HARRISBURG – Senate Doug Mastriano issued the following statement today in response to attempts by the Wolf Administration and the Attorney General to obstruct a forensic investigation of the 2020 General Election and 2021 Primary:
“On Friday, the Acting Secretary of State issued a veiled threat disguised as a “directive” to all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. This threat implied that any county who participates in a forensic investigation and allows access of electronic voting systems to “third party entities not directly involved in the conduct of elections” will have their machines automatically decertified and retired before the next election.
Even worse, the directive stated that counties would be forced to pay for new voting system equipment and prevented from seeking reimbursement from the State Department.
The General Assembly is in fact directly involved in the manner and conduct of elections across the Commonwealth as it is responsible for reforming and amending all election laws.
Nowhere in statute is the Secretary of State mandated to make a predictive finding, automatically retire voting systems after third party access, and force counties to pay for that decision.
The authority of such a directive from the “Acting” Secretary is also in question as she has yet to go before the Senate to be officially confirmed. The inclination of the Acting Secretary to act outside of the scope of her constitutional powers is deeply concerning and will certainly be considered during her confirmation process.
The scare tactics last week did not just emanate from the Acting Secretary.
Attorney General Shapiro has made numerous tv appearances and social media statements to threaten costly legal action and make baseless claims about how much an investigation would cost to taxpayers.
Perhaps the AG’s time could be better spent on important law enforcement issues rather than nightly CNN/MSNBC appearances, childish name calling, and tweets of incessant broad, yet empty platitudes. Here are some issues that could use the attention of the Attorney General:
- Investigating sworn affidavits from the 2020 November election
- Protecting the personal data of PA citizens by investigating the Wolf Administration’s contact tracing data breach which exposed the personal health data of over 72,000 Pennsylvanians
- Coming up with actual solutions to stem the rising tide of violent crime in PA cities and standing up to progressive district attorneys
- Investigating the deaths of 16,000 of our dearly loved elderly resulting from the Wolf Administration’s directive to send COVID-positive patients back into long term care facilities.
In my letter to request information from several counties on July 7th, I clearly stated that the Intergovernmental Operations Committee would be open to any requests from county officials to maintain the security of responsive materials and the privacy of all voting information.
What we are seeing is a convergence of scare tactics from Wolf Administration and the Attorney General to intimidate county officials and obstruct a forensic investigation.
Governor Wolf and AG Shapiro are standing in the way of the constitutional authority of the General Assembly. For people who once lectured the state about transparency and accountability, we all ask, what do they have to hide?
The Intergovernmental Operations Committee will press forward in the pursuit of a forensic investigation.”