Will we have a recount of last year’s presidential election here in Pennsylvania? One state senator, a close ally of former President Trump, is moving forward with the idea.
Talk of a so-called forensic audit of last year’s presidential election has been discussed for several months, and it’s generating a storm of protest.
This week, Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano issued letters to three counties, requesting 2020 election information for a possible audit, with a threat of subpoenas, even though no county election official in Pennsylvania has suggested any fraud with the November election.
“So, until we have these elected officials taking ownership and saying this is a charade a sham, and using this for political purposes, we’re going to continue having this, every so often, bringing this claim up,” says Centre County Commissioner Michael Pipe. “But I think people in Pennsylvania, especially in Centre County are getting tired of this.”
Mastriano says he wants to restore voter confidence in Pennsylvania. There’s a lot of questions with his proposal.
“There’s a lot of banter about a forensic audit,” said Rep. Kerry Benninghoff. “I’m not certain if everybody understands what that means. The one in Arizona is not a statewide audit, they’re looking at a couple of counties.”
In fact, Mastriano is suggesting an Arizona-like election audit, although there’s already been reviews of the November results.
“There’re really two audits that are done after the presidential election,” Pipe said. “We had a machine count, two percent of the ballots that were cast. In addition, there was a risk limiting audit that was statewide, Centre County participated, and both those results were accurate and showed the same results that happened on election day.”
Centre County has not received a request letter from Mastriano.
The county spent well over a million dollars last year, setting up added resources, and hiring extra personnel to tabulate what turned out to be a record, general election voter turnout for the county.
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, has called the audit request a fishing expedition.
He’s also vowing it will never happen.