One Republican county in Pennsylvania says that it won’t take part in an audit of the presidential election.
The story: Officials in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, voted on Tuesday not to comply with a request from a state Senator for election materials, including documents and other information, as well as access to its voting machine.
Commissioners in the county, where Trump won in the 2020 presidential election, announced the decision nearly a week after received the five-page request from Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano. All three county commissioners who rejected Mastriano’s request are GOP members.
Why? The county’s solicitor, Christopher Gabriel, on Wednesday pointed to a warning Pennsylvania’s Department of State sent out to states that advised them against giving “third-party entities” access to their election equipment.
The state’s Gov. Tom Wolf’s top election official, Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, told counties that they would risk decertification if any third party gains access to their election equipment.
Degraffenreid highlighted that the state will not reimburse their replacement.
“County Boards of Elections shall not provide physical, electronic, or internal access to third parties seeking to copy and/or conduct an examination of state-certified electronic voting systems, or any components of such systems, including but not limited to: election management software and systems, tabulators, scanners, counters, automatic tabulating equipment, voting devices, servers, ballot marking devices, paper ballot or ballot card printers, portable memory media devices (thumb drives, flash drives and the like), and any other hardware, software or devices being used as part of the election management system,” the order said.
Tioga County’s solicitor Christopher Gabriel, said Wednesday that “we can’t be in a position where we don’t have the election machines because we have to run the next election, these are extremely expensive machines, and our position is we need to follow the direction that [acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid] has given us.”
Worth noting: Tioga County is one of the three counties that received requests from Mastriano who servers as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee. He also sent letters to Philadelphia and York county last week as part of an inquiry that seeks to determine if there is any evidence of election fraud.
Mastriano gave counties until July 31 to respond to the request and said he will issue subpoenas if they refuse to comply. Democrats have suggested they’ll take the issue to court. The lawmaker also said that he may ask other counties to turn over election information as well.
Mastriano has promised to move forward with the effort regardless of the opposition.
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