Local senator tours Arizona election audit
By Randy Bartley
A three-member delegation from Pennsylvania including state Sen. Cris Dush (R-15) from Jefferson County recently toured an election audit-taking place inArizona's Maricopa County.
Dush announced the trip during the June 4 Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry's legislative breakfast held in Clarion.
Dush said his career as an Air Force investigator led him to make the decision to visit Arizona.
"I felt it was necessary to do this because 47 percent of the nation believes there was something wrong with the (2020 presidential) election," Dush said. "I know that more than 40 percent of the people I represent believe that. They think it was skewed. The things I have seen coming out of some of the investigations have me concerned."
Dush made the trip with state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) and state Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-89).
The delegation was not taxpayer-funded.
Dush said his visit was partially the result of conversations he has had with his constituents.
"I have never had the number of people approach me on the street asking me what I was doing about this issue," Dush explained.
Dush said he found the nation's first forensic audit "very enlightening and exciting."
The Arizona State Senate ordered the audit after the 2020 election. The audit started on April 23. Auditorsare about halfway through the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in the county in the presidential election.
"The security would make my former colleagues at the Strategic Air Command green with envy," said Dush. "From the moment the ballots hit the dock there has been a dual signature verification for the chain of custody of those ballots. Every time someone touches those ballots it is on video. They have a petabyte and a half of documentation of those ballots. If there are findings in Arizona, they will be rock solid."
Dush said a similar audit could take place in Pennsylvania.
"I would absolutely advocate doing something like the Arizona audit in Pennsylvania of the 2020 election," he said.
An audit could be accomplished several different ways.
"We have several different options," Dush said. "The state senate could pay for an audit. There are some private funds available as well. The state's auditor general could oversee an audit. I would strongly advise that the auditor general has people go down and look at what is going on in Arizona."
The result of any audit would not change the result of the 2020 election.
"We can't overturn that election," said Dush. "It was certified because of what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the Department of State did. It was not done according to the law. The changes were not done according to the state's constitution.
"We never should have certified that election. Any changes that would happen would have to be done by the courts."
This is not the first time the three Republicans have requested an audit. Mastriano asked for an audit in Fulton County.
The results of the audit have not yet been released.
In November 2020 Dush and Kauffman called for a statewide audit of the election, citing reports from the media and from Pennsylvanians about potential fraud.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party said the trip was a "litmus test" for potential Pennsylvania governor candidate Mastriano, a suggestion Dush rejected.
"I am the one who made the choice to go down there," Dush said. "I told (Mastriano) that I was going to Arizona and he decided to go too. Rep.Rob Kauffman was on board as well. This was my investigator background telling me that I had to see this.