A Pennsylvania senator on Wednesday announced that he has triggered a forensic investigation of the 2020 and 2021 elections.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a Republican, issued letters to several counties requesting information and materials that he said would enable an investigation.
The counties, which includes Philadelphia and York counties, represent different geographical regions and include ones that lean Republican and others that lean Democrat, Mastriano said in an op-ed sent to news outlets.
“This is necessary as millions of Pennsylvanians have serious doubts about the accuracy of the 2020 General Election. A January poll from Muhlenberg University showed that 40 [percent] of Pennsylvania voters are not confident that the results of the 2020 Election accurately reflected how Pennsylvanians voted. Discounting or mocking their concerns is neither an answer nor proper in this constitutional republic,” Mastriano wrote.
The senator charged that there is a strong case for an investigation, noting that 2.7 million mail-in ballots were counted in the 2020 election, compared to just 263,000 in the prior presidential election. He also noted that many of the ballots were counted without signature verification.
“It would defy logic to assume that an election with the kinds of drastic changes we saw in 2020 was run perfectly with zero errors or fraud,” he said.
Mastriano sent the letters in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, which is tasked with overseeing and investigating activities conducted by two or more governments or levels of government.
Federal law mandates counties keep records that are being sought for 22 months after an election. The counties were told to produce the information by July 31.
If one or more counties do not comply, Mastriano plans to convene his committee and ask members to grant him subpoena power to force compliance.
“My goal is to find out if our elections were safe and secure and if they weren’t, what went wrong and how are we going to address this,” the senator said on “The John Fredericks Show” on Wednesday.
A forensic investigation includes poring over ballots and ascertaining if bubbles were filled out by a human hand or by a machine. It also includes looking at election machines. The process is not an audit, the senator added, suggesting a forensic probe is more thorough.
The Pennsylvania Department of State, which said a risk-limiting audit of the 2020 election confirmed the election results, did not respond to a request for comment.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro vowed during an appearance on MSNBC this week that he would fight back if lawmakers tried triggering an Arizona-style election review in Pennsylvania.
“I’m absolutely confident,” Shapiro said when asked if he could stop an audit or probe.
An election assessment conducted in Fulton County, Pennsylvania uncovered several major issues but the team that performed the review alleged the election was well-run and that there were no signs of fraud despite the problems.
Mastriano joined two other Pennsylvania Republicans in a trip to Phoenix last month to observe firsthand the audit taking place in Maricopa County. The delegation expressed hope for a similar review in their state after the trip, and a different committee chairman has said he supports carrying out an audit, though he has not initiated a review.
“The only way I could see ahead of this putting this all the rest—and let the cards fall where they may—do a scientific forensic audit, like Arizona. I don’t see any other way to address this,” Mastriano told The Epoch Times after visiting the audit.
He said he would prefer a statewide audit but would settle for a review of several counties.
Mastriano has said the effort would not seek to overturn the election results. Democrat Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by about 80,000 votes in the 2020 election.