- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
A rural Pennsylvania county’s Board of Commissioners railed against Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano on Tuesday over his request for 2020 election materials in order to perform an audit of last fall’s contest, accusing him of “piling one mistake on top of another” with his effort.
All three Tioga County commissioners, including its two Republicans, read from a statement during a board meeting implying that Mastriano is irresponsible and calling on him to end his pursuit of a “forensic investigation.”
“It is time for Sen. Mastriano to withdraw his demands and to let responsible Republicans get back to work on subjects such as recovering from COVID-19, addressing the opioid crisis and the ‘help wanted’ issue,” the commissioners’ statement said.
Mastriano first requested “information and materials” related to the 2020 election in Tioga County, along with those used to administer the fall election in York and Philadelphia counties, on July 7 in order to perform an investigation to determine the extent of voter fraud. Former President Donald Trump and his campaign’s legal team repeatedly asserted that fraudulent votes led to his loss in the state, which he won in 2016.
Mastriano wrote on his website that the case for an audit is “evident to any unbiased observer” and cited the widespread use of mail-in voting among the reasons justifying an inquiry.
Tioga County’s commissioners accused Mastriano of generating “unnecessary chaos” with his audit requests Tuesday.
“The people of this county have nothing to hide, and Mr. Mastriano knows it,” the statement said. “In fact, the only one who has made himself scarce since he made this blunder without the authority of his committee or the Senate is Doug Mastriano.”
They asserted further that if there was a problem with the election, then Mastriano, as one of the state lawmakers who voted in 2019 to expand mail-in voting, had some culpability in the matter.
“Now he is just piling one mistake on top of another,” their statement said.
Tioga County officials were already on record before Tuesday pushing back on Mastriano’s request, citing the steep costs the county would incur in the event that equipment used during an audit was decertified.
In a test case of sorts, Fulton County, Pennsylvania, had its election equipment decertified by acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid last month after a private firm was granted access to its machines. Degraffenreid determined the machines’ security had been “compromised.”
Across the state, York County's commissioners have also expressed their reservations about what providing their election equipment could eventually cost them, while Philadelphia's commissioners voted on July 30 to reject Mastriano's request altogether.
Mastriano, who is the chairman of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee, told One America News Network last month that all three counties would want "legal cover" and said he intended to bring the issue before his panel to vote on subpoenas. He also predicted there would be some sort of "court fight."
The election audit effort puts Pennsylvania among other states Trump lost in 2020, including Arizona and Wisconsin, where the former presidents’ allies have pursued partisan audits.
Although Pennsylvania's forensic audit effort is in its infant stages, Arizona’s has been underway for months. Officials there anticipate findings to be released later this summer.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Jeremy Beaman