08:24 GMT25 July 2021
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    Reports previously emerged in mid-June detailing that a top Republican lawmaker within the Pennsylvania Legislature was weighing the possibility of bringing forth an audit of the state's voter count from the 2020 election. At the time, the official indicated the bid was in an effort to regain public trust.

    Lawmakers within Pennsylvania's Republican-led Senate are considering the possibility of launching an investigation to examine how the US election was conducted within the state as voter fraud allegations have raised doubts among residents.

    The investigation has been brewing for months, as many state lawmakers have engaged in several closed-door discussions on the possibility of ordering an investigation similar to the audit being conducted in Arizona, which critics have been labeled a sham. The troubled Arizona effort is presently running months behind schedule. 

    State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-PA) has been seen as the leading force within the Legislature's conservatives, having most recently held a private briefing on Wednesday to outline his plans.

    Mastriano serves as the head of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, a position that would allow him to issue subpoenas to counties, so long as he obtains a majority vote of the body. He has been one of the more prominent figures in the Keystone State to voice former US President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated voter fraud claims.
    FILE - In this May 6, 2021 file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. For some conspiracy theorists, the 2020 election still hasn’t ended. Trump supporters are pushing to re-examine ballots from November across the country, and finding success in swing states like Arizona and Georgia. Their efforts and sometimes misleading conclusions are being gleefully amplified by the former president.
    © AP Photo / Matt York
    FILE - In this May 6, 2021 file photo, Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. For some conspiracy theorists, the 2020 election still hasn’t ended. Trump supporters are pushing to re-examine ballots from November across the country, and finding success in swing states like Arizona and Georgia. Their efforts and sometimes misleading conclusions are being gleefully amplified by the former president.

    If approved, the investigation could see a multitude of election records, including ballots and voting machines, be pulled back under the microscope.

    The Associated Press reported Friday that Mastriano has also sought out legal advice to determine whether Senate Republicans have the ability to tap private funds in order to pay vendors, as well as consultants and lawyers for their "oversight investigation."

    A response letter that the Republican official received from lawyer Bruce S. Marks states reportedly explains that the committee would not be prohibited from "accepting or benefiting from such financial support," although it's unclear how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court would rule on the matter.

    The letter also detailed that the Arizona-style audit endeavor would be used as a means to "develop legislation which will enhance voter participation and election integrity [within the state]."

    Although concerns have been raised by state lawmakers and local residents, no official election board, state prosecutor or related official has raised concerns over widespread voter fraud within the state to date.

    Pennsylvania Sen. David Argall, of the 29th district and chair of the Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Policy Committee, speaks during a hearing, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Gettysburg, Pa.
    © AP Photo / Julio Cortez
    Pennsylvania Sen. David Argall, of the 29th district and chair of the Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Policy Committee, speaks during a hearing, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Gettysburg, Pa.

    Earlier, state Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill), who heads Pennsylvania's Senate State Government Committee, indicated during a speaking engagement with Spotlight PA that he supported launching an audit of the election results in order to regain the public's trust in the US voting system.

    “I’m an agent of public opinion,” he said at the time, noting that voter fraud concerns have been repeatedly raised by his constituents. “If we’re ever going to bring trust back into the system, I think it’s a good idea to take a second look or a third look.”

    Pennsylvania has already conducted two audits of its election results, having confirmed that US President Joe Biden won the state by more than 80,000 votes, a margin of just over 1 percentage point from Trump's votes.

    While it remains unclear what rules the investigation would be conducted under, the Republican-led effort is more than likely to receive strong opposition from Democrats and face a bevy of legal challenges.

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    Romney: Trump 'Disgraced Office of the Presidency' by Advancing Unfounded Voter Fraud Narrative
    'Just Bull****': Barr Reportedly Slammed Trump Lawyers' Election Voter Fraud Claims in 2020
    Tags:
    US Election 2020, State Senate, allegations, Election Fraud, Arizona, Pennsylvania
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