As supporters of former President Donald Trump await the results of a third, hand-count audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County, Arizona, there exists another effort by a state-level Trump ally to launch a similar audit in Pennsylvania — a key swing state lost by the former president in November 2020.
According to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, state Republican Sen. Doug Mastriano recently sent out a string of letters to several Pennsylvania counties in which he requested “ballots, vote counting machines, voter rollers, mail-in ballot envelopes, as well as software and hardware used throughout the voting process,” in an effort to “restore faith” in the voting process.
“My goal is to do similar to what we saw in Arizona, in that every ballot is photographed and magnified, and we can determine what ballots were filled in by a human,” Mastriano said in a recent interview, according to Politico.
While many of Trump’s supporters who believe election foul play — as far as ballots and voting machines — was widespread in swing states like Pennsylvania, Mastriano sent out an op-ed to several of his state’s media outlets explaining that he’s not attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.
“This investigation is not about overturning the results of either election,” the Pennsylvania Republican wrote.
Mastriano added: “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.”
Though Mastriano didn’t initially specify which counties of the state he targeted with his request for election materials, it was later revealed that Philadelphia County, York County, and Tioga County received letters from the state senator.
The Republican senator revealed that he chose those specific locations due to their “different political makeups” and because they represent “different geographical regions” of the state, with his goal of ensuring that any audit will be a “balanced investigation.”
On what authority?
The senator, who chairs the state Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, said the audit materials request was on behalf of the committee, and he stated that the aforementioned counties have until July 31 to comply.
Mastriano, a Trump ally who has been vocal in repeating the former president’s claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” and “rigged,” announced that additional counties could be included in future audits, saying in a recent radio interview that a “round two” was not out of the question.
Should any of the counties not comply with his requests, Mastriano admitted that he might be forced to take the subpoena route, claiming that he believes he has the voting support within his committee to issue such subpoenas.
The former president will likely approve of Mastriano’s efforts, as last month Trump continued his criticism of the state, saying: “What went on in Philadelphia and other areas of the State must be properly and legally exposed.”