Reported by Jack Davis | July 14, 2021
With threats from a top official in Pennsylvania’s Democratic-dominated administration ringing in their ears, officials from one Pennsylvania county have refused to participate in an audit of the state’s 2020 election results. Although Tioga County is led by Republicans, county solicitor Christopher Gabriel said cooperating with the audit proposed by state Sen. Doug Mastriano would in effect be operating with a sword over the heads of county officials, according to KDKA-TV.
Last week, Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, an appointee of Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, issued an order ensuring counties could not cooperate with an election audit even if they wanted to.Advertisement – story continues below
“County Boards of Elections shall not provide physical, electronic, or internal access to third parties seeking to copy and/or conduct an examination of state-certified electronic voting systems, or any components of such systems, including but not limited to: election management software and systems, tabulators, scanners, counters, automatic tabulating equipment, voting devices, servers, ballot marking devices, paper ballot or ballot card printers, portable memory media devices (thumb drives, flash drives and the like), and any other hardware, software or devices being used as part of the election management system,” the order said.
And if any county were to be so bold as to defy the Democratic state administration and provide its voting machines for an election audit, it would pay the price. The order threatened that if a county were to allow an outside agency to audit its machines, “the Department of State will withdraw the certification or use authority for those pieces of the county voting system.”
Then came the hammer.
“The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will not reimburse any cost of replacement voting equipment for which certification or use authority has been withdrawn pursuant to this directive,” the order said.
Gabriel said that left Tioga County with very little wiggle room.
“We can’t be in a position where we don’t have the election machines, because we have to run the next election, these are extremely expensive machines and our position is we need to follow the direction that the secretary has given us,” Gabriel said.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald additionally implied that, if asked, his county will also not participate, noting that such a move would “cost the taxpayers of Allegheny County millions of dollars and potentially have the machines that we bought invalidated in which we can’t use them again.”