I am honored to have been given your trust to carry out what I believe to be one of the most important public service endeavors in recent Pennsylvania history – rebuilding the public’s faith in our elections. For me, the goal of this election investigation is to dig deeper into Pennsylvania’s election process than any previous review so that we can identify any flaws in the system and swiftly fix them. Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy in this country, so I take this duty very seriously as a public servant and as an American. In an effort to be transparent, I will send these regular email updates directly to you so you can stay up to date with every step of the investigation.
Senator Cris Dush (R-25)
In This Update:
Senator Dush Announces Selection of Envoy Sage as Vendor to Conduct Election Investigation
Earlier today, in consultation with Senate Republican leadership and members of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee, I announced the selection of Envoy Sage as the vendor to conduct a thorough investigation of Pennsylvania’s elections. As a service-disabled veteran-owned small business specializing in research, investigation, program management, and communications, Envoy Sage is uniquely qualified to complete this investigation in a way that will help to restore Pennsylvanians’ faith in our election system.
The process of selecting this vendor was rigorous and comprehensive as we meticulously vetted the merits and ability of this firm. After months of extensive research and interviews with Steve Lahr, Envoy Sage’s President, we are confident in their team of experienced forensic analysts and investigators to swiftly conduct a thorough review of our elections and to do so impartially and responsibly.
A significant portion of the selection process was devoted to ensuring that any vendor would be able to appropriately safeguard the personal information of Pennsylvania voters. Envoy Sage is well-suited to do so, as they not only have handled sensitive information for government agencies, but also have kept classified information safe for the Department of Defense. Much of their team either previously or currently maintains high-level clearances to complete investigations for the most senior levels of government.
Senator Dush and the Intergovernmental Operations Committee specifically sought a firm without political associations, which includes refraining from actively supporting both current candidates and candidates who were on the 2020 or 2021 ballots in Pennsylvania to ensure this investigation can be completed in a professional, non-partisan manner.
Read my full statement on the selection of Envoy Sage here.
About Envoy Sage
Based in Dubuque, Iowa, Envoy Sage specializes in research, investigation, program management, and communications – all topics that are relevant to the election investigation. Their team includes analysts, technical professionals, and digital forensic experts who honed their skills during nationally directed operations.
Envoy Sage’s President, Steve Lahr, has spent more than two decades in the U.S. Army and more than a decade working in related fields, including intelligence, operations, and forensics serving clients like government agencies and the Department of Defense. As a result, he and his team have managed classified information and many even maintain high-level clearances, making them uniquely qualified to protect voter information.
For example, Lahr planned, coordinated, and successfully managed a program of similar size, scope, and complexity to Pennsylvania’s election investigation. In a sensitive Department of Defense program, his company conducted physical and digital research and investigation, followed by multi-discipline analysis and the delivery of findings. This program helped uncover fraudulent applications for government service, manipulation of background data, and attempts to conceal potentially disqualifying information. It was a complex undertaking involving 18 subcontractors that conducted investigations, interviews, and analysis on military bases spread across the United States and several installations overseas. The three-year program employed dozens of different types of functional experts, translators, various analysts, investigators, counter-intelligence specialists, digital forensics specialists, software engineers, legal experts, and researchers.
Envoy Sage is also a member of the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) and the National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS). Their team has decades of experience working under both Republican and Democrat Administrations at the federal level on countless matters of national significance throughout their careers.
Lahr and his team have been involved in conducting high-level investigations through many iterations of the company and were even able to sell a previous investigative and analytics business and merge it with another company because it was so successful.
How & Why We Chose Envoy Sage
I worked in consultation with Senate Republican leadership and members of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee to choose a vendor that we felt was more than capable of conducting a fair and thorough investigation of Pennsylvania’s elections.
The process of selecting this vendor was rigorous and comprehensive as we meticulously vetted the merits and ability of Envoy Sage. After months of extensive research and interviews with Steve Lahr, Envoy Sage’s President, I am confident in their team of experienced forensic analysts and investigators to swiftly conduct a thorough review of our elections and to do so impartially and responsibly.
We ultimately chose Envoy Sage because they are:
Envoy Sage Is Uniquely Qualified to Protect the Personal Information of PA Voters
Envoy Sage is well-suited to protect the personal information of Pennsylvania voters, as they not only have handled sensitive information for government agencies, but also have kept classified information safe for the Department of Defense. In fact, much of their team either previously or currently maintains high-level clearances to complete investigations for the most senior levels of government.
Furthermore, the language protecting voters’ personal information that is included in the Senate’s contract with Envoy Sage is consistent with the language that the Pennsylvania Department of State uses when they contract with third party vendors to maintain the State Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) system. If this language is strong enough to safeguard sensitive voter information with the Department’s third-party vendors, then it’s strong enough to do so for this investigation too.
If you would like to learn more about the contract restrictions placed on the vendor and the protections added to safeguard personal information and taxpayer dollars, the contract language will be available soon here.
We take the selection of this vendor seriously and want the public to understand exactly how and why we ultimately chose Envoy Sage. While much of the basic information about Envoy Sage is public through their website, any Pennsylvanian with lingering questions about Envoy Sage’s merits, competence, impartiality, political affiliations, or any other aspect of concern can review the FAQs on the PA Election Investigation website where answers are available to questions like:
Visit www.paelectioninvestigation.com to find answers to these questions and more.
First, we are still waiting for a final decision from the Commonwealth Court on a lawsuit filed by Senate Democrats and the Attorney General to block the election investigation subpoena. Commonwealth Court has scheduled the case for oral arguments on December 15.
Meanwhile, we will work with Envoy Sage to do as much work as possible to prepare for a favorable outcome from the courts.
More specifically, Envoy Sage will provide planning and consulting services necessary to continue the investigation, including recommendations on how best to review whatever information is ultimately received from the Pennsylvania Department of State on the State Uniform Registry of Electors (SURE) system. The contract covers document analysis, consultation, review of election concerns and affidavits submitted to the committee, analysis of other election integrity initiatives across the nation, and more.
Each of these contract terms is in furtherance of our stated goal of improving Pennsylvania’s election system through legislation.
Read all previous editions of the “Inside the Election Investigation” e-newsletter to stay up to date with every step of the process here:
Update #1 (October 15, 2021)
Update #2 (October 27, 2021)
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