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Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett aims to rebuild trust in elections with new group

By Dan Snyder / February 29, 2024 / CBS Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We may be nearly three-and-a-half years removed from the contentious 2020 election, but its effects are still reverberating. A December Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found 36% of U.S. adults still do not believe Joe Biden’s election win was legitimate.

The same poll found 62% of Republicans say there is “solid evidence” that there was widespread voter fraud in 2020.

But don’t count former Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett among them.

“To my knowledge, nothing has been proved that there was major cheating,” Corbett said. “How popular do you think I am with them after they hear that?”

Corbett is going a step further in 2024, joining a new group called “Keep Our Republic.” The nonpartisan organization is working in three key battleground states, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, with the hope of restoring people’s faith in the election process.

Corbett says the group’s primary focus is educating local and state election leaders on the process. Specifically, they’re targeting the time from when polls close in November to the Presidential Inauguration in January, a time when we saw a lot of election questions four years ago.

“Problem is most people, including elected officials, don’t know what happens in there. What’s the system?” Corbett said.

But Corbett notes they still face plenty of challenges, specifically combatting false information on social media. And there’s a new concern for this year’s race: the rise of artificial intelligence.

“That ability to influence or affect an election is frightening,” Corbett said.

Corbett believes while his group can educate election leaders on how to respond to concerns, it’s really up to them to get the truth out there. It’s something Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley says they are already doing.

“The eyes of the world will be on Pennsylvania, and specifically Philadelphia. So we recognize that,” Deeley said. “Me and the fellow commissioners, we do everything we can to get in every nook and cranny of the city.”

Philadelphia became a focal point for challenges to the 2020 election.

Deeley says she shares concerns about misinformation but says leaders have a plan to answer questions as the election season plays out. Her message to Philly voters: your vote is secure.