by Debra Heine
The Pennsylvania state senator who led a hearing on election fraud in Gettysburg, PA, last November, has initiated a “full forensic investigation” into 2020 election results in several counties.
Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano said in a statement that as chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, that he has issued letters to several counties representing “different geographical regions of Pennsylvania and differing political makeups,” requesting “information and materials needed to conduct a forensic investigation of the 2020 General Election and the 2021 Primary.”
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.https://t.co/mIL0lqhYIr
— Senator Doug Mastriano (@SenMastriano) July 7, 2021
Arizona, Georgia, and now Pennsylvania in the very near future will prove that @JoeBiden did not acquire 270 or more electoral votes which is required to elect the president and vice president.
THEN WHAT?! https://t.co/RRYxy7a5Pm
— Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) July 7, 2021
Mastriano said the audit was necessary because “millions of Pennsylvanians have serious doubts about the accuracy of the 2020 General Election.”
A January poll from Muhlenberg University showed that 40% of Pennsylvania voters are not confident that the results of the 2020 Election accurately reflected how Pennsylvanians voted. Discounting or mocking their concerns is neither an answer nor proper in this constitutional republic.
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 hominen attack does nothing to address the concerns of millions of voters.
The Senator pointed out in his statement that the 2020 election in PA was riddled with inconsistencies, irregularities, and opportunities for fraud.
This was the first election in Pennsylvania with “mass” mail-in voting. In 2020, there were 2.7 million ballots cast by mail and absentee compared to about 263,000 absentee ballots cast in 2016. Many of these ballots were counted at offsite locations with little outside observation or oversight. Furthermore, mail ballots without signature verification were permitted to be counted across the Commonwealth. And, of course, all of this transpired in the midst of Covid-19 where uncertainty and fear impacted the conduct of the election.
Additionally, in the weeks leading up to the election, the Department of State repeatedly altered the manner in which Pennsylvania’s election was conducted. Those who voted in person were held to a higher standard than those who mailed in their ballots. 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.
On September 17th, the PA Supreme Court ruled that counties had to count ballots received up to three days after Election Day. A week before the election, the Department of State told the U.S. Supreme Court that ballots received after 8 p.m. on November 3rd would be segregated. But the department changed the rules two days before the election and directed counties to canvass those ballots upon receipt. The U.S. Supreme Court had to step in and order the counties to segregate the ballots.
Just hours before the polls opened on November 3, the department changed the rules again by providing late guidance on how to help voters whose mail-in or absentee ballots were incorrectly completed. The “guidance” resulted in inconsistent application across the Commonwealth. Some counties contacted voters as directed while others did not. There was no basis for that guidance in current or case law.
Mastriano concluded that the case for a forensic investigation of the 2020 general election was “evident to any unbiased observer.”
“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,” he said.
The state senator also noted in his statement that the state conducted a small, “risk-limiting” election audit which consisted of a sample of only 45,000 randomly selected ballots, which he argued was not rigorous enough to determine any fraud, misconduct, or technical anomalies.
The May primary election was also marred by a host of problems, he said, including “multiple poll locations running out of ballots, voting machines improperly labeling “the headers of Republican ballots as Democrat while the GOP races still appeared,” and a “printing issue” in one county that caused both Democratic and Republican ballots to be rejected.
A full forensic investigation is critically necessary for our Commonwealth for the sake of transparency and accountability. 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.
Counties were asked to respond by July 31 “with a plan to comply.”
During an appearance on Steve Bannon’s War Room, Wednesday, Mastriano said that the three counties being looked at in “the first round “are Philadelphia, York and Tioga counties, and that it was likely that the state senate would be conducting “another round of these” audits on additional counties at a later date.
If the counties refuse to cooperate, Mastriano said he would issue subpoenas with a majority vote of his committee, as was done in Arizona.
The senator argued that these steps are necessary because confidence in our elections will not be restored until concerns about voter fraud are addressed.
“The damage to our election process will not be undone with the passing of time,” Mastriano wrote. “I believe the only way to restore confidence in our Commonwealth’s election process is to undertake a forensic investigation. By doing this, faith in our election system will be restored. The people of our Commonwealth should have confidence that their vote counts. It takes accountability and transparency to ensure that our elections are free and fair.”
Pennsylvania joins two other battleground states—Arizona, and Georgia—in conducting a forensic audit of sketchy 2020 election results.
The counting and examination of paper ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona concluded late last month, but there is still more work to do before the full results are made public.
Superior Court Judge Brian Amero late last month gave the okay for a voter integrity group in Georgia to conduct a forensic audit of 147,000 mail-in votes in Fulton County. According to Rep. Margorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), the audit has already uncovered “a drastic vote change.”
“Biden did not win my state,” Greene tweeted on Tuesday.
The Fulton county audit is going to reveal serious election fraud.
The forensic auditor has already found a very big issue causing a drastic vote tally change.
And they are barely getting started.
Biden did not win my state.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) July 6, 2021
Former President Trump said in an interview last month that it would be up to the American people to decide if he should be reinstated if audit results in multiple states prove that the election was stolen.
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Debra Heine reports for American Greatness.