Pennsylvania Decertifies County’s Voting System, Cites Violation of Election Code

Pennsylvania Decertifies County’s Voting System, Cites Violation of Election Code
A sign is seen on the porch of the Democratic Party's Fulton County headquarters on Election Day in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 3, 2020. (Nathan Layne/Reuters)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Pennsylvania’s top election official has decertified the voting system of rural Fulton County for future elections, saying that an assessment by a third party had violated the Keystone State’s election code.

The Pennsylvania Department of State said in a statement dated July 21 that Wake Technology Services Inc.’s access to the county’s voting system “undermined the chain of custody requirements and strict access limitations necessary to prevent both intentional and inadvertent tampering with electronic voting systems.”

It added that the “unauthorized access” prevents the vendor—Dominion Voting Systems—from “affirming that the system continues to meet state and federal certification standards.”

Wake TSI, a software company based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, had carried out an election assessment that involved its workers visiting Fulton County in December 2020 and in early February. While the company in May released a report that concluded the election was “well-run” and didn’t indicate any signs of fraud in Fulton County, five “issues of note” were uncovered, including three related to Dominion, whose electronic voting system was used in the county for the 2020 election.

“While these may seem minor, the impact on an election can be huge,” Wake TSI said of the issues. At the time, Dominion disputed the report’s findings.

Fulton County officials had allowed Wake TSI to “access certain key components of its certified system, including the county’s election database, results files, and Windows systems logs,” and to “use a system imaging tool to take complete hard drive images of these computers and other digital equipment,” the department noted.

“These actions were taken in a manner that was not transparent,” Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, an appointee of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, said in a letter to county officials. She said the access given to Wake TSI has caused the county’s voting system to be “compromised,” and that neither the county, state officials, nor Dominion could now “verify that the impacted components of Fulton County’s leased voting system are safe to use in future elections.”

“I have no other choice but to decertify the use of Fulton County’s leased Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5A voting system last used in the November 2020 election.”

The Fulton County Board of Elections and Wake TSI didn’t respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment by press time.

The Pennsylvania Department of State previously said that a risk-limiting audit of the 2020 election has confirmed the state’s election results.

The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported that Fulton County needed to pay $25,000 to lease new equipment for its municipal elections in May, because Dominion refused to let the county use voting machines that Wake TSI had accessed. According to the outlet, Dominion told the county that it violated its contract in letting an unaccredited and non-certified company inspect the machines.
Wake TSI’s assessment in Fulton County was “set” by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, according to a Dec. 31, 2020, document signed by the company that was obtained and published by the Arizona Mirror and The Washington Post. Wake TSI said in its report that Mastriano and Pennsylvania Sen. Judy Ward, also a Republican, “were aware of our efforts.”

The document also said that Wake TSI was “contracted to Defending the Republic,” a nonprofit founded by lawyer Sidney Powell, who has alleged that widespread fraud occurred in the 2020 election.

Mastriano earlier this month issued letters to York, Tioga, and Philadelphia counties requesting that they voluntarily submit information and materials by July 31, to enable what he calls a “forensic investigation” of the 2020 and 2021 elections. He told The Epoch Times that he seeks an investigation that would be “a big deep dive, like we saw in Arizona, but even deeper.”
Wake TSI had been involved in the election audit still underway in Arizona’s Maricopa County, until its contract expired in May. That audit was ordered by the Arizona state Senate’s Republican majority. Dominion machines in Maricopa County will also be replaced.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, said the machines weren’t tampered with during the audit and questioned the Board of Supervisors’ decision to get new machines.

“If their experts can’t prove the machines have not been tampered with, then how does the [Secretary of State’s office] or County Elections certify the machines before every audit to make sure the machines haven’t been tampered with?” she asked in June.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
Mimi Nguyen Ly covers U.S. and world news.
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