Monday, April 26, 2021

Republican Philly Elections Commissioner Al Schmidt Responds To Rep. Grove’s Comments Saying Republicans Committed Voter Fraud In 2020 Election

In an April 22 interview with Stephen Caruso of PA Capitol-Star, Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), Majority Chair of the House State Government Committee, which held 10 hearings investigating the 2020 election, said this in response to questions about the 2020 election--

Stephen Caruso: Was there election fraud in 2020?

Rep. Grove: Yes, there was. They have confirmed cases of election fraud.

Stephen Caruso:: Who committed that fraud in Pennsylvania?

Rep. Grove: Right, Republicans. But it’s still election fraud. It doesn’t matter who [commits] it. We don’t want that fraud to occur. And to say there wasn’t any is a lie. 

Now, I will say there’s not like this mass amount of fraud, that’s going to shift hundreds of thousands of votes. But there was election fraud. We have had repeated, repeated election fraud in this Commonwealth for decades.

Stephen Caruso:: This is not the message that, particularly Republican politicians, were giving to their constituents-

Rep. Grove: Some. Not all. 

Stephen Caruso:: Some.

Rep. Grove: You can’t give every single Republican that blanket, saying ‘every Republican out there was saying fraud.’ Never once have I ever said there’s 200,000 more ballots than registered voters in this Commonwealth. I’ve never said there are all these deceased voters out there. I’ve always seeked the truth.

Stephen Caruso:: But members, such as yourself, did not publicly call out these lies. In a single tweet, I believe you did. And these lies were allowed to propagate. And that created the uncertainty in the 2020 election that you are now attempting to solve.

Rep. Grove: I can’t help people believe everything on the Internet. 

There are a lot of bad accusations out there. We did our due diligence to try to address them when members had questions. 

You know, it is what it is. People are going to believe what they believe. The other reason for doing the hearings, you know, we looked at the actual election law, the actual administration [of the] election.

 And you can hear by the stakeholders testimony or public statements, there was a lot of appreciation for how we did it. And we did it different than every other state. We took our time, we did the deep dive. And again, I believe in fact-based oversight. I want the facts, I want a real set of facts that we can all agree on and move forward. And I think that’s what we developed in that hearing.

Al Schmidt Response

On April 23, CNN Correspondent John Berman interviewed Al Schmidt, Republican Philadelphia Elections Commissioner, about his reaction to Rep. Grove's comments.  Here are his comments from that interview--

John Berman: When you hear a Republican lawmaker in your state say out loud, you know, "We've been saying there was fraud, there was fraud, there was fraud. Yes, there was fraud, but we were doing it," I mean what are you supposed to think?

Al Schmidt: Well, it's certainly frustrating from the standpoint of an election administrator in one of the biggest cities in the country, uh, here in Philadelphia, um, to hear people say they're so concerned about, uh, restoring confidence in the elections, but really, uh, the biggest thing that anyone could do to restore confidence in the election and election results is to obviously stop lying about them.

John Berman: Right. So he continues to say that, "We need to be careful. I'm just asking questions about whether the elections are fair," but you point out there's, there's actually something s- ... insidious about continuing to say that.

Al Schmidt: And, and I think you hit on something very important. I watch all the hearings in the House and the Senate, and I've testified, uh, in front of the Senate, and my office and I have testified in front of House committees about elections, uh, since the election as well, and it's really about raising questions. I- ... There are far more questions than there is evidence of any, uh, voter fraud at all on any scale that would've made any difference. Just raising the questions alone seems to be rhetorically, uh, a tool that's used to kind of conjure up these ghosts or phantoms and to then try to come up with solutions for problems that don't exist.

John Berman: I mean e- ... to make this more clear, they keep saying, "We wanna know if the elections are fair. We think the elections are rigged. We think there's evidence of this. We're just asking if there's evidence that there's fraud," and then they have the gall to say, "Well, there are all these questions out there about whether the elections are fair," but they're the ones asking those questions with no evidence.

Al Schmidt: Right, and, and in hearings, and, and I really think they've done a pretty thorough job, they had a lot of hearings with a lot of people testify, and you didn't hear from, at least that I saw, any of the election administrators suggesting there was anything that required, uh, legislation that would, um, you know, crack down on this, um, this alleged voter fraud. Uh, it was really about how do we improve elections and how do we ... how do we make structural changes to lessening opportunity for people to lie about them.


YorkD/MCall: Rep. Seth Grove, A Trump Backer, Acknowledges Election Fraud Was Committed By Republicans 

Stephen Caruso: Q/A With Rep. Grove On Election Hearings, Voter Fraud, Future Of Election Reform In PA

CNN/MSN: Republican Philadelphia Voting Commissioner Responds To Rep. Grove’s Comments

[Posted: April 26, 2021]

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