In Pennsylvania, State Sen. Doug Mastriano has earned a reputation for being so extreme that he makes even hard-right Pennsylvania Republicans like U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum seem moderate by comparison. Republican Mastriano, in contrast to Toomey — who voted "guilty" in former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial — has been aggressively promoting the former president's election lies and promoting the false and debunked conspiracy theory that widespread voter fraud robbed Trump of a victory in Pennsylvania. And now, according to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Mastriano is calling for a "forensic investigation" of the 2020 election results in the Keystone State.
In an op-ed he sent to Pennsylvania news outlets, Mastriano — a Trump loyalist — wrote, "The goals are to restore faith in the integrity of our system, confirm the effectiveness of existing legislation on the governance of elections, and identify areas for legislative reform."
Mastriano also wrote, "The damage to the integrity and confidence in our election process will not be undone with the passing of time. I believe the only way to restore confidence in our commonwealth's election process is to undertake a forensic investigation of the election results. By doing this, faith in our election system will be restored."
Mastriano, as part of his stunt, sent a letter to various counties in his state, including Philadelphia County and York County, and requested "information and materials."
Capital-Star reporters Marley Parish and Stephen Caruso explain, "The letter requests that York County turn over potentially hundreds of thousands of items, including all ballots cast in the 2020 election, voter rolls, ballot paper samples, cybersecurity protocols, software used through the election process, and the machines used to tabulate results, among others. Mastriano set a July 31 deadline for the counties to respond with a plan to comply. A subpoena may be issued if a plan to comply with the documents request is not returned by the deadline, the letter says."
The "audit" that Mastriano is calling for would not be an official bipartisan vote recount, but rather, a Trumpian farce not unlike the Cyber Ninjas election "audit" that has been taking place in Maricopa County in Arizona. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a conservative Republican, has slammed the Cyber Ninjas "audit" as an embarrassing joke and stressed that Biden won Arizona fair and square.
After Biden defeated Trump in Pennsylvania in 2020, the election results were officially recounted and confirmed that Biden won the Keystone State. Regardless, Mastriano continued to promote the Big Lie. Mastriano attended Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington, D.C. on January 6, although he has maintained that he never entered the U.S. Capitol Building that day. And in May, he visited Maricopa County to observe the Cyber Ninjas "audit."