As election audits gain traction in multiple states following November’s contentious presidential race, one Pennsylvania county is refusing to participate.
After the state’s top election official threatened to impound Tioga County’s expensive voting machines, local officials announced that they would not hand over the equipment for a forensic audit of the election, the Washington Examiner reports.
“We have to run the next election”
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, requested that the county — along with the counties of York and Philadelphia — participate in the audit and threatened to issue subpoenas in the case of noncompliance.
In Tioga, a county that former President Donald Trump won in November, officials said that they would follow an order from Democratic acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenried, who warned that their voting machines would be decertified if they participated in “third-party” audits.
Pennsylvania authorities have already decertified machines in Fulton County for the same reason.
For its part, Tioga County maintains that it cannot afford to replace the “extremely expensive” machines if they are decertified by the state.
County Solicitor Christopher Gabriel asserted that since “we have to run the next election” and cannot “bein a position where we don’t have the election machines,” the county’s “position is we need to follow the directions” of the state authorities.
“Show them how honest it was”
President Joe Biden’s narrow 80,000-vote victory in Pennsylvania was critical to his path to the White House, but suspicions of voter fraud have lingered in the months since the election.
Former Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, and the state Supreme Court were accused of improperly changing ballot rules prior to the election. In Tioga County, however, commissioners say they have not discovered any issues with the vote count.
Meanwhile, an ongoing audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, continues to attract national attention. Democrats have dismissed such recounts, however, and attempt to dismiss GOP concerns about the results of the presidential election.
“Let the Forensic Audit go, Joe,” Trump declared. “Don’t fight it. Show them how honest it was.”