HARRISBURG, Pa. - Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee issued subpoenas to the Department of State. It wants the names, birthdays, driver's license numbers, last four digits of Social Security numbers and addresses of the nine million Pennsylvanians registered to vote.
Also requested were the methods people used to vote in last year's election and this year's primary.
The information is for what Senate Republicans are calling a forensic investigation that will ensure the integrity of the voter registration system and help develop policies to improve future elections.
"Those documents are part of any audit that the auditor general would conduct or anybody who is looking to identify individuals and their place of residence and their eligibility to vote," said Sen. Chris Dush.
"We will work together in the committee process to hire a vendor to assist us with the investigation," said Sen. Jake Corman.
Corman says anyone with access to the information will sign confidentiality agreements.
"Unfortunately, the Wolf administration struggled with this over the last few years and we've had a significant amount of data breaches, and we don't want this to happen in the Senate, so we will take every step humanly possible to make sure all of this information remains secure," said Corman.
Senate Democrats say not so fast: courts already determined there was no wrongdoing in the state's elections.
"There have been allegations about last year's election," said Sen. Steve Santarsiero. "They've been proven to be without merit."
They insist this is an effort to disenfranchise voters, diminish trust, and undermine the electoral process, while invading privacy and costing taxpayers money.
"This is an attack on our country's greatest freedom. It is an attack on our right to vote," said Sen. Anthony Williams. "For the government to have access to your Social Security numbers should be scary to all of us."
Friday, Senate Democrats plan on filing a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court, as well as an injunction so nothing's released in the meantime.
"We continue to object that this is nothing more than another election recount or an election contest, which is the subject of the courts. The legislature has no business doing another election recount or election contest," said Sen. Jay Costa. "This is all a concerted effort towards '22 and '24."
Still, Corman insists the committee has the authority, and is confident courts will agree.
"The legislative branch not only fosters and passes legislation, but it also provides oversight to the executive branch. That's the checks and balances of state government," said Corman.
Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Wolf calls the effort a "sham" and an "Arizona-style circus" being done for political gain.
"We continue to strongly oppose any effort which would compromise the security and integrity of election materials, infrastructure and the personal information of Pennsylvania voters," said Wolf.