Status Update: The Maricopa County Ballot Audit

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The ballot audit in Maricopa County is winding down, and as details leak out from the counting and analysis, it is becoming clear what many of the problems are that will need addressing. Some could be honest mistakes, such as voters marking their ballots incorrectly, but others could be far more serious.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) listed off several discrepancies in a letter to the Maricopa County Supervisors on May 12, such as different numbers of ballots in the boxes than the numbers listed on the pink sheets inside the boxes. She cited several examples, including one box that contained an alarming 35 fewer ballots than the number on the pink slip.

Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is acting as the liaison between the audit and the Arizona Senate, said anomalies include large numbers of ballots coming from single residences. In one case, 52 ballots came from a single two-bedroom home.

Bennett said there were 8,475 undervotes in Maricopa County from last fall’s election. Undervotes are where there was no vote for president, although there were votes for lower offices. Did all those people really decline to vote for president, did the voting machine fail to count those votes, or did the voters mark their ballots outside the black circle, such as by circling it?

Another issue analysts are looking at is whether all the ballots are official, so auditors will be examining the texture of the paper closely and looking for things like whether the front and back align properly. Counterfeit ballots could have been photocopied. The way the ovals are filled in will be scrutinized, to ensure they were filled in by a person, not a machine.

Whether a ballot is folded or straight could also reveal problems. In-person ballots cast on voting day should contain a high number of straight ballots, since those people are less likely to vote ballots they received in the mail. Ballots cast by mail should be 100% folded. The envelopes will be examined for valid signatures.

Some of the discrepancies are extremely disturbing, if true. Josh Barnett, who is running for Congress in Arizona and led the affidavit drive to make the audit happen, told Patrick Howley with National File he’s heard from people at the audit site that hundreds of thousands of ballots are missing. There are fears that voting officials replaced the missing ballots with blank ballots.

The U.S. Senate race is also being recounted, where Republican incumbent Martha McSally lost to Democrat Mark Kelly 47.10% to 50.94% in the county – or 3.84%. Trump lost by an even narrower 2.16 % margin in Maricopa County.

The recount has been under attack by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who once referred to Trump supporters as Neo-Nazis. She has criticized multiple aspects of the process, listing some in a letter to Bennett. Bennett dismissed her complaints as baseless. “I think that most of the things in her letter are completely unfounded,” he said. “And the ones that have a little bit of legitimacy can be dealt with pretty easily.”

The Biden administration is threatening to get involved. Attorney General Merrick Garland warned that the Justice Department would be reviewing any election audits for alleged voter violations, saying he would be doubling the staff of the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement “within the next thirty days, in order to deal with challenges to voting rights nationwide.”

Republican Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who has been forced to jump in and defend Arizona’s voting laws since Hobbs won’t, responded to Garland with a letter denouncing partisan attacks and federal overreach. Citing the founding fathers, he wrote, “Arizona will not sit back and let the Biden administration abuse its authority, refuse to uphold laws, or attempt to commandeer our state’s sovereignty.”

The hand count of 2.1 million ballots was finished on June 15, and so now the ballots are in the final examination stage. Bennett says this portion will be finished by Saturday, June 26. Although auditors only have permission to use the location, the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, through the end of June, once the physical examination of the ballots has finished, the auditors can wrap up their investigation looking at the scanned-in ballots online. Bennett told The Western Journal that a report of the findings might be released as soon as late July, although it could be as late as Labor Day.

Despite efforts by U.S. Attorney General Garland, Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs, and others to disparage the audit, it has gained credibility around the country, with delegations of officials from 20 different states visiting the Coliseum to learn from the process.

While the state legislature has said any findings of wrongdoing won’t be used to overturn the election, the results could help to ensure election fraud does not occur in the future.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at the Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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8 Thoughts to “Status Update: The Maricopa County Ballot Audit”

  1. Buck

    Sure, and closing the vote counting down in 4 states that Trump was leading, and then when they started recounting Biden was instantly ahead. Guess that was just coincidence though, right? And the footage of Georgia counters pulling out suitcases of ballots and counting after the so called water break, and kicking all bit 4 counters out of the building… yeah, nothing weird there. Or in Michigan when Democrats wouldnt let Republicans come in and overwatch counting. Yeah, bet thats lagit. Say what ya want, our democracy was destroyed the second Biden took the lead by cheating counters. Biden even said they had fraud planned on public TV 3 months before it even took place.

  2. Bessie Kenney

    Pure fraude in 2020 election. Biden knew how he was going to win. 52 people voted from a two.bed room house
    Who.ever did this number should be jailed for years
    They.killed.a lot.of peoplrs.votes. watch zhis.person .wjen justice comes down on them. Watch.them open the beans on the persons that. Put this thing together. They want go to jail alone

  3. Sylvia Howell

    I know as American Citizen this 2020 Election was a Fraud. I know the proof is there and I am so Angry this has not bet taken care of. Our Country is being ruined by The Far Left. It has to be dealt with immediately.😈💯🇺🇲

  4. Jack Benson

    This is a GOP witch hunt, they will say anything to discredit things that don’t go their way. Hobbs should ne run out of Arizona, she is a misguided Trump lackey.

    1. Lee WMD

      I’m not a Trump fan personally… Have always voted Libertarian out of dissent for the two party system..

      But if you cannot see the Obvious Fraud? Then I’m afraid you’re too far gone Jack… The US Govt has been using propaganda on its citizens since the Smith-Mundt act was repealed in 2012.

      Time to Wake up Jacky Boy… Wake Up.

  5. A Concern American

    Lol. The chain of custody has been broken how many times exactly? And they are surprised that ballots have come up missing. AZ woulda been better off spending all that money by letting a bunch monkeys ef footballs than what these yahoos are doing to that states reputation, the republican parties reputation, and America’s trust in democracy. We all knew good and well they would say they found something. Nobody should be shocked.

    1. Mebster

      Is it “A Concerned American” or “A Concern American”? Either way, the chain of custody in Georgia was non existent. The lead switch in the middle of the night at every single swing state should make you scratch your peabrained head. There was massive fraud at all levels and anyone with half a brain who looked at all the “anomalies” can see that when you put idiots in charge of cheating, they’re going to leave skid marks at the scene of the crime. Since our media are a bunch of lying, biased, left wing nutsacks… like you.. The cover up has been just as corrupt as the election itself. Go ef yourself douche bag.

      1. Mike Fuller

        Mebster, totally agree with you, just being a data analyst and reviewing pure statistics, this election anomalies don’t even hold up, regardless of what party one supports. The data results have no credibility, and what is most concerning from the 8 swing states is the lack of concern to validate transparency with the voting outcome results. Just like if my favorite team is competing, I want the opposing team to be completely healthy. Go with my team wins after the outcome there’s no excuses, that’s why all votes in elections should be validated to put Faith in the system. Some people want to win at any cost they don’t care if cheating is involved but it hurts her democracy in the end and people lose faith in the system and that entire country which is supposed to be the Lighthouse of freedom for the rest of the world set the porch to example on how to behave during free democracy elections

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