EDITORIAL: Leave our votes alone

York Dispatch editorial board

It's not an audit, it's a "forensic investigation."

Or, to put it more bluntly, it's another chance for Donald Trump's sycophants to invent a reason to nullify our votes.

Eight months — EIGHT MONTHS — after a resounding victory by Joe Biden in both the popular vote and the Electoral College, the Republicans we elected to represent us are still pretending something must have gone wrong with the voting.

As we've noted countless times since last November, there is absolutely no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. None. Zero. Unquestionably. Ask the many courts Trump's lawyers tried to file lawsuits with. Ask Trump's many lawyers who didn't spread the Big Lie in court because they didn't want to be charged with perjury and have their license to practice law suspended. Ask Rudy Giuliani, who spread the Big Lie in court and has now had his law license suspended.

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But now state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, has asked three counties in Pennsylvania for information in 45 categories, including all ballots attempted to have been cast in the November election, logs from all computers and servers used to run the election, timelines of who accessed election equipment and “a complete end-to-end election setup for use in a laboratory.”

Yes, York County is one of the counties that Mastriano wants to run this "forensic investigation" on. The other two are Tioga, like York a Republican stronghold, and Philadelphia, which is of course heavily Democratic.

“As we go through the ballots, my desire is to recount them but also forensically analyze with photographic material whether the ballots were copied or filled in by a human,” Mastriano told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in an internet interview, saying he planned to study what type of paper was used, look for what he called software “shenanigans” and review the chain of custody for the ballots.

Checking to see if ballots were filled in by a human? A complete election setup for use in a laboratory? Studying the kind of paper used?

The only shenanigans we see here are those Mastriano is committing. 

Mastriano, using his position as chair of the the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee as leverage, is proposing the same sort of "audit" of the election that is being run on the ballots cast in Maricopa County, Arizona, where for weeks people have been scrutinizing ballots and computers to try to figure out how to throw out enough votes for Trump to have won that state.

Such an audit could cost millions of dollars, and it would happen after audits by the state and reviews by every county. The Associated Press reported Friday that Mastriano has solicited legal advice from a Philadelphia-based law firm about the Senate Republican caucus using private money to finance consultants and lawyers for the investigation. That's how Arizona Republicans are paying for their "audit."

The worst part is these are the people who are supposed to be representing us. They  continue to say that there were such problems with the November election that our votes — their own constituents' votes — should be scrutinized with a microscope in the hopes of finding ... what? The county used the wrong kind of paper and therefore the entire election is void?

No. We've had enough of these games. The votes have been cast and counted, recounted, audited, confirmed and certified and recertified. Nothing will change the fact that Trump lost that election and Biden won. 

Stop the whining, and stop spending our money trying to overturn our votes.