HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — One of three counties targeted by a Pennsylvania state lawmaker for an Arizona-style “forensic investigation” of the state’s 2020 presidential election sought by former President Donald Trump will not allow third-party access to its voting machines.
The three commissioners in rural Republican-controlled Tioga County made the decision.READ MORE: Overnight Closure Planned For Pa. Turnpike Between Allegheny Valley And Monroeville Exits
The county’s solicitor, Christopher Gabriel, said Wednesday that the thrust of state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s request for cooperation for his undertaking — under the threat of a subpoena — involves access to Tioga County’s voting machines.
But, Gov. Tom Wolf’s top election official, Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, told counties that the state would decertify any election equipment that is subject to any such third-party access, rendering it useless in an election.
The state would not reimburse a county for the cost to replace the equipment, she told counties last week.READ MORE: More Than 240 Runners Complete 150-Mile Relay From Pittsburgh To Maryland On Great Allegheny Passage
“We can’t be in a position where we don’t have the election machines, because we have to run the next election, these are extremely expensive machines and our position is we need to follow the direction that the secretary has given us,” Gabriel said.
The commissioners’ chairman, Roger Bunn, said the county had audited the 2020 presidential election, according to requirements in state law, and had found no problems with it before certifying the results.
Here at home, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has signaled that the county will not comply with an election audit request if it is sent to the county.
“We’ll certainly go to court. There have been enough audits. This is going to be an unfunded mandate that will cost the taxpayers of Allegheny County millions of dollars and potentially have the machines that we bought invalidated in which we can’t use them again,” said Fitzgerald.MORE NEWS: Judge Refuses To Seal Records And Proceedings In Custody Case Involving U.S. Senate Candidate Sean Parnell
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