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Election audit plan a ‘disgrace to democracy,’ governor says

July 9, 2021 GMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday said it is a “disgrace to democracy” that a Republican state lawmaker is trying to launch what he calls a “forensic investigation” of Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election, similar to what is happening in Arizona.

Wolf, a Democrat, said on Twitter that the “sham election audit” being attempted by Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano is also a “profound waste of time and taxpayer money,” in addition to being a disgrace.

Meanwhile on Thursday, Wolf’s administration issued a directive to counties, warning that they should not provide access for third parties to copy or examine state-certified electronic voting systems and election management systems or components.

Wolf’s administration told counties that it would decertify any election equipment that is subject to any such third-party access, rendering it useless in an election, and that the state would not reimburse a county for the cost to replace the equipment.

Mastriano issued letters to Philadelphia and York and Tioga counties Wednesday, giving officials there a sweeping request for access to documents and equipment, with the threat of subpoenas for holdouts who do not respond affirmatively by July’s end.

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Trump has persistently claimed the 2020 election was rigged against him, and pressured Republican lawmakers in states he lost narrowly to conduct an audit, as is happening in Arizona. Any such audit in Pennsylvania could cost millions of dollars.