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Pennsylvania Election Audit: GOP Campaign Trail Accepted

They are finding new signs of life in Pennsylvania, the battleground state where Trump lost by 80,000 votes eight-months ago.

A Republican state lawmaker has launched a push to have a "forensic investigation" of presidential election results. This review is modeled after the widely discredited process in Arizona.

It is likely that the effort will face legal challenges. The effort is currently limited to three counties. There it is facing pushback even by Republican commissioners. Its progress is forcing many to take it seriously and stop seeing it as a pet project of one lawmaker.

In an election cycle in which an open governor's seat and an open U.S. Senate spot -- the political equivalent to a blue moon -- have been triggered fiercely competitive Republican primaries, the audit has quickly become a litmus-test.

Some GOP party donors and officials are feeling uncomfortable, even though they do so quietly. Some Republicans are concerned that the prolonged election audit will be a time bomb for the state's democratic institutions and the party's credibility among critical swing voters.

"Most Republicans I know have doubts or, at best, are like me and realize that this is just really an epic blunder," stated Charlie Dent, a former congressman from the Allentown region. "Why bring the Arizona clown act to Pennsylvania?"

Supporters of the effort have made these worries disappear.

One, Doug Mastriano, a state senator, claimed that Trump " " asked him to run for governor. He is also the ringleader in the audit campaign and is raising money off it.

Mastriano stated in an email appeal that all she wanted was a transparent investigation to show that U.S. voters were correctly counted and that there is nothing to be concerned about.

Lou Barletta (an ex-congressional candidate) has stated that he was running for governor because he was in favor of an audit back in December.

Mastriano wrote letters earlier this month to three counties, including Philadelphia, a Democratic bastion, and the state's biggest city, to request access and documents, as well as equipment and information. He also threatened to subpoena any holdouts.

Gov. Governor.

Subpoenas, which are tools lawmakers rarely use in the past, can be a confusing tool for judges. It is not clear if a court will block such an effort, order counties comply, or simply choose to ignore it, according to Bruce Ledewitz, a Duquesne University professor of constitutional law.

He predicted that "probably" no court would interfere with his plans. "But that does not mean that you will get an enforceable enforcement order."

Mastriano, however, has not answered key questions such as who will do the work and how it will be paid. He also did not address where to store such a large amount of equipment and documents.

Candidates for U.S. Senate and governor have supported it.

Sean Parnell, a presidential candidate, stated that half of the state does not trust the election results. An audit can fix this problem. He dismissed the county and state audits as "recounts", which were insufficient to investigate claims that something was wrong.

Parnell said to a radio host that, "Now after the fact," people are saying, "Hey, wait, maybe there were problems.' They just blow us off and say, "No, no. Screw you. You don't know what's going on.' Like, "You're just crazy conspiracy theorists.

The Senate's Republican leadership in Arizona initiated a partisan audit of the votes in Maricopa County. This was despite the fact the votes had already been counted, certified, and recounted. Many Republican state legislators, including Kelli Ward, the chair of the state party, and Mark Brnovich (a Republican running for U.S. Senate), supported this effort.

It has received harsh criticism from other establishment Republicans including the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Cindy McCain, the wife of Senator John McCain and former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey avoided the subject altogether.

Pennsylvania's Republican Party and Senate Republican leaders responded to silence.

Many Republicans want to distance themselves from the party's audit and question the expense of Mastriano’s demands. They say it's better to concentrate on the future and less on auditing.

"At the end, I don’t know what you’re going to accomplish," stated Sam DeMarco (the GOP chair in Allegheny County), home to Pittsburgh.

Even so, even Republicans who refrain from repeating Trump's election fraud allegations have maintained the notion that Democrats cheated.

In settling legal disputes, and in answering questions about Pennsylvania's new mail-in voting law, they routinely distort state judges' and officials' actions as "unconstitutional" and "illegal".

The state House of Representatives refused to conduct any 2020 election audit. This was weeks ago.

Instead, the Republican legislators introduced a "Voting rights Protection Act" which, they claimed, would make elections safer and more accessible, and solve 2020's alleged problems.

It would also have moved authority over election policies away from the executive and given broad new election-auditing powers to the state auditor general (currently a Republican).

Democrats dismissed the bill for voter suppression, and Wolf vetoed it . However, it provided Republican Party figures with something to point at, at minimum, as an alternative to an Arizona audit of 2020 elections.

Jeffrey Piccola, Republican-controlled York County's GOP chair, stated that "I believe that's the problem." "I don’t believe going back to 2020 will solve any problems. And I'm not certain you can solve any problems."

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