Pennsylvania Republicans Split Over Proposed 2020 Election Audit

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
June 5, 2021 Updated: June 11, 2021

Update: Sen. Argall later said he supports an audit.

Original story below.

While some Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature support an audit of the 2020 election, others do not, making the prospect that a review happens unclear.

State Sens. Doug Mastriano and Cris Dush, along with state Rep. Rob  Kauffman, traveled to Maricopa County, Arizona this week to tour the forensic audit taking place there. Afterward, Mastriano and Dush expressed support for an audit and said they’d take what they learned to the Pennsylvania Senate GOP leadership.

Sen. Jake Corman, the Pennsylvania Senate’s president pro tempore, declined to comment through a spokesperson. Sen. Kim Ward, the Pennsylvania Senate GOP’s floor leader, did not respond to an inquiry.

State Sen. Dave Argall, a Republican who chairs the Senate’s State Government Committee, told the Pennsylvania Capital-Star that “we are still reviewing the pros and cons” of a possible audit.

An Arizona Senate panel last year subpoenaed ballots and election machines from Maricopa County. After a court battle over the scope of the subpoenas was resolved, an audit started in Phoenix in April.

Republicans control the Pennsylvania Senate. The GOP has seven members on the Senate’s State Government Committee, compared to four for Democrats. Both Mastriano and Dush sit on the panel.

“When a state does an audit, it needs to be modeled after this,” Mastriano told One America News at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum after touring the facility.

Pennsylvania lawmakers, including House Speaker Bryan Cutler, have previously pushed for an audit, but were unable to get enough support to order one.

Pennsylvania House State Government Chairman Seth Grove, a Republican, does not want an audit to be done.

Election 2020 Arizona Audit
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona, on May 6, 2021. (Matt York/Pool/AP Photo)

“On November 19, 2020 the Pa [sic] House of Representatives authorized an audit of the 2020 General Election through the General Assembly’s audit arm, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) through HR 1100. The LBFC rejected taking up the audit on a party line vote,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

“The PA House of Representatives will not be authorizing any further audits on any previous election. We are focused on fixing our broken election law to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” he added.

Pennsylvania’s former secretary of state, Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat, in February announced that a statewide risk-limiting audit pilot, which featured a review of over 45,000 randomly-selected ballots, showed “strong evidence” that the ballot count was correct. Pennsylvania Democrats have largely opposed other audit efforts.

“This has been litigated and relitigated; there was no widespread fraud in Pennsylvania,” state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa told the Capital-Star. “Let’s move on and make it easier for folks to vote and counties to process those votes.”

Former President Donald Trump earlier Friday expressed support for the Pennsylvania lawmakers who do want an audit.

Mastriano, Dush, and Kauffman went to Arizona “to learn the best practices for conducting a full Forensic Audit of the 2020 General Election,” he said in a statement.

“Now the Pennsylvania Senate needs to act. Senate President Jake Corman needs to fulfill his promise to his constituents to conduct a full Forensic Audit. Senator Dave Argall, Chairman of the State Government Committee, has to authorize the subpoenas, if necessary,” he added. “The people of Pennsylvania and America deserve to know the truth. If the Pennsylvania Senate leadership doesn’t act, there is no way they will ever get re-elected!”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.