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Pennsylvania did not initiate election audit

July 14, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: Pennsylvania initiated a full audit of the rigged November 2020 election.

AP ASSESSMENT: False. The state of Pennsylvania did not initiate an election audit. Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano has independently requested election related information from three Pennsylvania counties. There is no evidence the election was rigged.

THE FACTS: Last Wednesday, Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano said he was launching a “forensic investigation” and issued letters to officials in three counties, requesting sweeping elections related information. The letters threatened counties with subpoenas if they don’t respond affirmatively by July’s end, according to reporting by The Associated Press.

In the wake of Mastriano’s request, social media users took to Facebook and spread misinformation about the source and nature of the request, and about the integrity of Pennsylvania’s 2020 Presidential elections.

One popular social media post said, “Pennsylvania initiated a FULL audit of the RIGGED election.”

But the state did not initiate an audit.

“The state has not initiated anything,” said Wanda Murren, communications director at the Pennsylvania State Department, which oversees the state’s election process.

There is also no evidence that the election was improperly administered or poorly managed. Critics say an election audit is duplicative, given the legal requirements for each county and the state to review election results for accuracy and investigate any discrepancies.

“Pennsylvania counties, despite a convergence of difficult circumstances, ran a free, fair and accurate election in 2020,” Murren said in a prepared statement last Wednesday. “The majority of Pennsylvanians – and Americans – are satisfied with that truth.”

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536