Republican Pennsylvania state Sen. Dan Laughlin on Thursday came out against the GOP-backed audit of the 2020 election results in his state, becoming the party's first statewide-elected official to do so.
Speaking to Reuters, Laughlin said that the efforts to investigate President BidenJoe BidenHouse clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit MORE's November victory in Pennsylvania are being made "absent credible evidence of fraud" and will not change the outcome.
"The current attempt to discredit the 2020 election results runs headlong into an unmistakable truth," Laughlin said. "Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE lost Pennsylvania because Donald Trump received fewer votes."
Last week, voting machines in Pennsylvania's Fulton County were decertified following an election audit. Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Veronica Degraffenreid said in a letter that the audit itself, conducted by software company Wake TSI, had compromised the machines, adding that the process was “not transparent or bipartisan.”
The voting machines were handed over to Wake TSI following a request from state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), a staunch ally of Trump's who has pushed conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election. Mastriano arranged buses to attend the Washington "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6 that preceded the deadly Capitol insurrection.
As Reuters notes, Laughlin's remarks place him directly against Mastriano, who was argued in favor of a "forensic" audit modeled after the one currently taking place in Arizona's Maricopa County. Both Laughlin and Mastriano are eyeing a run for Pennsylvania governor.
Laughlin told Reuters that efforts to "rummage through already counted ballots while employing statistical tricks" in an attempt to find fraud would only negatively impact his party and aid Democrats in fundraising. The state senator pointed out that Republicans generally fared well in Pennsylvania, winning state treasurer and auditor general for the first time in decades.
"That's not a sign of a stolen election," Laughlin said.