Pennsylvania orders counties not to comply with GOP senator's request for 2020 election data

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The administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania has ordered counties not to comply with a Republican state senator’s request for voting data to be used in an audit of the 2020 election.

The Pennsylvania Department of State said in a two-page directive that the request by state Sen. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County, an ally of former President Donald Trump, “jeopardizes the security and integrity” of the counties’ voting systems. 

“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,” the department said.

The state said it won’t reimburse counties for new voting machines and other election equipment if they turn over their systems to Mr. Mastriano.

Mr. Wolf vowed to stop Mr. Mastriano‘s effort.

“Six months after he was at the U.S. Capitol insurrection, one of our lawmakers is attempting to launch a sham election audit in PA,” the governor tweeted. “This is a disgrace to democracy — not to mention a profound waste of time and taxpayer money. I won’t stand for it.”

Mr. Mastriano, chairman of Senate committee, this week requested election data from Philadelphia, Tioga and York counties for a “forensic investigation” of the 2020 general election and last spring’s primaries. He said it would provide a balanced sampling — Philadelphia is heavily Democratic, while York and Tioga are Republican territory.

The legislator said most Pennsylvanians don’t trust the accuracy of the past two elections, and the probe would help to settle the public’s lingering questions.

Democratic state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said he will go to court to block any subpoenas issued by Mr. Mastriano for the election data.

“One rogue, insurrectionist state Senator is trying to defraud Pennsylvania taxpayers to the tune of millions of dollars — and jeopardize their private information — over a sham ‘audit’ of the 2020 election,” he tweeted. “All to serve Donald Trump and the Big Lie. Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes. There were two legal, bipartisan audits of the 2020 election — both confirmed that result.”

He said, “Attacks on our elections are attacks on our democracy. I’ve defended our votes dozens of times in court — and I won’t stop now. I’m not about to let his fishing expedition cost Pennsylvanians their money or their privacy.”

Mr. Mastriano is one of three GOP Pennsylvania legislators who toured the arena in Arizona where a Republican-ordered audit of Maricopa County’s election results is being conducted.

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