The machines used to count votes for the 2020 presidential election in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, were decertified, following an audit conducted in December at the request of Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Pa.).
State election officials announced the move, contained in a letter to the county Board of Elections sent by acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, according to The Hill July 21.
The county would now have to acquire or purchase new machines to ensure accurate votes in the upcoming election.
Sen. Mastriano, for his part, is continuing his campaign to restore voter confidence, which is why he announced a few weeks ago that he was launching a “forensic investigation of the 2020 general election and the 2021 primary.”
“A forensic investigation of our election results and processes for the 2020 General Election and the 2021 Primary will go a long way to restore trust in our system,” it explained on its official website on July 7.
He added: “Voting is the fundamental right of all citizens. We should continually look for ways to improve the voting process to ensure every voice is heard.”
Mastriano traveled early last month to Arizona to get an in-depth look at the audit being conducted in Maricopa County, accompanied by Senator Cris Dush and Representative Rob Kauffman.
In the city of Phoenix, they met with the auditors and some Arizona legislators at the Capitol. Then Doug Logan, head of Cyber Ninjas, the firm that conducted the audit, led the team on a tour of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum (VMC), where the activities were taking place.
The delegation witnessed with their own eyes “the most complete electoral audit in the history of the United States,” according to the senator’s office. For his part, Senator Dush said that he “absolutely” wants a similar audit in Pennsylvania.
In this regard, Mastriano asked the officials of Philadelphia, York, and Tiago counties for access to the documents and equipment. They have until the end of this month; otherwise, they could be subpoenaed.
“As we go through the ballots, my desire is to recount them, but also forensically analyze with photographic material whether the ballots were copied or filled in by a human,” Mastriano told former White House adviser Steve Bannon in an interview, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.
In this context, the governor, Tom Wolf, considered the audit proposal an “embarrassment” and urged the three counties involved not to cooperate.
On the other hand, the machines belonging to the company Dominion Voting System have caused controversy on many occasions. As a result, one of the immediate consequences of the audit in Maricopa is that the machines will be removed and no longer used.
In this regard, attorney Joseph La Rue wrote in a letter to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on June 28, saying that “The Board shares your concerns” and promising that the county “will not use the cited equipment in any future elections.”
Previously, Hobbs had asserted that the machines should be decertified because something could have been done that would have compromised their safety.