FILE - PA Stacy Garrity 1-19-2021

Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity speaks Jan. 19, 2021, after she was sworn into office.

(The Center Square) – State Treasurer Stacy Garrity said Monday she’s unsure why legislative Republicans need driver’s license numbers for up to 9 million registered voters as part of their election subpoena.

Garrity, the first Republican elected to the row office in two decades, told the Pennsylvania Press Club that she believes auditors need only names and birthdays to verify voters’ identities.

“I always think you should get the least amount of info that you need,” she said. “I don’t know why you’d need a driver’s license [number]. I think you can accomplish the same thing with names and dates of birth.”

Garrity isn’t the first to express concern about the extent of the records requested earlier this month by Republicans on the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, though most of the alarm bells have so far been sounded by lawmakers and elected officials across the aisle.

Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro joined Senate Democrats last week in suing key Senate Republican legislators to the block the subpoena, first issued Sept. 15 against the Department of State.

Shapiro filed the lawsuit on behalf of acting Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid and the department after the committee subpoenaed her and her agency for the personal information – including names, birthdays, addresses, partial social security numbers and driver's license numbers – of nearly 7 million residents who voted in person and by mail in the last two elections.

Chairman Cris Dush, R-Wellsboro, and Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte, are among the defendants listed in Commonwealth Court documents.

Shapiro, widely considered the leading contender for the Democratic nomination for governor next year, said the lawsuit argues the committee lacks reasonable justification for requesting the information, especially considering it's based on “disproven” concerns about the integrity of elections conducted in November and May.

He also questioned the constitutionality and riskiness of sharing the information with a third party vendor, as Republicans intend to do as part of an Arizona-style forensic audit.

“All we’re doing is seeking facts, seeking information, so that we can make better policy,” Corman said during the committee’s Sept. 15 meeting. “I want to be clear, the Legislature has no authority to overturn an election … the point is we have a public that is concerned about how the last election was conducted.”

The committee also asked for communications, directives and poll worker training sent between the department and the state’s 67 counties in the months and days before each election. The department was given until Oct. 1 to respond.

Staff Reporter

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania's General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.