HARRISBURG (KDKA) - Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro took to the airwaves slamming State Senator Doug Mastriano, a staunch supporter of the former president, who wants to open an election audit plan.
Shapiro said counties should refuse to be a part of "a partisan fishing expedition."
The Franklin County senator says he has issued letters to counties requesting information on the 2020 general and 2021 primary elections.
Mastriano would not name the counties but reportedly York, Philadelphia, and Tioga County were among the counties to get a letter from the senator.
Our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report Allegheny County has not gotten a letter.
These letters ask counties to comply with an audit by the end of the month.
The senator who chairs the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee could subpoena holdout counties. Those could be democratic strongholds like Allegheny.
Shapiro spoke overnight and calls this audit nonsense.
"This is a sham, what he's trying to do," Attorney General Shapiro said. "Importantly, let's speak some truth - there's already been two legal audits done in counties all across Pennsylvania. We know the truth. The truth is, Joe Biden won the election here in Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes."
No county election board has raised any concerns of widespread fraud.
The Department of State issued this response to any audit:
"The Department of State encourages counties to refuse to participate in any sham review of past elections that would require counties to violate the trust of their voters and ignore their statutory duty to protect the chain of custody of their ballots and voting equipment. The Department stands ready to assist counties in upholding their statutory duty to protect the security and integrity of their election machines and systems. Further, we will direct the counties that, if they turn over voting machines or scanners, they should be prepared to replace that brand-new, expensive equipment before any future elections. When the Secretary certifies voting systems, she certifies that they can be secured from outside intrusion. Such a 'forensic' exercise as that described by the senator would nullify that assurance.
"Additionally, the federal government has designated voting equipment as protected infrastructure and, as such, there should be no expectation that anyone without the necessary security clearance would be afforded the kind of access requested here.
"We already have seen systems compromised in Fulton County and in the state of Arizona. In both cases, the politically motivated reviews turned up absolutely no evidence of any fraud or discrepancies. Those partisan exercises did, however, prove to be very costly for local officials and taxpayers when election administrators were forced to lease or purchase replacement equipment.
"Pennsylvania counties, despite a convergence of difficult circumstances, ran a free, fair, and accurate election in 2020. The majority of Pennsylvanians – and Americans – are satisfied with that truth.
"And yet there continue to be similar moves to conduct reviews in other states, led by a very small group of bad actors, who are not trying to allay election mistrust. They are feeding it for their own purposes, and in the process impugning the integrity of the county and local election officials we rely on to conduct elections, and leaving them to find millions to pay for the new equipment which would be needed if they comply.
"We will oppose any attempt to disrupt our electoral process and undermine our elections at every step and with every legal avenue available."
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