A Pennsylvania state senator who chairs the state's Intergovernmental Operations Committee has initiated a forensic audit of the 2020 president election and the 2021 May primary.
Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, issued a comprehensive statement on his issuing letters to several counties requesting information and materials needed to conduct a forensic investigation of the state's election system.
"A forensic investigation of our election results and processes for the 2020 general election and the 2021 primary will go a long way to restore trust in our system," Mastriano wrote in a statement posted on his website. "Voting is the fundamental right of all citizens. We should continually look for ways to improve the voting process to ensure every voice is heard."
Mastriano gave both Republican and Democrat-held counties until July 31 to comply with the request for documentation.
"The counties represent different geographical regions of Pennsylvania and differing political makeups," he wrote. "Some are Republican while others are Democrat, which means that this will be a balanced investigation."
The committee Mastriano chairs has oversight of activities between two or more governments or levels of government, including elections, according to Mastriano.
"As set forth in Pennsylvania Senate Rule 14 (d), each standing committee is empowered with the authority to inspect and investigate the books, records, papers, documents, data, operation, and physical plant of any public agency in this Commonwealth, including county boards of elections," he wrote.
"This is necessary as millions of Pennsylvanians have serious doubts about the accuracy of the 2020 general election."
A Muhlenberg College poll showed 40% of Pennsylvania voters were not confident the 2020 presidential election results reflected the will of the voters.
"Discounting or mocking their concerns is neither an answer nor proper in this constitutional republic," Mastriano wrote.
"During debate on election reform a couple weeks ago, some of my colleagues regrettably dismissed these poll numbers as an inconvenient truth and went on to assert that the only reason there is distrust in our election process was because of the 'conspiracy theories and lies' from those they disagree with politically. This sort of ad hominem attack does nothing to address the concerns of millions of voters."
Mastriano's concerns include:
- Mass mail-in voting under the guise of COVID-19.
- Lack of signature verification.
- Election process changes by the Department of State.
"Those who voted in person were held to a higher standard than those who mailed in their ballots," Mastriano wrote. "Signatures required for mail-in ballots were rendered meaningless as the PA Supreme Court ruled that ballots could not be rejected based on an analysis of the voter's signature."
Also, the state supreme court ruled ballots could be received three days after election day, without getting approval on election changes by the state legislature.
"It would defy logic to assume that an election with the kinds of drastic changes we saw in 2020 was run perfectly with zero errors or fraud," Mastriano wrote.
"Gov. Tom Wolf and the Secretary of State refused to conduct any type of thorough investigation despite the concerns of millions of our citizens in the aftermath of the election and hundreds of affidavits alleging firsthand fraud, irregularities, and illegal behavior witnessed at polling places."
Mastriano noted the fact the 2021 May primary election had reported problems shows a massive 2020 presidential election likely had problems worth investigating, too, despite Democrats smearing those attempts, calling claims of election fraud baseless, as even The Associated Press repeatedly does.
"A full forensic investigation is critically necessary for our Commonwealth for the sake of transparency and accountability," Mastriano wrote. "There is nothing to fear if there is nothing to hide. Those who have concerns about the integrity of the 2020 and 2021 election will have those concerns investigated and hopefully addressed.
"Those who think that there was zero voter fraud, no irregularities, and that the elections were conducted perfectly will have the chance to be vindicated.
This investigation is not about overturning the results of either election. The goals are to restore faith in the integrity of our system, confirm the effectiveness of existing legislation on the governance of elections, and identify areas for legislative reform."
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