Pennsylvania County Refuses Requests to Access Voting Machines for Forensic Audit
'third-party entities' access should be refused or risk decertification
One of three of the Pennsylvania counties, that a top Republican state lawmaker contacted to obtain information for a "forensic investigation" of the 2020 election, has refused the request, according to reports.
The commissioners in rural Tioga County decided they would not permit access to their voting machines following the advice of Pennsylvania's Department of State that "third-party entities" access should be refused or risk decertification.
The county’s solicitor, Christopher Gabriel, said:
“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 [acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid] has given us."
Degraffenreid's memo said any cost of replacing equipment in counties that break with the directive would not be reimbursed.
The news comes after state Rep. Doug Mastrian issued a letter to Philadelphia, York, and Tioga counties as part of the Arizona-style inquiry looking for fraud.
He threatened subpoenas if they don't comply and said other counties could be added depending on what is discovered in the review.
Mastriano blasted Gov. Tom Wolf's administration over "attempts of obstruction" and vowed to continue with the audit.
We are encouraged to see the all-Republican Tioga County Board of Commissioners refuse to send their election data to Sen. Doug Mastriano for his so-called "forensic audit."— PaSenateDems (@PaSenateDems) July 14, 2021
We sent a letter to them recently urging them not to comply with his #FraudIt request. pic.twitter.com/5N2kYtyrEp
How other counties will respond to the request is not clear.
Pennsylvania Senate Democrats were happy about the news that Tioga County planned not to comply with the request for access.
Republican Commissioner Roger Bunn said Tioga County audited the 2020 presidential election in accordance with state law, and no problems were found before certifying the results.
Should Mastriano choose to pursue subpoenas, he will most likely face resistance in court, not unlike the battle between Maricopa County and the GOP-led Arizona Senate.
Donald Trump lost by a little more than 80,000 votes in the state of Pennsylvania, or 1 percentage point, to Joe Biden.
Trump later released a statement accusing the Democrat of being in "a rush in order to stop" the review, claiming the City of Brotherly Love "was a cesspool of corruption, which will soon be revealed by the audit."
"Joe Biden is going to Pennsylvania today in a rush in order to stop the Forensic Audit that the Pennsylvania Republican Senate is in the process of doing,” Trump said in an email Tuesday.
"Why are they so concerned that a President, who never goes anywhere, would hop onto beautiful Air Force One and head to Philadelphia if it were an honest election?” Trump added.
“Why not let the audit go forward and make everybody, on both sides, happy?”