(CNN)The Pennsylvania Republican Party is pushing back against an explosive report earlier this week in The Atlantic that said the GOP-run legislature is already strategizing how to overturn the statewide results if Trump loses.
The Atlantic quoted Pennsylvania GOP chair Lawrence Tabas, who said this scheme, in which Republican legislators could appoint their own slate of electors, "is one of the available legal options set forth in the Constitution" and that he had "mentioned it" to the Trump campaign and hopes "they're thinking about it."
She did not, however, definitively rule out using the legislature to overturn the statewide results.
"As the Chairman said, all of us want a swift, accurate result," Andring said.
CNN's Marshall Cohen and Pamela Brown point out the statement also noted that Republicans, who control the legislature, recently passed a bill that would speed up ballot-processing. That provision has bipartisan support, but the bill has other measures that are opposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, like banning new dropboxes and easing rules on partisan poll-watchers.
An official investigation into ballots
Add to that this weird announcement from the Justice Department that it was, according to another Cohen report, "investigating 'potential issues with mail-in ballots' in the swing state of Pennsylvania and, in a highly unusual disclosure, revealed that several ballots marked for President Donald Trump were 'discarded.'"
What happened? "US Attorney David Freed said a preliminary inquiry determined that nine 'military ballots were discarded' and that seven of them 'were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump.' The incident occurred in Luzerne County, a swing county in northeastern Pennsylvania."
Why is this weird? Cohen again: "The statement was highly unusual because it highlighted the fact that the ballots were marked for Trump -- which immediately raised suspicions that the Justice Department was trying to furnish material that Trump could promote for political gain. Indeed, Trump and other White House aides used the information, even before it was made public, to attack mail-in voting."
What's supposed to happen? Election officials go to extraordinary lengths to protect ballot secrecy. It's unclear how investigators figured out who the votes were for, and why they made that information public. And the county also said it learned on Thursday -- from the Justice Department's unusual press release -- that seven of the ballots has been cast for Trump.
But Trump was talking about the case even before it had been announced, in an interview on Fox News radio.
And what about North Carolina
It's all related
"We should not think of the litigation and the wild claims of voter fraud as separate from one another. Instead, they are part of a play to grab power if the election is close enough. There are good legal arguments against a power grab, but if another body tries to overturn the will of the people in voting for president, there will be protests in the streets, with the potential for violence.
That might be alarmist, but we are definitely in a place where serious people are wondering if the country can handle this election.