Senator Doug Mastriano issued the following statement today in response to Acting Secretary Degraffenreid’s decision to decertify all electronic voting systems in Fulton County:
“On the heels of a veiled threat disguised as a “directive” to all counties in Pennsylvania two weeks ago, the Acting Secretary of State is once again abusing the power of her department to punish and intimidate local governments and their taxpayers.
Without any proof of compromised parts or an examination of voting machines, the Acting Secretary is taking it upon herself to unilaterally decertify all machines in Fulton County and force the taxpayers of that county to pay for it.
This is not about “ensuring the machines continue to meet standards,” as the Acting Secretary stated. This is about sending a message to counties who dare to be transparent about their election process. That message is very clear: Any county who has the audacity to partner with the General Assembly to demonstrate that their elections were secure and accurate will be punished.
It is not a coincidence that this has all occurred within weeks of my letters to three counties requesting materials needed to conduct a forensic investigation of the 2020 and 2021 elections. Each standing committee of the Senate is empowered with the authority to inspect and investigate the books, records, papers, documents, data, operation, and physical plant of any public agency in this Commonwealth, including county boards of elections.
That authority is both statutorily and constitutionally lawful. Wolf knows this and that is why his administration is trying every trick to obstruct an investigation. What is Wolf afraid of? This coming from same Governor Wolf who once promised to be the most transparent governor in Pennsylvania history.
I was hopeful that after the resignation of disgraced Secretary Boockvar earlier this year, the State Department would return to its role as a non-partisan government agency willing to work with the General Assembly and local governments to ensure free, fair, and secure elections. But just as we witnessed in the lead up to the 2020 election, the department has decided to recklessly bypass the legislature and strong-arm local governments into doing their bidding.
Governor Wolf recently stated that a forensic investigation would be a disgrace to “democracy.” The bigger disgrace has been his resistance to transparency as well as the autocratic actions of his administration to subvert our constitutional republic.”