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GOP state senators in Pennsylvania started lobbying for an election audit back in December: WaPo

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano
Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, center, speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa., after Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump to become 46th president of the United States.

  • GOP senators in Pennsylvania lobbied for 2020 election audits in December, The Washington Post reported.
  • At least one county accepted the offer and submitted to a recount done by Wake TSI, a company also involved in Arizona’s recount.
  • Trump has targeted Pennsylvania once again in recent days, calling on the GOP to conduct a full audit.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

All eyes were on Pennsylvania following the 2020 presidential election. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, the battleground state witnessed a riveting post-election day percentage shift from Trump to Biden, several Trump-sponsored accusations of fraud, and a series of rejected legal attempts by the then-president and his allies to overturn the results.

But after two months of election pandemonium in the keystone state, a group of GOP senators staged a final attempt to undermine President Joe Biden’s win, according to The Washington Post.

In late December, Republican senators in the state legislature targeted officials in at least three conservative-leaning counties asking if they would agree to an unofficial, voluntary audit of their ballots, the outlet reported.

Though previously unreported, the lawmakers’ post-election efforts to sow doubt about the 2020 election results and curry favor with former President Donald Trump set a precedent for the expanding list of places across the country looking to conduct similar reviews of the election that refuses to die.

Trump loyalists are clamoring for opportunities to find evidence that could prove Trump’s relentless conspiracy theories. But experts and institutions have found no evidence of any widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

The Post’s reporting on the Pennsylvania Republicans’ methods comes as the state’s GOP fields growing calls to greenlight an Arizona-style election audit of its own. Last week, a three-person delegation from Pennsylvania met with fellow Republicans and ballot counters in Maricopa County, where Biden beat Trump by more than 45,000 votes and where a GOP-backed audit has been ongoing since March.

Sen. Doug Mastriano, who developed a close relationship with Trump following the election, helped spearhead the county audit attempts in Pennsylvania last year and reportedly told Trump at a meeting last month that he could bring about an audit in his state moving forward. Mastriano was also one of the lawmakers who toured the Phoenix site last week and called for a similar recount after his visit.

Mastriano did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Of the three counties that Pennsylvania Republicans targeted last winter, Trump won all with ease. According to The Post, the lawmakers proposed to have a private company review the counties’ ballots for free – an unusual act not part of official election challenge processes.

Fulton County, a rural area on the border of Maryland, is the only county known to have accepted the senators’ offer, The Post reported. On December 31, Wake TSI, a company initially involved in the Arizona recount as well, recounted about 1,000 mail-in ballots and examined county voting machines, according to the outlet.

The company, which was contracted to a nonprofit run by ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, declared the election had been “well run” and conducted in “a diligent and effective manner” in a February draft report reviewed by The Post.

But the final version of the report that ended up on the county’s website was revised.

“This does not indicate that there were no issues with the election, just that they were not the fault of the County Election Commission or County Election Director,” it added to its assessment.

County officials did not respond to The Post’s questions about who made the last-minute revision.

As Trump continues to spread lies about the 2020 election, he has zeroed in on Pennsylvania once again, joining the crowd of those calling for a state audit.

“The people of Pennsylvania and America deserve to know the truth,” Trump said in a statement. “If the Pennsylvania Senate leadership doesn’t act, there is no way they will ever get re-elected!

Read the original article on Business Insider

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