With the Arizona election audit nearly complete and results being much anticipated, it’s no surprise that other states or counties have been looking into the notion of conducting audits of their own. Several states, in fact, including the 2020 battleground states of Georgia and Pennsylvania, have lawmakers who have proposed a similar forensic audit to determine the truth of the 2020 general election.
And while the jury is still very much out on Georgia, the idea is only heating up in Pennsylvania.
Here, the idea has been pushed forward by Republican state Senator Doug Mastriano. It began with him traveling to Arizona this past summer with several of his colleagues to check out how the forensic audit works. Then, after seeing the process for himself, he went back to PA to make the first steps in getting one done there.
In July, he requested that ballots and access to voting machines be given over by three Pennsylvania counties: Philadelphia, York, and Tioga. The counties were given a July 31 deadline to comply.
And just as Maricopa County in Arizona did, all three have refused to hand over any information.
For Mastriano, this means only one thing: “Let the fun begin.” He told The Epoch Times last week, “As soon as I get a quorum, we will have a meeting, we will vote on subpoenas, and let the fun begin.”
Clearly, he’s not willing to back down.
Now, to be sure, the fault for refusing to comply cannot be laid completely at the counties’ feet. In fact, you might say they are being bullied into not complying with the proposed audit and by the state’s acting Secretary of State, no less.
Veronica Degraffenried is reported to have begun issuing what can only be called threats to each county involved nearly as soon as Mastriano asked them for information. Basically, she has promised to decertify or decommission any election equipment they turn over to the third party in charge of conducting the audit.
Fulton County, Pennsylvania, has already received her wrath and punishment after letting a third party look at their machines.
And as Tioga County Solicitor Christopher Gabriel says, doing the same for his county is just not worth the risk.
“We can’t be in a position where we don’t have the election machines because we have to run the next election. These are extremely expensive machines, and our position is we need to follow the direction that (Degraffenried) has given us.”
Philadelphia County uses a different reason for their non-compliance, saying that any audit of their election would only further muddy the waters and security of future elections. County commissioners voted to deny Mastriano’s request on July 30, stating that nothing wrong happened in their 2020 general election.
Democratic Commissioner Lisa Deeley further explained their decision in a letter to Mastriano, saying that any “participation in your proposed analysis would be duplicative of extensive efforts already undertaken….” Additionally, she claims that should Philadelphia comply, the fairness of any future election would be impaired.
But Fulton County’s compliance in the requests has done anything but that.
According to Fulton County Commissioner Stuart Ulsh, the assessment of his county was handled under the strictest of confidence and with highly efficient supervision. And yet, the Pennsylvania Department of State has since decertified their election equipment and asked his office to remove any and all reports about the audit and its results from the county’s website.
“It makes you wonder what you’re trying to hide,” he says.
It does indeed.
I mean, if you claim that nothing untoward went on during your state’s election and that everything was above reproach, why are you so against a closer look to verify that?
“Trying to threaten and bully,” these counties into not cooperating, as Senator Mastriano rightfully call it, does little but add to the concerns that election integrity was not upheld in the state.
Like Maricopa County’s audit, it seems this one, as well as Mastriano’s persistence, is not going away any time soon. So they might as well just bite the bullet and comply before they are handed further consequences and ones Degraffenried can’t get them out of.