During the 2012 elections, numerous incidents of voter intimidation, illegal assistance, and electioneering within the polling place were reported, primarily in Philadelphia. Due to these reports, Chairman Metcalfe, two Committee members, and staff visited Philadelphia earlier this year to speak with local groups about what legislative actions are needed to prevent similar Election Code violations from occurring in the future. Throughout this legislative session, members of House of Representatives have introduced legislation to protect the integrity of elections. The House State Government Committee recently convened a public hearing to discuss legislation that focuses on solutions to improve the administration, oversight and integrity of the Pennsylvania’s election process.
There have been an alarming number of news reports recently regarding the National Security Agency’s (NSA) data collection and surveillance pro¬grams. According to these reports, the NSA has col¬lected and is collecting “metadata” or transactional information regarding telephone and Internet com¬munications. In fact, the Guardian published an ar¬ticle alleging that the NSA has been acquiring data for every phone call made or received by customers of Verizon Business Network Services. While intelli-gence is vitally important to the war on terror, these allegations, if true, indicate that the federal govern¬ment is routinely and unconstitutionally spying on U.S. citizens.