Pennsylvania Lawmakers Hopeful for Audit After Touring Arizona Election Review

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
June 3, 2021 Updated: June 3, 2021

A delegation from Pennsylvania will try to convince legislative leaders in the state to back an audit of the 2020 election after visiting an election review taking place in Arizona’s largest county.

“I’m 100 percent for us having one, and I think our leadership is starting to lean that way,” Pennsylvania Sen. Cris Dush told reporters at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, where the Maricopa County audit has been taking place since April 23.

Dush was joined by Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano and Pennsylvania Rep. Rob Kauffman.

Dush said he was impressed by how the Arizona audit was being done, including how the firms hired by the Arizona Senate are handling chain of custody issues.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, to be quite honest with you. It’s fantastic. I’d like to encourage other state legislatures to get down here and take a look at it as well, especially if you’ve had situations like we experienced in Pennsylvania that really have our citizens in an uproar,” he said.

Mastriano told a pool reporter that he supports Pennsylvania conducting an audit such as the one being executed in Arizona.

“I’m not about overturning anything. I’m just trying to find out what went right, what went wrong, and how do we have better elections in the future?” he said.

That’s the same reasoning Arizona senators have put forth when explaining why they ordered the Maricopa County audit.

One poll showed roughly 40 percent of voters in Pennsylvania have concerns about the integrity of the election, the state senator noted.

“For the sake of our … constitutional republic, and for the sake of people’s peace of mind, let’s just do it. Let’s pick a few counties and put people’s minds at rest,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Doug Mastriano, a Republican member of the Pennsylvania Senate, speaks at a rally on the National Mall in Washington on Dec. 12, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

A majority of the Pennsylvania legislature would need to support an audit, Mastriano said.

A spokesman for Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, a Republican, noted in an email that Cutler has recently introduced legislation to establish a bureau of election audits. The House speaker previously pushed for an independent audit of the 2020 election. Other Pennsylvania legislative leaders didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Pennsylvania delegation plan to take the information they learned while in Arizona back to Republican leaders.

Auditors hired by the Arizona Senate, led by Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, are reviewing the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in the county during the 2020 presidential election. They have also examined tabulators and other machines used during the contest.

Republicans control the Arizona Senate. Democrats have largely opposed the audit, arguing that voter information could be at risk of being compromised.

Observers sent to the arena by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said they saw a security gate left unattended and a procedure manual marked “confidential” left on a counter. They also learned that copies of voting system data were sent to a laboratory in Montana and claimed quality control practices to ensure data are entered correctly aren’t in place, “rendering all of the data and findings unreliable.”

The Arizona Senate’s liaison didn’t immediately respond when asked about the observers’ notes.

Kauffman told The Epoch Times before the tour that he wanted to see firsthand how the audit was being run.

“The Arizona forensic audit is really one of the talks of America, and there’s a lot of stuff being thrown around about how it’s being conducted, and I kind of see this as a fact-finding to see what’s happening on the ground in Arizona, how it’s happening, and if it’s something that should be done in other states,” he said.

Taxpayer money wasn’t used for the trip, the lawmakers said.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.