OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
In response to public pressure, a county in the important electoral swing state of Pennsylvania has decided to conduct a recount next year of ballots in the 2020 election for president and state auditor. In a 2-1 decision in October, the Lycoming County Board of Elections voted to conduct the recount in order to show that the electronic tabulation of votes was accurate, Penn Live reported this week.
The outlet reported:
Approximately 5,000, people, many of whom identified themselves with the conservative Patriots group, sought a recount even though President Trump outpolled Joe Biden in the county, 41,462 to 16,971.
Nearly 60,000 ballots will be counted by up to 40 county employees who will be pulled off their normal jobs. They first will be trained by elections director Forest Lehman.
The cost of the recount has not been determined, Commissioner Scott L. Metzger said Wednesday. No one extra is being hired, he said.
Trump won the county by about 25,000 votes; according to the state’s certified 2020 presidential election results, President Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,500 votes.
The county elections board said that about 40 employees would be needed to count the more than 60,000 votes cast during the election. GOP board commissioner Scott Metzger voted in favor of the recount and said that “no one extra was being hired” to count votes.
The board’s one Democratic member, Richard Mirobito, was dismayed by the decision.
“It just perpetuates a myth about the 2020 election. No one has complained about this year’s election,” Mirabito said.
But the board’s other Republican, Director of Elections Forrest Lehman, disagreed, saying that the recount was needed to ensure transparency and reinforce faith in the system.
“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 added.
“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 went on to explain why the board chose the presidential and state auditor elections.
“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.”
Lehman went on to say that he hoped the recount would restore faith 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.
Biden has yet to formally announce he is running for reelection, while Trump declared last month he will seek the GOP nomination for 2024.
“America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump said to a room full of supporters. “Unlike other presidents, I kept my promises.”
“The world was at peace, America was prospering, and our country was on track for an amazing future— because I made big promises to the American People and, unlike other Presidents, I kept my promises,” he said. “Under our leadership, we were a great and glorious nation, something you haven’t heard for quite a long period of time. We were a strong nation, and importantly we were a free nation. Now, we are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation.”
Trump declared: “I am tonight again announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
BREAKING: President Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, announces his candidacy for re-election as president in 2024. pic.twitter.com/R7zBQmhLtk
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) November 16, 2022