Pennsylvania Senator Prepares to Issue Subpoenas After Three Counties Reject Audit Requests

Pennsylvania Senator Prepares to Issue Subpoenas After Three Counties Reject Audit Requests
State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) attends a hearing of the Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Policy Committee in Gettysburg, Pa., on Nov. 25, 2020. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

A Pennsylvania senator is preparing to ask a panel he chairs for the authority to issue subpoenas to compel counties to cooperate with his effort to investigate the 2020 election.

“We’re eagerly awaiting my committee coming together when I can get a quorum, get everyone’s calendars matched up—it is summertime. As soon as I get a quorum, we will have a meeting, we will vote on subpoenas, and let the fun begin,” Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican who chairs the state Senate’s Intergovernmental Operations Committee, said on One America News this week.

Mastriano initiated a forensic probe of the 2020 and 2021 elections in early July by sending requests for materials like ballots and asking for access to machines, to Tioga, York, and Philadelphia counties.

But officials in all three counties are refusing to comply voluntarily, setting up the need for subpoenas.

Mastriano set a deadline of July 31 in his letters to the counties.

York County commissioners indicated in mid-July that they would not send materials to Mastriano, or give him access to voting machines. Tioga County officials said Thursday they wouldn’t let Mastriano’s panel access machines unless the state Senate authorized funding for new machines. And Philadelphia City Commissioners on Friday voted against voluntary participation in the audit.

“Philadelphia County’s participation in your proposed analysis would be duplicative of extensive efforts already undertaken by the Philadelphia County Board of Elections, the Pennsylvania Department of State, state and federal courts, and your colleagues in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Participation could also impair our ability to operate fair and secure elections in Philadelphia,” Lisa Deeley, a Democrat commissioner, wrote in a July 30 letter to Mastriano.

Previous election reviews have shown no issues with the 2020 election, Deeley noted.

Philadelphia Commissioners Lisa Deeley and Al Schmidt speak to reporters in Philadelphia, Pa., on Nov. 3, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Commissioner Omar Sabir, the only Republican commissioner, joined the two Democrats in rejecting the request.

County officials have cited the threat of machine decertification as one of the reasons they will not comply. Philadelphia officials said replacing the machines would cost over $35 million. Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, an appointee of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, decertified Fulton County’s machines last week after they agreed late last year to an election assessment based on a request from Mastriano.

Wake Technology Inc., a Pennsylvania-based company, carried out the assessment. But that access was not authorized, and prevents Dominion Voting Systems, whose machines are used by the county, from “affirming that the system continues to meet state and federal certification standards,” according to Degraffenreid.

Mastriano has said the pressure on counties from the executive branch is a form of intimidation.

Wolf and the secretary of state “are trying to threaten and bully” the counties, he told reporters at a recent press conference.

Stuart Ulsh, a Republican commissioner in Fulton County, added that the machines there were not compromised or tampered with. Wake workers performed the review under the strict supervision of county officials, he said.

Ulsh alleged that officials with the Pennsylvania Department of State had asked him to remove from the county’s website the report Wake produced on what they found.

“It makes you wonder what you’re trying to hide,” he said.

From The Epoch Times

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