Chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, speaks during a hearing at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Election 2020 Pennsylvania Review
Chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, speaks during a hearing at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The use of ballot drop boxes throughout the state has been a point of contention with Republican lawmakers who are behind restrictive election reform bills and a sham audit of the 2020 election.

With less than a week until the primary election in Pennsylvania, a state legislator in charge of a GOP-led “election audit” is crusading to have ballot drop boxes removed from every county.

In a letter to the acting secretary of state, Sen. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson), requested that all counties in the state immediately stop using drop boxes as a means to collect mail-in ballots.

“The reason for this is simple,” Dush said in the letter. “The chain of custody for any ballot submitted in such fashion is unverifiable if such actions are not taken and thus any election which does not take those steps cannot qualify to be certified.”

Counties make their own decisions when it comes to drop boxes, a spokesperson for the department of state told media outlets. All mail-in and absentee ballots have unique barcodes on their outer envelope, making them verifiable.

The letter from Dush is the latest development in an escalating debate over ballot drop boxes. Last month the state Senate approved a bill sponsored by Dush that would eliminate the use of ballot drop boxes throughout the commonwealth. The bill passed along party lines by a 29-20 vote.

Last week, the acting state secretary sent a letter to the Lehigh County district attorney to circumvent his plans to have detectives monitor ballot drop boxes during the primary election, warning that the plan could intimidate voters.

Dush heads a Republican-fueled “forensic investigation” of the state’s 2020 presidential election. The sham audit was launched in response to pressure from GOP supporters of former President Donald Trump, still unwilling to accept  his verified 80,000-vote loss in the state.