Supporters of election audit flood York County Commissioners meeting

Matt Enright
York Dispatch
Hanover residents Edie Springfloat, Sheila O'Neill and Christie Rutledge pose with signs outside of the York County Administrative Center. The three attended the Board of Commissioners meeting in support of a forensic election audit of the 2020 election.

People packed the York County Commissioners meeting Wednesday to urge the board to support state Sen. Doug Mastriano's request for a forensic election audit.

"Even if York County was not the problem and it will not change the election overall, there were numerous irregularities, and I think the county has to put their voice behind supporting a forensic audit of the vote in Pennsylvania," Mark Swomley, chair of the Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors, told the board to applause during public comment.

But there is no evidence of "irregularities." As The Associated Press reports, no county election board, prosecutor or state official has raised a concern over any sort of widespread election fraud in November’s election in Pennsylvania.

Critics say an election audit is duplicative, given the legal requirements for each county and the state to review election results for accuracy and investigate any discrepancies.

More:Pennsylvania decertifies county's voting system after audit

More:York County raises objection to Mastriano's election audit

More:York County officials still mum, but Tioga commissioners won't cooperate with Mastriano's election 'audit'

More:Push for 'forensic investigation' has some GOP candidates squirming

About 80 people attended the commissioners meeting and 24 people spoke — 22 urging the board to support the Arizona-style forensic investigation championed by Mastriano, a Republican from Franklin County who also represents part of York County.

Mastriano, who has helped spread former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that the election was rigged, has characterized his initiative as a way to bring transparency to elections and ease the concerns of Republican voters who do not trust the outcome of the 2020 election.

Earlier this month, Mastriano sent letters to three counties — Philadelphia, a Democratic bastion and the state's largest city, and Republican-controlled Tioga and York counties — to request access to a sweeping list of information, documents and equipment, with the threat of subpoenas for holdouts.

York County's commissioners responded last week, questioning the legality of the senator's request and asking if the Senate or state would supply the staff, oversight and money needed to conduct the audit. Tioga officials also balked; Philadelphia didn't reply.

The board also noted that its recently purchased voting machines could be decertified by the state if the county complied with Mastriano's request. 

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of State announced it had decertified the voting machines of Fulton County after county officials disclosed they had agreed to requests by local Republican lawmakers and allowed a software firm to inspect the machines as part of an "audit" after the 2020 election.

York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler, a Republican, said Wednesday that York County's election was fair and transparent.

Still, she left the door open to working with Mastriano — who has said he is considering running for governor and has claimed that Trump “asked” him to run.

"We want to assure you that we've heard your concerns and we will take them very seriously, but at this point we are going to continue to attempt to collaborate with Senator Mastriano and get the answers to the questions that we have," Wheeler told the crowd.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.