Envoy Sage to inspect Fulton County voting machines, election equipment

Six months after having its voting machines decertified for an off-the-books election review, Fulton County will undergo another inspection — this time as part of the Senate’s taxpayer-funded probe into the 2020 general and 2021 primary elections.

In a special meeting scheduled for Friday afternoon, Envoy Sage, the third-party vendor hired by the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee to conduct the review, will inspect the rural and historically Republican county’s voting machines.

The review comes after a state judge rejected attempts by Dominion Voting Machines, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and state elections officials to block the probe unless an accredited inspector carried it out.

“Dominion welcomes such reviews by accredited elections entities,” the company said in a statement to the Capital-Star. “We have made this expressly clear to county officials many times, including in legal filings. Unfortunately, this inspection does not comply with existing federal or state requirements.”

Dominion compared the review in Pennsylvania to the controversial, GOP-backed election probe carried out by a firm with no experience auditing elections in Maricopa County, Ariz., last year. 

The contractor selected to “assess” Dominion machines “has never gone through any Voting System Test Lab accreditation process to ensure its qualifications and credibility, Dominion said in a statement.

Now-President Joe Biden won the election in the commonwealth by 80,555 votes.

Efforts to review the 2020 election come after a months-long campaign by former President Donald Trump, who made unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud and misconduct resulted in his loss. Legal challenges to the results failed in court, and two post-election audits carried out in Pennsylvania after the presidential election found no evidence of fraud.

Fulton County voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2020, and it’s unclear why its machines are part of the Senate’s investigation. Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, who chairs the 11-member panel overseeing the probe, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Republican County Commissioner Stuart Ulsh did not respond to a request for comment.

Before the first hearing as part of the investigation, Dush said the review will not reinstate Trump to office. It’s also not a recount, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, who has argued there are “irregularities” worth examining, said in August.

Both lawmakers, who signed a letter asking Congress to delay certification of Pennsylvania’s Electoral College results after the 2020 election, have said the review aims to identify strengths and weaknesses in the state’s voting laws, as well as make recommendations for improvements.

Dush also visited Arizona last summer to tour the election review facility with Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman, R-Franklin.

A spokesperson for the Department of State, which has election oversight, declined to comment on Friday’s meeting and referred the Capital-Star to legal challenges brought by the Wolf administration opposing the review.

Former acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid decertified Fulton County’s voting machines last July for complying with an unauthorized election review, facilitated by Mastriano and carried out by a West Chester-based technology company with no election-related experience.

Originally published at www.penncapital-star.com,by Marley Parish

Comments are closed.