A top Pennsylvania Republican said he supports following Arizona’s lead and conducting an audit of last year’s presidential election.
State Sen. David Argall, R, who heads the Senate State Government Committee that oversees elections, told reporters he backed an independent look at the 2020 Pennsylvania results, The Hill reported Monday.
“It’s a very careful recount, forensic audit, so yeah, I don’t see the danger in it,” Argall said Friday during a live event with Spotlight PA, a consortium of media companies from across the state. “I just think that it would not be a bad idea at all to proceed with an audit similar to what they’re doing in Arizona.”
Argall acknowledged that two previous state audits of The Keystone State’s votes confirmed President Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state.
“I am not hung up on how exactly the audit is completed. I just think that we should complete one,” said Argall, a political scientist who teaches at Penn State Schuylkill.
“I think it needs to be independent. I think there is going to be mistrust if the same people who conducted the election conduct the audit.”
Argall added he would back another ballot count as a way to address his constituents’ mistrust of the election results.
Former President Donald Trump repeatedly has pushed Republicans to conduct audits of election results in states he lost.
Biden won Pennsylvania — and its 20 electoral votes — by more than 80,000 votes, or more than a percentage point, a wider margin than Trump’s victory in 2016.
Biden’s 3.45 million votes in Pennsylvania were more than any presidential candidate in the state’s history, The Hill said.
Trump last week criticized both Argall and state Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R, for not supporting a state audit.
“Why is State Senator Jake Corman of Pennsylvania fighting so hard that there not be a Forensic Audit of the 2020 Presidential Election Scam?” Trump asked. “Corman is fighting as though he were a Radical Left Democrat, saying that a Forensic Audit of Pennsylvania not take place.
“Why is Senator David Argall playing the same game? Are they stupid, corrupt, or naive?”
The Hill said a spokesman for Corman had not responded to a request for comment Monday morning.
Pennsylvania’s state House, controlled by Republicans, has rejected efforts for an audit. Corman has been timid about the state Senate possibly funding its own count.
Although Argall’s committee has subpoena power, funding an audit likely would require the legislature to approve an appropriation.
The Hill said GOP legislators from at least 10 states have visited Arizona to observe the state Senate-ordered audit of votes cast in Maricopa County. Some of those legislators — such some from Georgia, Utah, and Michigan — have returned home demanding their own audits.
Pennsylvania State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R, who attended the Jan. 6 rally that led to the U.S. Capitol assault, was among the politicians observing the Arizona count.
Arizona’s audit, conducted after allegations of security lapses and conspiracy theories, has not led to any announcements of wrongdoing, The Hill said.