(FreedomBeacon.com)- On Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s top election official, Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, announced that Fulton County violated the state election code when it gave a third party access to its election database and other certified equipment during an audit of the county’s 2020 election. As a result, Degraffenreid has decertified the voting equipment.
The audit in Pennsylvania’s Fulton County was conducted in December at the request of Republican State Senators Doug Mastriano and Judy Ward. The Senators asked Fulton County officials to allow Wake Technology Services to probe the county’s results.
Degraffenreid’s announcement is the latest pushback in the battle between Mastriano and the Democrat administration of Governor Tom Wolf over potential audits of select counties in the state.
In her announcement Degraffenreid claimed last December’s audit in Fulton County was “not transparent.” By granting access to Wake Technology Services, Degraffenreid alleged, the county’s certified election system “has been compromised.” She went on to say that Dominion Voting Systems, who leased the tabulations machines to Fulton County, also could not verify that its equipment was safe to use.
After the Fulton County audit in December, Dominion contacted county officials to notify them that the county was in violation of its contract and needed to pay $25,000 to lease new equipment for the May 2021 primary.
Pennsylvania conducted a “risk-limiting audit” of the 2020 election already. And all the counties also audited a sample of their votes as mandated by law. Neither of these limited audits turned up widespread fraud.
However, Senator Mastriano believes a more comprehensive forensic audit is needed. Earlier this month he sent requests to Tioga, Philadelphia and York counties for access to their voting machines.
Tioga County’s three Republican commissioners have said they cannot comply to Mastriano’s request, citing the likely cost to replace its machines.
The Democrat stronghold of Philadelphia has not yet responded, but it is expected to also deny Mastriano’s request.
During Wednesday’s meeting, York County Commissioner Julie Wheeler announced that a letter had been sent to Mastriano requesting clarification on a number of issues – including what auditing firm would be used and who would cover the costs for the audit. Wheeler also warned that replacing York County’s voting equipment could cost more than $2.7 million.