The Pennsylvania Department of State has told counties not to allow outside access to voting systems after after state Sen. Doug Mastriano initiated a forensic investigation into the 2020 and 2021 elections.
Pennsylvania’s state election agency has issued a new order instructing counties not to allow outside parties access to electronic voting systems or their components, such as tabulators and ballot printers, according to The Epoch Times.
The directive from the Pennsylvania Department of State says that county boards of elections “shall not” provide any access to third parties seeking to examine the systems or system components, or else the voting equipment that is examined “will be considered no longer secure or reliable to use in subsequent elections” and the department will withdraw its certification for the equipment.
The move comes on the heels of the triggering of a probe of recent elections by Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), who argued that the directive was an example of a “disturbing pattern” of obstruction and violation of constitutional powers of the Senate that dates back to March 2019.
Mastriano had sent letters to counties that cited the abnormalities in the 2020 election such as Philadelphia, York, and Tioga. Abnormalities included how the number of mail-in ballots jumped by over 2 million compared to four years prior.
Moreover, 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.
Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R) also 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,” Corman continued.
Officials were given till July 31 to provide the documents. If they don’t, Mastriano intends to call a meeting of his panel and ask for a vote granting him the right to issue subpoenas.
Mastriano told Epoch Times in a recent interview, “Let’s just find out what happened and get to the bottom of it and do what we got to do to either safeguard our elections or celebrate how perfect the election was.”
He added, “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.”