Two years after the 2020 election was seemingly decided, a Pennsylvania county is set to recount votes in the races for president and state auditor in response to public requests.
The Lycoming County Board of Elections voted 2-1 in October to do a hand count of ballots to prove that the electronic tabulations were correct, and that recount will happen in just a few weeks, Penn Live reported Wednesday.
The report said roughly 5,000 Lycoming residents had petitioned the board to take this action.
While former President Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden by nearly 25,000 votes in the county, those clamoring for the recount, many of whom belong to the conservative Patriots group, want to learn whether the vote was accurate and free of fraud.
Biden won Pennsylvania by 80,555 votes, according to the official returns on the Department of State’s website.
The hand count will go through all of the 60,000 paper ballots cast in Lycoming County. They will be counted by up to 40 county employees on Jan. 9, Penn Live reported.
Board Commissioner Scott Metzger, who voted for the recount, said that “no one extra was being hired” to count votes.
The board’s lone Democrat, Richard Mirobito, expressed his displeasure over the move.
“It just perpetuates a myth about the 2020 election. No one has complained about this year’s election,” Mirabito said.
Unfortunately for Mirobito, his peers and county Director of Elections Forrest Lehman disagree with that assessment.
Lehman is keen to see the hand count through after so many Lycoming residents made their voices heard, even though he is skeptical.
“In our county, they approached our commissioners and leveled allegations that there were thousands of uncounted votes in our county based on what I believe are nonsense statistics,” he told The Epoch Times.
“That’s when county commissioners decided, as the board of elections, that if there are 5,000 people who signed this petition and have this belief, then we need to hand count these ballots in order to restore public trust in the outcomes of our elections,” Lehman said.
Lycoming is home to 70,000 registered voters and has a total population of around 120,000, making the 5,000 petitioners a rather large part of the constituency, The Epoch Times reported.
“This is not something we want to do after every election, but we need to do it once, at least, in order to prove once and for all that our voting system counts the votes accurately and that there were not thousands of uncounted votes that were hidden by an algorithm or some other nonsense like that,” Lehman said.
He explained why the recount will focus only on the presidential race and the state auditor race.
“We chose the auditor general as the second contest for two reasons,” Lehman said.
“It is on the front of the ballot along with president, so that’ll eliminate the need to flip every ballot over,” he said. “The other reason we picked auditor general is because that was a statewide contest that was won by a Republican. Because obviously the presidential contest was won by a Democrat.”
The 60,000 paper ballots that are to be counted had been fed through scanning machines on Election Day.
Lehman said he hoped the recount would do something to restore public trust in elections.
“We have to get back to people being able to accept the outcomes of elections … even if your side loses. You can’t just love democracy when you win,” he said.
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