What must be conveyed clearly and unflinchingly is this: If Mastriano wins the general election, there is almost certainly no chance that a Democratic presidential candidate’s victory in Pennsylvania in 2024 will be certified by the state’s governor.
Consider Mastriano’s own words. During Trump’s 2020 effort to steal the election, Mastriano explicitly endorsed the idea that the state legislature has “sole authority” to reappoint new electors, given “mounting evidence” that Joe Biden’s win was “compromised.”
It wasn’t actually “compromised,” of course. But Mastriano continued to insist it was. He even pushed the Justice Department to accept this, at the moment when Trump wanted the department to announce fraud to create a pretext to overturn his loss. Mastriano is running for governor on the very idea that Trump’s loss was compromised.
This functionally means that Mastriano adheres to the notion that the mere claim of fraud is enough to justify the certification of presidential electors in defiance of the popular-vote outcome. As governor, he would be in a good position to help operationalize this very principle.
In Pennsylvania, the secretary of state certifies the election results, and the governor signs the certification of the winner’s electors. The state legislature exercised its constitutional role in determining the “manner” of appointing electors by passing a law creating this process.
If the Democratic contender wins the popular vote in Pennsylvania in 2024, and Gov. Mastriano declares widespread fraud, what’s to stop his handpicked secretary of state from certifying the GOP candidate as winner, after which he could sign certification of that candidate’s electors?