Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

Pennsylvania | July 30, 2021

Pennsylvania County Declines Election Audit Without New Voting Machines

Pennsylvania | July 30, 2021

A county in Pennsylvania formally declined on Thursday to let a state Senate panel access its election machines or related information unless the chamber provides money for new machines.

Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, was told by commissioners in Tioga County that they were worried about the machines being decertified.

Pennsylvania’s top election official earlier this month decertified the voting system used in Fulton County after an outside company accessed it to perform an assessment following the 2020 election.

“We are therefore refusing to cooperate with your effort to audit the machines,” Tioga County solicitor Christopher Gabriel told Mastriano in a letter on behalf of the county commissioners.

Mastriano initiated a forensic probe of the 2020 and 2021 elections in early July by sending requests for materials like ballots, and granting access to machines, to Tioga, York, and Philadelphia counties… (Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

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Pennsylvania | July 15, 2021

Pennsylvania County Refuses Participation in New 2020 Election Audit

Pennsylvania | July 15, 2021

At least one of three counties targeted for a forensic investigation of Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election has said it will not allow access to its voting machines.

Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano, chair of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee, sent letters to election officials in three Pennsylvania counties, Philadelphia, York, and Tioga, requesting access to voting machines and information to be used as evidence in a forensic analysis of the 2020 election.

Tioga County Commissioners decided not to provide access after receiving a directive from the Pennsylvania Department of State ordering county boards of elections not to provide any access to third parties seeking to examine the systems or system components….

(Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

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Pennsylvania | July 11, 2021

Pennsylvania Department of State Tells Counties Not to Allow Outside Access to Voting Systems Directive comes after state senator initiated forensic investigation into 2020, 2021 elections BY ZACHARY STIEBER July 11, 2021 Updated: July 11, 2021biggersmaller Print The Pennsylvania agency in charge of elections has issued a new directive telling counties not to let outside parties access electronic voting systems or components of such systems, such as tabulators and ballot printers. The directive from the Pennsylvania Department of State, released on July 9, states that county boards of elections “shall not” provide any access to third parties that are seeking to examine the systems or system components. If the counties do allow access, the voting equipment that’s examined “will be considered no longer secure or reliable to use in subsequent elections,” and the department will withdraw its certification for the equipment. “Such access by third parties undermines chain of custody requirements and strict access limitations necessary to prevent both intentional and inadvertent tampering with electronic voting systems,” Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, appointed in February by Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf, said in a statement. “It also jeopardizes the security and integrity of the systems and will prevent electronic voting system vendors from affirming that the systems continue to meet Commonwealth security standards and U.S. Election Assistance Commission certification.” Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, a Republican, said in a response that the directive “is an attack on the General Assembly’s power to review, investigate, and legislate in matters within its legislative authority, which includes Pennsylvania’s election system.” “The Legislature has clear authority—both statutorily and constitutionally—to provide oversight and issue subpoenas. This directive tramples those rights which were specifically put in place to prevent potential abuses and overreach by the Executive Branch,” he said. State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, added that the directive was an example of a “disturbing pattern” of obstruction and violation of constitutional powers of the state Senate by the Wolf administration that dates back to March 2019. Wolf and other Pennsylvania executive branch officials have condemned the push by some state Republicans for an audit, saying the 2020 election ran smoothly with virtually no problems. Mastriano triggered a probe of recent elections last week, sending letters to Philadelphia, York, and Tioga counties. Mastriano cited abnormalities in the election, including how the number of mail-in ballots increased by more than 2 million compared to four years prior and the acceptance of ballots that arrived after Election Day. The chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee requested all ballot production, processing, and tabulation equipment that was used during the election, as well as forensic images of all election equipment and software from the equipment, according to the letter to Philadelphia County, which was obtained by The Epoch Times. Epoch Times Photo Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano attends a hearing of the Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Policy Committee in Gettysburg, Pa., on Nov. 25, 2020. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo) Officials were asked to provide the documents by July 31. If they don’t, then Mastriano plans to go to his committee and hold a vote that would give him the authority to issue subpoenas. “Let’s just find out what happened and get to the bottom of it and do what we’ve got to do to either safeguard our elections or celebrate how perfect the election was,” Mastriano told The Epoch Times in a recent interview. “The bottom line is, we’re always asking for transparency in government, constantly, and regardless of who won the election, last year was unparalleled in so many ways. And so, if there’s ever a time to do a forensic analysis of an electorate, this is the time to do it. There’s so many things that kind of were disruptive last year. And so, I don’t know why anyone could be opposed to this, unless you have something to hide.” The Office of City Commissioners for Philadelphia confirmed to The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that it received the letter. “Our office is reviewing it and [we] have no comment about the requests at this time. We do want to be clear, however, that Senator Mastriano’s letter reiterates claims about the November 2020 election that have been resoundingly rejected by courts. The repetition of baseless claims by elected officials poses a real challenge to our democratic processes. We are committed to continuing the hard work of ensuring that Philadelphians are able to exercise their right to vote,” the commissioners’ office stated. York and Tioga county officials confirmed to The Epoch Times their receipt of Mastriano’s letter, but declined further comment. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, has said he is prepared to try to block audits of voting equipment in court. Mastriano visited the audit taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona, last month, and has said his investigation is aimed at going even deeper than that election review. He would like to hire the firms conducting the Arizona audit, pending support from Pennsylvania Senate Republican leadership. The Pennsylvania Department of State noted that Maricopa County has opted to replace the machines that were examined by auditors. The department said it wouldn’t reimburse Pennsylvania counties for the cost of obtaining replacement equipment for which it withdraws certification if outside access is granted. It also referenced an elections assessment that took place in Fulton County, Pennsylvania. “We already have seen systems compromised in Fulton County and in the state of Arizona,” the agency said in a statement last week. “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.” Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber Follow Zachary on Parler: @zackstieber

Pennsylvania | July 11, 2021

The Pennsylvania agency in charge of elections has issued a new directive telling counties not to let outside parties access electronic voting systems or components of such systems, such as tabulators and ballot printers.

The directive from the Pennsylvania Department of State, released on July 9, states that county boards of elections “shall not” provide any access to third parties that are seeking to examine the systems or system components.

If the counties do allow access, the voting equipment that’s examined “will be considered no longer secure or reliable to use in subsequent elections,” and the department will withdraw its certification for the equipment….

(Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

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Pennsylvania | July 7, 2021

Pennsylvania Senate Chairman Initiates Forensic Probe of 2020, 2021 Elections

Pennsylvania | July 7, 2021

Pennsylvania senator announced on July 7 that he has triggered a forensic investigation of the 2020 and 2021 elections.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, issued letters to several counties requesting information and materials that he said would enable an investigation.

“It’s distinct from an audit or forensic audit. It’s a big deep dive, like we saw in Arizona, but even deeper,” Mastriano told The Epoch Times.

“It takes a hard look at software, machine, scanners, in addition to looking at all the ballots themselves to see if they were hand-filled in or copied by a machine. So a scientific approach to get to the bottom of what happened, what went right, what went wrong in an election. It takes out all bias.”

Philadelphia County received a letter, as did two that lean Republican: York and Tioga counties….

(Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

 

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Pennsylvania | July 6, 2021

Pennsylvania Republicans take steps to conducting Arizona-style election audit

Pennsylvania | July 6, 2021

Republicans in Pennsylvania’s Senate are discussing launching a privately funded audit of the 2020 election.

A three-senator delegation led by state Sen. Doug Mastriano visited Arizona in June to receive an overview of the Maricopa County probe into the election and last week sought legal advice from a Pennsylvania law firm on the legality of using private funds to finance a similar endeavor, according to The Associated Press.

“Transparency is a must in our republic,” the delegation said in a press release last month announcing their plans to visit the Maricopa Election Forensic Election Audit. “Every citizen should be confident that their vote counts.”..

(Excerpts from the Washington Times)

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Pennsylvania | June 23, 2021

Pennsylvania House Passes Election Integrity Bill: ‘The System Does Not Work’

Pennsylvania | June 23, 2021

The Pennsylvania state House on Tuesday night approved a Republican-backed election reform bill that would include a requirement that voters present identification, among other measures relating to polls, audits, and procedures.

The bill passed mostly along partisan lines, with most Republicans supporting the measure and nearly all Democrats opposing it. The bill heads to the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans…

(Excerpts from the Epoch Times)

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