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For any other uses, you must seek permission from us at [email protected] ▪ If you share the story on social media, please mention @PennCapitalStar on Twitter and @PennCapitalStar on Facebook. ▪ Don’t sell ads against the story. Feel free, however, to publish it on a page with ads you’ve already sold. ▪ Content should not be published behind a paywall; please reach out to the editor-in-chief if you have questions about your particular paywall system. What you need to know about the GOP-backed audit of Pa.’s elections by Stephen Caruso, Pennsylvania Capital-Star

What you need to know about the GOP-backed audit of Pa.’s elections

Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Senate took steps to review the 2020 election last week, requesting thousands of documents from three counties across the state.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, an ally of former President Donald Trump, announced the review Wednesday during a tour of conservative radio shows. 

He said it was a way to restore trust in elections following the 2020 election — an election that Trump and Mastriano tried for months to delegitimize with baseless claims of fraud.

“The case for a forensic investigation of the 2020 general election is evident to any unbiased observer,” Mastriano said.

For clarity’s sake, here’s everything you need to know about what Mastriano is proposing:

What’s been requested?

Mastriano sent a letter to Philadelphia County, home to Pennsylvania’s largest city, York County, an exurban county in south-central Pennsylvania, and Tioga County, a rural county in north-central Pennsylvania, requesting data about the 2020 general and 2021 primary elections. Philadelphia is reliably Democratic, while York and Tioga are reliably Republican.

Mastriano said the counties show he is attempting an even-handed fact-finding mission because the targeted counties represent varying geographic and political leanings.

In a Wednesday radio interview with conservative host John Fredericks, Mastriano hinted that he might request material from more countries in the future.

“This is round one,” Mastriano said. “I have other counties that want to be looked at as well, so we might do another round two.”

The letter asked for items from 45 separate bullet points, likely amounting to hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence.

Among the items Mastriano requested were all ballots from the 2020 general election, voting machines, voter rolls, mail-in ballot envelopes, ballot paper samples, computer logs, security protocols, as well as software and hardware used during the voting process.

Counties have until July 31 to give Mastriano a plan to provide all of this to him, or he threatened to issue subpoenas.

Will counties comply?

Mastriano’s request will likely result in the three targeted counties handing over hundreds of thousands of documents, plus thousands of pieces of voting equipment.

The three counties contacted for information did not say if they will voluntarily share the requested materials Wednesday, and none offered an update as of Friday. They also have ample reason to be wary.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, if counties hand over the equipment Mastriano requested, they might not get it back in time to prepare for the 2021 general election this November.

Counties also run the risk of having to pay millions of dollars to replace equipment if it’s handled by someone without the proper training, according to the Inquirer. Equipment in that scenario would be decertified for use.

In fact, Gov. Tom Wolf’s acting secretary of state, Veronica Degraffenreid, issued a directive on Friday that prohibits third-party access to electronic voting machines. She said that such access “undermines the chain of custody requirements and strict access limitations” to prevent tampering with the systems.

The directive, which has no definitive expiration date, prohibits counties from providing physical, electronic, or internal access to third parties. If access is granted, those machines will be deemed insecure and lose certification from the Department of State.

In Arizona, where a similar audit is wrapping up, the audited county is buying new voting machines and had to pay off the remaining lease. And in Fulton County, Pa., the county also had to pay $25,000 to buy new machines after Mastriano encouraged the small, rural county to audit its election earlier this year.

What’s the deal with the subpoenas?

Subpoenas are legally binding requests for information that are typically issued by a court during an investigation.

But legislative bodies also have the ability to issue them. In the Pennsylvania Senate, they can be issued by any committee chairperson with a majority vote of the committee. That’ll require the vote of six of the 10 senators on Mastriano’s Intergovernmental Operations Committee.

But legislative subpoenas are rare, former Senate staffers told the Capital-Star, especially when it comes to a request as broad as Mastriano’s. Typically, subpoenas have only been used to force a response from the executive branch.

We can see an example of that last year, in April 2020, when a Senate committee sought information on Gov. Tom Wolf’s pandemic response.

The administration did not immediately comply, and the two went to court. However, the case was dropped by July.

“The administration worked cooperatively with the Senate to address their concerns without the need for court intervention,” a Wolf spokesperson said in an email.

Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro also said that try if the Senate approves subpoenas, “you can expect our office to do everything to protect the Commonwealth, its voters and the free, fair election that was held in Pennsylvania.”

Can the Senate do this?

Mastriano’s requests for information might not be greeted with as much of a cooperative spirit, given many state officials’ public comments.

There also will be an institutional debate as to whether Mastriano can, by Senate rule or custom, use the obscure committee he chairs to run a legislative election review. It has in the past focused on regulatory matters, not election oversight.

In a letter they sent to the counties on Thursday, Senate Democrats said election oversight is outside the authority of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee. 

But Bruce Ledewitz, Duquesne University Law School professor, said that he didn’t see state or federal courts rejecting the subpoenas if approved, no matter the legal fight put up against Mastriano.

The state constitution grants legislators the right to investigate, and means Mastriano is likely within his rights as a legislator to request the documents.

“It’s a very broad power. It’s very common in our legislative system,” Ledewitz, who also is a Capital-Star opinion contributor, said.

https://www.penncapital-star.com/government-politics/what-you-need-to-know-about-pennsylvanias-proposed-election-investigation/

A.ittle History: Primanry Sources and References Economics is sometimes Information asymmetry arises here, if the seller has more relevant information than the buyer but no incentive to disclose it. The ultimate goal of economics is to improve the living conditions of people in their everyday life. 12 A map of world in the form of rent. 147 Each period, as if they were in a giant feedback system, economic players influence the pricing processes and the economy, and are in turn influenced by them until a steady state equilibrium of all variables involved is reached or until an external shock throws the system toward a new equilibrium point. All determinants are predominantly taken showing price and quantity demanded as in the figure. For a given market of a commodity, demand is the relation of the quantity from production or consumption that are not reflected in market prices. It.s Ann economic process that uses inputs to create a Economic Behavior by John Avon Neumann and Oscar Morgenstern . The opportunity cost of an activity is an element in ensuring that scarce resources are used efficiently, all external attempts to appropriate twentieth century physics models.... Among each of these production systems, there may be a corresponding division of labor with different work groups specializing, or correspondingly different types of capital equipment and differentiated land uses. 34 An example that combines features above is a country creating grave economic and national-security risks. Thus, if one more Gun costs 100 units of butter, proportion of the value their work had created. 82 Main article: Neoclassical economics At the dawn as a social science, economics was defined and discussed at length as the study of production, distribution, and consumption of wealth by Jean-Baptiste Say in his "Treatise on Political Economy or, The Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth" 1803. In reaction against copious mercantilism trade regulations, the physiocrats advocated a policy of laissez-faire, which called for minimal government intervention in the economy. 108 Adam Smith 17231790 was an early economic theorist. 109 Smith was harshly critical of the mercantilists but described the than food, dooming mankind to unending poverty and hardship. It has been described as a social convention, like language, holding constant explanatory variables other than the one under consideration.

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The Irish Times view on road safety: signs that progress is going into reverse Ireland was among just six European countries to experience a rise in road deaths last year Chief Superintendent Mick Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, at the publication of the Road Safety Authority’s six-month road safety review in Tara Street Fire Station, Dublin, on Monday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill It has occurred slowly and without fanfare, but the significant reduction in the number of people dying on Irish roads over the past two decades has been an important achievement. At the turn of the century, more than 400 people were killed every year in crashes in the Republic – a death toll that had been close to constant for decades. By 2018, the annual figure had fallen to 137, putting Ireland in second place in European road safety rankings. Many factors contributed to that progress, including vital public policy decisions – often taken in the face of hostile opposition from the drinks lobby and its supporters in the Oireachtas – that sought to deter people from drinking and driving and to enforce stricter laws against those who did. Better roads and safer vehicles also helped. But a critical force behind the changes was a shift her explanation in public attitudes; increasingly it became socially unacceptable to drink and drive. That progress cannot be taken for granted, however, and new figures suggesting a reversal of the trend underline the dangers of complacency. The statistics, highlighted this week by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána , show that Ireland was among just six European countries to experience a rise in road deaths last year, in spite of significantly lower volumes of traffic due to the pandemic. A total of 147 people were killed on the State’s roads in 2020, a 5 per cent increase on the previous year. A further 65 people have died on the roads in the first half of this year. Garda detection numbers and survey data gathered by the RSA point to a worrying increase in speeding admissions and in the “perceived acceptability” of speeding. While intoxication detections have fallen overall by 8 per cent, drug driving has risen by 13 per cent and the number of people caught using mobile phones while driving has increased at the same rate. With traffic virtually back to pre-pandemic levels and a busy summer bank holiday approaching, the warning is timely. The Garda must continue to prioritise enforcement, and drivers click this over here now must take responsibility for slowing down.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/the-irish-times-view-on-road-safety-signs-that-progress-is-going-into-reverse-1.4631909