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Tom Corbett was Pennsylvania’s Republican governor from 2011 to 2015 and former Pennsylvania Republican Attorney General from 2004 to 2010. He knows where Franklin County is and visited regularly during his years in office. Today he serves as the Pennsylvania chair of Keep Our Republic.

Keep Our Republic is a nonpartisan civic education organization dedicated to protecting a republic of laws and strengthening the checks and balances of our democratic electoral system. The organization aims to discover, highlight and help to prevent an array of extraordinary threats to American democracy, strengthen democratic guardrails, and educate the public before it is too late. The organization’s creed is “American as apple pie”: 1) Let all eligible voters vote. 2) Let all votes be counted, and 3) Let the vote count stand.

Keep Our Republic has an executive board of 20 politically experienced, influential and well-respected movers and shakers from both political parties, including former Democratic House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and former Republican governor of Pennsylvania and first secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.

Recently, Corbett went on record in support of the goals of Keep Our Republic. His ideas were published in the Philadelphia Inquirer and elsewhere.

He talked about the findings of the grand jury in Fulton County, Ga., that indicted former President Donald Trump and others for working to overturn the 2020 election results. These included Trump pushing the Georgia secretary of state to find the necessary votes to overturn the election results and then pressuring the state of Georgia to put forward a slate of false electors. The purpose was to certify Trump as the winner of the presidential election in Georgia, even though Joe Biden won the election.

Tom Corbett pointed out more grand jury findings. There was a voting system breach in Coffee County, Ga. Here the elected county officials gave Trump people unauthorized access to the county’s voting system. As part of a program to assure fair elections, this access is restricted by law from anyone not certified, including political candidates and their operatives.

Keep our Republic is also very concerned about our own Fulton County, right here in Pennsylvania. This is where similar chicanery has taken place. And the people of both Fulton Counties — Georgia and Pennsylvania — may well wake up to huge tax-bill increases based on potential losses of lawsuits from voting machine providers as well as flaunting court orders.

In the case of Fulton County, which is right next door to Franklin County, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled against two of the three Fulton County commissioners for secretly allowing an out-of-state third party to access the county’s voting machines and to copy private voting machine data. These two commissioners were ostensibly attempting to help efforts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Trump.

Fortunately, the two errant commissioners were discovered. Fulton County, Pa., received contempt sanctions from Pennsylvania’s highest court for its attempt to access and tamper with voting machines. The county is required to reimburse Pennsylvania’s Department of State for legal costs and fees which were expended to protect the machines from outside manipulation. There was no evidence of voting irregularities. Rather the two commissioners went rogue, which in the end may cost the taxpayers of Fulton County hugely.Even before all the big bills for this fiasco come rolling in, Fulton County Commissioners had already announced a proposed tax increase of $178.91 for a home with a fair market value of $500,000.

As a side note, the two commissioners may need to go back to school to learn basic arithmetic. It turns out that the heavily Republican Fulton County voted almost 7-to-1 for Trump. So just how stupid is it that when the county voted more than 85% for Trump, that the commissioners broke the law to see, what, why Trump didn’t win more?

You might think that this problem in Fulton County, Pa., may have ended here. But no. Some people are hard learners. My kids were like this. I’d catch them in the cookie jar, and tell them no. Then I’d catch them again and take away their television privileges, only to catch them again. But this is not cookies we are talking about. It is our fair and open voting system that is at the heart of our democracy.

This whole episode took another twist that could be dismissed as absurd, if it were not so serious and such a threat to our way of government and freedom. A cybersecurity firm filed a lawsuit against both a Pennsylvania business owner named Bill Bachenberg, and a Michigan attorney named Stefanie Lambert, who engaged the cybersecurity firm to conduct the breach of the voting equipment in Fulton County. The cybersecurity firm accuses the two of refusing to pay after it failed to “find” evidence of election fraud.

Let’s be clear. There was not then, or now, or ever any evidence that these voting machines had been hacked, internationally or domestically, or were preconfigured to favor one candidate. (Unless it was for Trump, since he received the overwhelming majority of the Fulton County vote.) The cybersecurity firm that was hired in spite of the law’s protection of the voting machines, then went ahead and breached the voting machines anyway. Even though its job was to “find” problems in the voting calculations, it could find no problems. As a result it was refused payment because, why, the firm failed to produce (or presumably fabricate) evidence?

Bachenberg, who also served as a false Trump elector, is now being sued by the cybersecurity firm for $10 million. What are the chances that if the cybersecurity firm wins that the $10 million it will be passed back to Fulton County and then to its tax payers?

About this Michigan lawyer Lambert. She has since been charged with illegally accessing voting machines in her home state. So why in the world would the commissioners in Fulton County, Pa., feel compelled to go to Michigan to hire a lawyer who is now charged with breaking the law?

You might want to keep your eyes trained on the newspaper as more on this story comes out. Ignoring the law, manufacturing non-existent facts, and turning democracy on its head are all serious matters, and those involved will be dealt with appropriately by the courts. And all of this despite the absence of even the slightest evidence of any widespread fraud or systemic problems in 2020, or in the elections since.

As much as I am glad I don’t live in Fulton County, there is an even bigger problem. Across the country, Trump’s claims of rigged elections just won’t seem to die. Recently a CNN poll found about one-third of the electorate believed that “Biden did not legitimately win enough votes to win the presidency,” proving correct Nazi Joseph Goebbels, who said that a lie repeated many times can become the truth. When one lies, one should lie big and stick to it. This big lie has apparently worked well for Trump.

Keep Our Republic — and its Republican and Democratic members — believe that we must join together to protect our elections and our democracy.

Please do not remain passive. Speak out. Protect one another’s right to vote and to disallow Fulton-County, Pa., style chicanery. Defend our elections and our democratic institutions, whether in community discussions, online, or just among your friends. Spread accurate information and respond — respectfully but factually — to misinformation or misunderstanding about our elections.

As Tom Corbett, Tom Ridge and a chorus of others say. “Facts matter. Without them, our democracy falters. Let’s stand up for truth to protect our democracy.”