- - Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Earlier last month, State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-District 33) announced he is initiating an audit of the 2020 general election results in Pennsylvania. 

Senator Mastriano’s statement justifying an audit detailed: “This was the first election in Pennsylvania with ‘mass’ mail-in voting. In 2020, there were 2.7 million ballots cast by mail and absentee, compared to about 263,000 absentee ballots cast in 2016. Many of these ballots were counted at offsite locations with little outside observation or oversight… in the weeks leading up to the election, the [Pa.] Department of State repeatedly altered the manner in which Pennsylvania’s election was conducted… Signatures required for mail-in ballots were rendered meaningless as the Pa. Supreme Court ruled that ballots could not be rejected based on an analysis of the voter’s signature.” 

Mr. Mastriano cited various last-minute changes to Pennsylvania’s election procedures, claiming that “it would defy logic” to assume that the 2020 election was “run perfectly with zero errors or fraud.” 

Despite the legitimate concerns that Mr. Mastriano highlights — even the Carter Center warned that mail-in ballots are prone to fraud and manipulation, while the practice of requiring ID to vote by mail is common across Western Europe — Joe Biden and elected Pennsylvania Democrats are not impressed. 

“The big lie is just that, a big lie” Mr. Biden said at a Philadelphia rally, echoing language used by corporate media to denigrate widespread questioning of the Presidential election results — including among a significant portion of voters that did not vote for President Trump. 

If concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election are “a big lie,” Mr. President, wouldn’t that become obvious after the results are scrutinized in the light of day?

If Democrats, establishment Republicans, and political operatives both in Washington D.C. and Harrisburg are truly confident that the 2020 race was the “most secure in our nation’s history,” why are they working so desperately to discredit the Mastriano audit, and prevent it from taking place? 

Just last week, the Pennsylvania Department of State issued a directive prohibiting county election boards from cooperating with the State Senate’s audit. Philadelphia and Tioga, two counties in Pennsylvania, denied the State Senate committee’s audit information request, prompting Mr. Mastriano to announce his intent to issue subpoenas. 

Governor Wolf, who imposed destructive lockdowns on businesses and churches last year while allowing BLM and ANTIFA mobs to loot, burn, and attack people in droves, released a statement claiming that he would join Joe Biden to “protect the sacred right to vote”. 

Similarly, Joe Biden’s Department of Justice threatened Arizona auditors with potential jail time, simply for investigating the 2020 election. Their alleged crime? Voter intimidation! How can someone be accused of suppressing the vote months after the election was held? 

This past fall, then-candidate Joe Biden had what could be called a Freudian slip, saying: “We have put together the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.” While many on the establishment Right, as well as the Left, have chosen to ignore these words, the voters are wise to such tactics. 

In January, a Muhlenberg University poll showed that one-third of Pennsylvania voters “were not at all confident” that the final results of the election accurately reflected how the state voted in November. Similarly, a recent Rassmussen poll found that a majority of voters nationwide (including 30% of Democrats) believe that cheating impacted the outcome of the 2020 election. 

Contrary to the media’s whitewashing efforts, this lack of confidence does not stem from “misinformation”: rather, it stems from legitimate concerns from intelligent, hard-working Americans. To declare that questions about the 2020 election are “too dangerous” for people to hear, or that the 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump would accept any and all of his election claims without scrutiny or independent thought, is an insult to the American voters’ intellect and character. 

Thus far, the average voter’s concerns about the 2020 election have been proven right. New information recently emerged which reveals that in Fulton County, Georgia, at least 36 batches of mail-in votes were double-counted, resulting in 3,390 extra votes for Biden, and only 865 extra votes for Trump. Additionally, the VoterGA audit team found 7 falsified audit tally sheets, which significantly inflated the vote totals for Joe Biden. For example, a batch that contained 60 ballots for Biden and 50 for Trump was reported as 100-0 for Biden. Further, 100,000 vote tallies were missing until late February. 

An audit of the 2020 presidential election would restore confidence in our electoral system, either by discovering fraud and irregularities and allowing the state legislature to decertify the results or proving that everything was on the up and up and that Joe Biden fairly won the Keystone state. 

Regardless of where one stands on the subject, one thing has become clear: A significant portion of the American public lacks confidence in our nation’s ability to carry out free and fair elections. This lack of faith in the integrity of a republic’s most sacred process does not bode well for the United States. Mr. Mastriano’s proposed audit is not an attack on democracy — it is an example of democracy at work. The right to vote must be protected, and the right to question the legitimacy of the current administration must be exercised. 

• Joe Silverstein is a senior at Cornell University, where he studies Government and International Relations. Silverstein serves as the current Editor in Chief of the Cornell Review.

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