The Lead

Tioga County calls on Sen. Mastriano to stop ‘unnecessary chaos’ of forensic investigation

By: - August 10, 2021 1:55 pm

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, addresses a crowd of Trump supporters at the Pennsylvania state Capitol on Saturday, Nov. 7, the day the presidential race was called for Democrat Joe Biden. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

A Republican-controlled county in rural Pennsylvania has called for an end to the “unnecessary chaos” caused by a proposed forensic investigation into the 2020 general and 2021 primary elections.

In a Tuesday statement, the Tioga County commissioners pushed Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, to rescind his sweeping request for election equipment and voting records as part of reviewing the two most recent elections in Tioga, York, and Philadelphia counties.

All three counties declined to comply with the investigation. 

Following Mastriano’s request, the Department of State also issued a directive prohibiting third-party access to voting equipment.

“The senator began his one-man quest with a false accusation, saying that if Tioga County did not give him what he wanted, it was because we had something to hide,” the statement, which was read during Tuesday’s board meeting, said. “The people of this county have nothing to hide, and Mr. Mastriano knows it. In fact, the only one who has made himself scarce since he made this blunder without the authority of his committee or the Senate is Doug Mastriano.”

Last month, Mastriano told conservative news outlets that the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee, the little-used panel that he chairs and that is spearheading the proposed review, would meet within two weeks to vote on issuing subpoenas to secure the requested information from counties.

Mastriano did not respond to a request for comment. The Senate committee has no meetings scheduled as of Tuesday afternoon.

Four Republicans on Mastriano’s committee — Sens. David Argall, R-Schuylkill, Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, Judy Ward, R-Blair, and Chris Gebhard, R-Lebanon, have voiced support for the review. Argall chairs the Senate State Government Committee, which has oversight of election issues.

Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, who’s exploring a run for governor, is the only GOP member to denounce the proposed election investigation and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

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Marley Parish
Marley Parish

A Pennsylvania native, Marley Parish covers the Senate for the Capital-Star. She previously reported on government, education and community issues for the Centre Daily Times and has a background in writing, editing and design. A graduate of Allegheny College, Marley served as editor of the campus newspaper, where she also covered everything from student government to college sports.

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