Pennsylvania GOP hires company with no electoral experience to conduct voting ‘survey’

After speaking to reporters on Tuesday, it’s still unclear what Iowa-based consulting firm Envoy Sage and its chairman Steve Lahr could potentially accomplish as a company hired last week by Republicans in Pennsylvania to lead a ” forensic investigation “into the 2020 elections.

Hired last week on a six-month contract of $ 270,000, according to The Associated Press, the cabinet has no discernible experience in election evaluation. The hiring was likely made due to pressure from former President Donald Trump and his supporters hoping to find their first evidence that last year’s presidential election was stolen.

Lahr told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that his company was hired to review last year’s presidential election and state primary elections last May, as well as analyze advice sent to the Senate Republicans ask for citizen evidence of “electoral irregularities.”

He also said the company could hire more than its current six employees or other contractors with electoral expertise if they deemed it necessary.

The company’s website lists their work history of “investigating fraud and embezzlement in the petroleum industry, researching a company merger and exposing fraud in non-governmental organizations,” according to The Philadelphia Investigator.

Critics of Republicans in the state Senate say those who pushed for the “forensic investigation” were motivated only by the irrational potential of Trump’s reinstatement, according to the AP.

State election administrators say an audit like this would be redundant, as counties and state have already completed one after the election and found no evidence of misconduct.

Trump’s own repeated claims have been struck down by dozens of courts, members of his former Justice Department, and several state counts. No prosecutor, judge or election official outside of the Senate Republicans group has expressed concern about fraud in the state.

For more Associated Press reporting, see below.

Anti-Trump voters hold a street party to demand that every ballot be counted, outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center where postal ballots are counted to determine the winner of the 2020 presidential election in the ‘State on November 6, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Republicans recently hired a company with no discernible election investigation experience to conduct a “forensic investigation” into the 2020 election.
Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

Ultimately, the company aims to “provide evidence-based recommendations for future elections and vote integrity legislation,” Lahr said.

Lahr described his experience as having conducted investigations and audits, developed “crucial information and intelligence” from “extensive, complicated and sensitive investigative research and multidisciplinary analysis”, both in the military. and as a subcontractor of the Ministry of Defense.

When asked for details, he said most of them were confidential and filed at the highest levels of the federal government and the Department of Defense, and that he could not discuss these contracts.

Lahr’s former company, Silverback 7, had a long list of federal contracts.

Republican-controlled committees in the House and Senate already held hearings on last year’s election last spring and produced reports, as well as laws that Democrats opposed. A bill was opposed by Governor Tom Wolf.

Gregory Miller, director of operations for the California-based OSET Institute, which focuses on electoral infrastructure and administration research, said there was no concept of an established election “survey” on what Republicans are leading in states like Pennsylvania and Arizona.

But, Miller said, there are election administrators who have expertise in running elections, information technology companies who can analyze computer and network security, and voting system manufacturers who have knowledge. in-depth knowledge of their equipment and components.

Mark Lindeman, a political scientist who has written and consulted on post-election audits, said many people have experience of working closely with various types of electoral records and equipment, such as paper ballots, vote totals and voting records and records.

“Experience matters because novices can misinterpret routine election quirks as anomalies or evidence of fraud,” Lindeman said.

For example, he said, the Republicans largely discredited The electoral “audit” carried out in Arizona’s Maricopa County was riddled with unfounded allegations based on fundamental misunderstandings.

“Inexperienced partisan consultants tend to draw offensive conclusions,” Lindeman said. “They shouldn’t be carrying out serious investigations.”

Lahr said he sees himself as bipartisan and fair and has no preconceived ideas about the task ahead.

However, the man who hired Lahr’s company, Senator Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, signed a letter last year urging Congress to oppose Pennsylvania election votes for Democrat Joe Biden, despite a certified victory of over 80,000 votes.

In a Facebook post on January 1, Dush proclaimed that “there was no election. There was a scam.”

Even though Republican senators avoid repeating Trump’s baseless election claims of fraud, they have perpetuated the idea that Democrats cheated by distorting Pennsylvania election laws and the actions of courts and election officials leading up to the election of Last year.

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