Pennsylvania’s Department of State warned counties against giving “third-party entities” access to voting machines shortly after a key Republican lawmaker requested “information and materials” from three counties for a “forensic investigation” of the 2020 election and 2021 primary.
Complying with such a demand would lead the department, led by acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid, to decertify the equipment as they would be “considered no longer secure or reliable to use in subsequent elections,” according to a directive dated Thursday.
“County Boards of Elections shall not provide physical, electronic, or internal access to third parties seeking to copy and/or conduct an examination of state-certified electronic voting systems, or any components of such systems, including but not limited to: election management software and systems, tabulators, scanners, counters, automatic tabulating equipment, voting devices, servers, ballot marking devices, paper ballot or ballot card printers, portable memory media devices (thumb drives, flash drives and the like), and any other hardware, software or devices being used as part of the election management system,” the directive said.
Pennsylvania “will not reimburse any cost of replacement voting equipment for which certification or use authority has been withdrawn pursuant to this directive,” the memo added.
The directive prohibiting third-party access to voting systems comes after state Rep. Doug Mastriano, in his capacity as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Operations Committee, sent letters to Philadelphia, York, and Tiago counties earlier this week as part of an Arizona-style inquiry looking for evidence of fraud.