Pennsylvania State Representative Christopher Rabb (D-Philadelphia) this week proposed a bill to establish an “Election Integrity Board” that would monitor politicians’ rhetoric regarding electoral matters and “combat” what the panel deems “disinformation.”
In a memorandum seeking cosponsors for his legislation, the far-left lawmaker who represents Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy neighborhoods lamented the nomination in the 2022 primary of over 100 individuals he considers “election-denying candidates.” He blasted them for asserting what he insists are “unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud” and opined that “our elections are highly secure.” He suggested that politicians and hopefuls who raise concerns about such issues create unnecessary doubt in the minds of the electorate.
“In a politically diverse state like Pennsylvania, everyone should have full confidence in our electoral system,” Rabb wrote. “We must combat election disinformation to increase trust in our democratic process. That is why I will be introducing legislation that ensures candidates for public office will accept election results and creates a board to monitor and combat election disinformation.”
The representative unveiled his proposal despite the unfavorable public reaction President Joe Biden received earlier this year when he attempted to create a Disinformation Governance Board. In July, the idea was seemingly shelved in response to advisers to the U.S. Homeland Security Department suggesting that the panel’s creation was not needed. Despite the administration’s assertion that the board is not in the works, Republican U.S. Senators such as Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote to the White House this week expressing their displeasure with reports that the federal government is still working to censor critics “through backdoor channels.”
In his memo, Rabb does not explain how a board of the nature that he proposes could square with the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee. And Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution goes even further, declaring that “every citizen may freely speak, write and print on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.”
In his proposal, the representative maintained that a government panel should nonetheless assume some responsibility to curb what its members believe to be “abuse” of that freedom.
“Pennsylvanians deserve elections where legitimate issues are the focus and quality candidates present their positions in good faith,” Rabb stated. “Baseless claims and conspiracy theories have no place in the democratic process.”
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