Senator Santarsiero Defends Integrity of Pennsylvania Elections, Calls for Unity

HARRISBURG – November 13, 2020 – State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) called on all elected officials – Democrats and Republicans alike – to reject publicly the claim that there was fraud in the process leading up to the November 3rd election and in the counting of ballots since then.  During remarks on the floor of the state Senate on Thursday, Sen. Santarsiero touted the accuracy of the vote count in Pennsylvania, while cautioning the public to be wary of baseless accusations that seek to undermine the foundations of our democracy.

“There was nothing illegal about the votes that have elected Joe Biden to be the 46thPresident of the United States,” said Sen. Santarsiero.  “There was nothing fraudulent or improper about the process here in Pennsylvania that delivered our 20 electoral votes to Joe Biden to make him the next President of the United States.”

Sen. Santarsiero disputed claims of voter fraud put forth by the Republican party, while drawing parallels from Ann Applebaum’s book Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism.  He explained the phenomenon of “the big lie”, an untruth that a political movement or party propagates to slowly amass power and undermine democratic institutions to establish an authoritarian state.  Citing a lack of evidence and harmful rhetoric that undermines the people’s faith in our electoral system, which is at the core of our democracy, Sen. Santarsiero condemned false claims of voter fraud.

“Not one shred of evidence has been put forth,” said Sen.  Santarsiero.   “Instead, vague arguments about voter fraud have been made…”  He said that by doing so, the Republican party here in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States is “propagating “the big lie.’”

Sen. Santarsiero called on all elected officials to support the outcome of the election, whether they are disappointed in it or not.  He called on them to respect the will of the people and, thereby, to protect the foundations of our democracy.  In doing so, he noted that in 2000, Democrats were disappointed in the United States Supreme Court’s decision to stop the recount in the State of Florida, effectively handing that election to George W. Bush.  Nonetheless, he noted, former Vice President Al Gore respected the decision of the Court and all Americans accepted President Bush’s election. 

Returning to this year’s election of Joe Biden as the next president he said, “Some may not be happy about that outcome.  In no election is everyone pleased, at least not in a democracy.  But at the end of the day, if we intend to pass to the next generation the strong democracy and republic which was passed to us by previous generations, it is time for us to stand up and be counted.  It is time for us to make it clear that we stand for the rule of law; we stand for protecting the right of the majority of people when they speak, to have their voices not only heard but ultimately to have that result become effective.”

Sen. Santarsiero continued, “The people have spoken and now it is time for us to come together as Americans.  It is time for us to stand for democracy.  I believe the people of Pennsylvania, and the people of the United States, will expect no less and accept no less.”

In June 2020, following the primary election, Sen. Santarsiero proposed legislation that would allow for a 21 day pre-canvass of mail-in ballots, which would have resulted in a more timely counting of ballots on Election Day.

Sen. Santarsiero’ s full remarks can be found here.