HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Republican state senator who wants to have the committee he leads force three counties to turn over election machines, ballots and related material said Tuesday he thinks subpoenas will be issued in the next two weeks.
Sen. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County told the conservative friendly outlet Newsmax that he's working on a broad subpoena to York, Tioga and Philadelphia counties.
“Obviously I can’t operate on my own, so I have a committee, so the committee will have a vote, hopefully in the next week or two that will authorize the committee, and me as their chair, to send the subpoenas to three counties,” he said.
The deadline for voluntary compliance that Mastriano gave the counties expired in recent days — officials in Tioga and Philadelphia have said no, and York has raised concerns but has not directly turned him down.
“It's going to be a big package, actually,” Mastriano said. “We’re going to look at the hard copy ballots. Thank God in Pennsylvania we do require a hard copy of ballots. We’ll look at the ballots and anything associated with the hard copy ballots, and then we’ll also be asking for the equipment, any voting equipment that was used, or routers, will be also part of that subpoena.”
Senate Republican leadership hasn't said if they are behind Mastriano's plans to have the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee issue subpoenas for the information and equipment.
Mastriano said Tuesday that subpoenas would give the counties “legal coverage" but added they might end up in court. He said he expects to win if the question is whether he and the committee have that authority.
“If the challenge becomes something else, obviously that will drag out in court. So a judge in the end will have to decide any debates that we have between the counties and myself,” Mastriano said.
Mastriano has been a leading proponent in Pennsylvania of former President Donald Trump's attempt to reverse his election loss. Mastriano was outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when Trump encouraged a mob that subsequently forced their way past police into the seat of federal legislative power.
He said Tuesday the subpoenas would help the committee look into the November election as well as the May 2021 primary in Pennsylvania.
“We're really interested in the outcome, whether our elections are free and fair,” he said.
Among the counties' concerns is that the Department of State decertified voting machines in tiny Fulton County after officials there agreed to Mastriano's request to let an outside group audit their election records and equipment.
Mastriano has not responded to numerous messages seeking comment about his plans for an election audit, or forensic examination as he calls it, including at his Capitol office on Tuesday.