Pennsylvania lawmakers want to import Arizona-style election audit

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Jennifer Gregg / Pool

Pennsylvania Republican Senators Doug Mastriano (second from right) and Cris Dush (right) visit the Arizona State Senate’s review of the recent Maricopa County election on June 2, 2021.

A Pennsylvania Republican lawmaker who visited the Arizona State Senate’s review of the recent Maricopa County election said he “absolutely” wants to replicate the controversial process in his home state.

On Wednesday, the GOP Sens. Cris Dush and Doug Mastriano, along with Rep. Rob Kauffman, met with Arizona Republican lawmakers, the private companies responsible for the State Senate recount and audit of general election results in Maricopa County , and visited the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. in Phoenix, where the count takes place.

A photo of the Pennsylvania lawmakers’ visit to the Arizona Capitol showed them with Republican Senses Wendy Rogers, Sonny Borreli and David Gowan, as well as GOP Representative Leo Biasiucci.

Dush said he absolutely wanted a similar election review in Pennsylvania, “without a doubt.”

“We want to bring that back to our leaders and let them know that what the media has reported isn’t necessarily, well, isn’t at all, really, what’s going on here,” Dush said. “It’s a very transparent process.”

Critics, including election experts watching the recount on behalf of Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, say the Republicans-ordered review of the Arizona Senate is anything but transparent. Hobbs recently published a list of issues his observers noted from the Colosseum floor, including frequent changes in processes and procedures; and violations of the rules implemented by the private companies that manage the operation.

Companies hired by Senate Speaker Karen Fann, especially Cyber ​​Ninjas, have been criticized for being biased and inexperienced. Cyber ​​Ninjas CEO Doug Logan had been spreading conspiracy theories about voter fraud before his company began operating in Maricopa County in late April.

Logan personally gave a tour of the Colosseum to the delegation from Pennsylvania. Cyber ​​Ninjas lawyers have previously argued in court files that documents related to the election review should be kept confidential, as the company “expects to have similar business opportunities to undertake such work for others. governments across the country “.

Hobbs and election experts like Joanna Lydgate have warned that Arizona’s partisan audit could lead to similar efforts in other states.

“Other states should be concerned about this circus happening to them,” Lydgate said in May.

Like Dush, Mastriano said he would like to see the Arizona process replicated in Pennsylvania.

“I cannot speak for the entire Senate, and obviously I cannot speak for my caucus, I speak for myself,” Mastriano said. “I would like to see an audit to restore people’s confidence in the vote.

Mastriano, who came under scrutiny for his actions on the United States Capitol on January 6 and a echoes conspiracy theories of voter fraud, has previously helped spur an election recount in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, a rural county on the state’s border with Maryland. The Arizona Mirror reported that Senator Judy Ward of Mastriano and Pennsylvania asked county officials to let Wake Technology Services Inc. recount the county’s 2020 general election ballots.

Like their Arizona counterparts, Dush and Mastriano both claimed that even if the reviews concluded – as many audits in Arizona have already done – recent election results are valid, they would surely find ways to improve. the electoral process during their investigations.

Dush said that could mean placing watermarks on ballots. Arizona Election Review briefly inspected ballots for non-existent watermarks based on debunked electoral fraud allegations.

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