The governor of Arizona Doug Ducey said on Friday night “the 2020 election in Arizona is over,” while Attorney General Mark Brnovich vows full probe.
The Arizona Senate’s election audit gave America a split decision while leaving the question of whether illicit ballots were improperly cast or counted to the state’s attorney general.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey: ‘No decertification’ of election results
But Governor Doug Ducey tweeted on Friday night about people’s loss of confidence in the election system, before saying unequivocally, “When it comes to the audit, like the three audits that preceded it, it’s now over. The outcome stands and the 2020 election in Arizona is over.”
“There will be no decertification of the 2020 election — the audit does not call for one, and even if it had, there is no lawful way to decertify. As we have every step of the way, Arizona will follow the law,” Ducey continued.
He concluded his thread by talking about “meaningful election reform” before 2022.
Arizona audit flags thousands of suspect ballots
The audit released Friday afternoon through technical testimony concluded the final count of votes in the state’s largest county of Maricopa showing President Joe Biden won Arizona was accurate. But it also included tens of thousands of ballots that were suspect and require more investigation.
The more than 50,000 ballots flagged by auditors for more investigation involved concerns ranging from people voting from addresses from which they had already moved to residents voting twice.
Nearly half of the votes flagged as suspicious — 23,344 — fell into a category called “ballots cast from individuals who had moved prior to the election.” They included 15,035 who moved within the county before the registration deadline, 6,591 who moved to another state before the registration deadline and 1,718 who moved to a different county before the registration deadline.
“Mail in ballots were cast under voter registration IDs for people that may not have received their ballots by mail because they had moved, and no one with the same last name remained at the address,” the report said.
The review also flagged a large number of voters who potentially voted in Maricopa and at least one other county in the state. It said 5,295 voters cast ballots in Maricopa and at least one other county using “the same first, middle, last name and birth year.”
The final review also flagged a large anomaly in which there were 9,041 more ballots shown as returned in the official early voting file from individuals than were shown in the records of ballots that were mailed out. “In most of these instances an individual was sent one ballot but had two ballots received on different dates,” the auditors noted, saying possible explanations ranged from data entry errors to fraud.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich vows full probe
The job of resolving the question now falls to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
Brnovich announced his office’s election integrity unit would review the questionable ballots to determine if further action was warranted.
“I will take all necessary actions that are supported by the evidence and where I have legal authority,” Brnovich tweeted a short while before the final official audit results were to be released. “Arizonans deserve to have their votes accurately counted and protected.”
Democrats and their media allies declared the election integrity issues to be over, while some prominent Republicans called on Arizona to decertify its results.
“There were significant and widespread irregularities and lawlessness in thousands of ballots, sufficient to overcome the margin of difference between Trump and Biden,” said Jenna Ellis, a key lawyer for Trump and chairwoman of the Election Integrity Alliance, which is aiding states in reviewing election issues.
“The 2020 election was irredeemably compromised, and Arizona’s legislature must do now what they failed to do in November — use their plenary authority under the U.S. Constitution and reclaim their delegates by decertifying the results, acknowledging that the certifications were based on incorrect accounting,” Ellis told Just the News. “We are in a constitutional crisis that demands accountability for the American People and election justice.”
Democrats cheer findings
Democrats had their own reasons to cheer: in particular the conclusion of a hand count of 2.1 million ballots.
The audit concluded that “there were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official canvass results for the County,” meaning the count last November that declared Biden a winner was accurate. In fact, Biden picked up a small number of voters in the audit.
“This is the most important finding in the audit because the paper ballots are the best evidence of voter intent, and there is no reliable evidence that the paper ballots were altered to any material degree,” the report said.
But the auditors cautioned that finding did not allay concerns, citing a total of more than 50,000 ballots that appeared to pose significant questions. It recommended that Brnovich conduct a canvass of the voters in question and other investigative tactics to make “any conclusive determination.”
Deletion of data from Maricopa County’s election computers?
During testimony, the CyberNinja consultants who conducted the audit also raised serious questions about the possible deletion of data from Maricopa County’s election computers.
Cybersecurity professional Ben Cotton said an anonymous user accessed the internet on one of the county’s computers that holds election data. Around the exact same time, files were purged from the system without any notice from the county.
“Obviously this requires an explanation,” Cotton said during his testimony. He went on to outline how this lack of data impacted the audit, as well as the county’s refusal to assist the investigators.
“This may be a part of a normal process with how they handle votes, but the timing of this is suspect,” he continued.
When explaining what happened to the election data, he said, “We simply don’t know.”
The Cyber Ninja report did not specifically point to any evidence of widespread voter fraud. Still, it did make a list of recommendations including legislation that does not allow an election to be certified until the official canvas and final vote is fully reconciled.
Karen Fann, the Arizona Senate president who led the audit, said she believes it has turned up evidence of state laws being broken, an issue now left for Brnovich to resolve.
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