continued to push election disinformation, including by attempting to roll back a mail-in voting law that some GOP lawmakers had previously supported and calling for so-called forensic investigations into the 2020 election. The Trump campaign, as well as other Republican elected officials, repeatedly filed lawsuits in attempts to discredit and overturn the 2020 election, but courts — including judges appointed by Republican presidents — time and again found there was no evidence of wrongdoing in the election.

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The Pennsylvania Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.