“Doug Mastriano supporters are flooding Pa. courts with baseless recount petitions in the governor’s race”

Philly Inquirer:

Doug Mastriano lost by a lot.

But some of his supporters wrongly believe the results are inaccurate, and they think they’ve found a way to do something about it. So now election denial groups are flooding Pennsylvania courts with petitions seeking to force hand recounts under a little-known provision of state election law.

It’s not clear the effort will succeed in requiring counties to re-tally their votes — some courts have already thrown out the requests — and they certainly won’t give Mastriano, the defeated Republican nominee for governor, the 781,000 votes by which he lost to Democratic Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro. Recounts change election results very little, if at all.

But the baseless efforts threaten to sow confusion about the validity of this month’s election, tie up state courts, and disrupt officials’ ongoing work to audit and certify results by a Mondays deadline. It’s the latest front for an election denial movement that helped lift Mastriano to prominence, and has repeatedly tried to find and exploit vulnerabilities in the state’s election system.

The groups — organizing over social media and some claiming they are working in conjunction with Mastriano’s campaign — filed more than 100 petitions in at least a dozen counties over the last week, according to interviews and court records. Elections officials said they heard of at least 17 more counties where petitions have been filed and records weren’t immediately available.

The petitions largely follow a similar format — and in many cases use the same boilerplate legal document with blank fields for individual filers to complete.

“These orchestrated moves to delay certification of the vote at the county level are a deliberate attempt to flout the will of the people as expressed in the election results,” the Pennsylvania Department of State, which oversees elections, said in a statement.

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