On Wednesday, the editorial board of The Philadelphia Inquirer released a scathing takedown of GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, laying out his plans to interfere with elections in the name of former President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories.
"Mastriano’s relentless efforts to thwart the results of the 2020 presidential election, spread Donald Trump’s election lies, and suppress votes in future elections amounts to a 10-alarm fire for anyone who believes in a functioning democracy," wrote the board. "Days after the 2020 election — with no evidence of fraud — Mastriano said the results should not be certified until an audit was complete. On Nov. 23, 2020, the election results in Pennsylvania were certified and showed Joe Biden won the state by 80,555 votes."
Ultimately, Trump and Mastriano failed to throw out Biden's victory. But, the board noted, Mastriano then moved on to trying to change election law so that future elections would be easier for Republicans to win or overturn.
"In August 2021, he introduced a bill to replace the Pennsylvania secretary of state with a three-person panel appointed by the governor, House speaker, and Senate president. The following month, Mastriano introduced a bill to eliminate mail-in voting," said the board. "In March, Mastriano continued his attacks on Biden’s election. He sponsored a 'voter integrity conference' that required attendees to sign a petition decertifying Pennsylvania’s 2020 election result. Mastriano has promoted plans to suppress the vote in future elections. In November, he proposed legislation to eliminate 'no excuse' mail-in voting. In April, Mastriano proposed a bill to ban drop boxes. In June, he pitched a plan to require voters to reregister — a move scholars say federal law prohibits."
"If elected governor, Mastriano boasted about how he plans to interfere with election outcomes if he doesn’t get the results he wants," the board noted, quoting Mastriano as saying, “I could decertify every machine in the state with the, you know, with the stroke of a pen." "Pennsylvania does not need election-denying conspiracy theorists deciding the outcome of elections with the stroke of a pen."
In addition to his election conspiracy theories, and his presence at the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Mastriano has come under fire for his ties to the QAnon movement, a radical church that believes the AR-15 is anointed by God, and the CEO of a far-right, anti-Semitic social media platform used by the Tree of Life Synagogue shooter.
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