Apologies to Marcel van Tol for temporarily copying his article, but after the div. comments below his article for those interested the (not perfectly translated) art. of the Epoch Times.
Arizona State Senate discusses Maricopa County audit results at a hearing in Phoenix, Arizona, Sept. 24, 2021. (Allan Stein/Epoch Times)
Arizona Senate Hears of Multiple Inconsistencies Found by Election Audit
Lawmakers were given a hearing on a audit in Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa County, was told inconsistencies had been discovered during a forensic investigation into the 2020 election commissioned by the state Senate.
Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, sent a letter the same day to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich recommending further investigation following the audit's findings. In the letter, she expressed concerns about signature verification on ballot submissions, the accuracy of voter rolls, the security of election systems, and record-keeping related to the election.
"I am therefore sending the reports for your firm's consideration and, if you consider it appropriate, further investigation as part of your continued monitoring of these issues," Fann told Brnovich . in the letter .
brnovich said Friday afternoon in a statement : “I will take all necessary measures which are supported by the evidence and where I have legal authority. Arizonans deserve to have their votes accurately counted and protected.”
His office noted in a statement that it has an electoral integrity unit that will "thoroughly review the Senate's information and evidence," and said it "cannot comment on specific allegations until the review is complete."
Fann said during the hearing Friday that the audit was unnecessarily hampered by Maricopa County, which was going to court in an effort to fend off the audit and subpoenas. She added that while the forensic audit did not reveal a significant difference in the total number of votes, showing a difference of only hundreds in the final report, it did find evidence of numerous other anomalies, including breaking statutes and not following the custody chain. .
Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company hired by the Senate to conduct the audit, said the review involved more than 1.500 people and a total of more than 100.000 hours. While the company said it only found a vote difference of 994 in the presidential race and 1.167 in the Senate race in the recount, the report highlights potential problems with a combined total of 53.305 ballots in the overall forensic audit.
Maricopa County released a series of statements on its Twitter page Friday in response to findings set forth in a so-called draft audit report of Cyber Ninja's forensic audit released ahead of the Senate audit hearing.
The figures from the draft audit report didn't quite match those from Cyber Ninja's final report. Fann said during the hearing on Friday: "As you know, someone has leaked one of the draft reports in the past 24-48 hours. It was a draft report, so I can tell you that what's in there isn't quite what's in the final report.” However, some key statements in the draft report about the ballot papers involved were consistent with those in the final report.
23.344 Mail-In Ballots voted from the previous address
According to the final report of the Cyber Ninjas 23.344 ballots were sent by post received from voters' previous addresses.
“Mail-in ballots were released under voter registration IDs for people who may not have received their ballots in the mail because they had moved, and no one with the same last name stayed at the address. Through extensive data analysis, we have identified approximately 23.344 voices who may have this condition," the report states.
Cyber Ninjas noted in its report that sending ballots by forwardable mail would violate the Arizona Elections Procedures Manual.
“The Senate should consider referring this matter to the Attorney General's Office for a criminal investigation into whether the requirements of ARS 16-452(C) have been violated,” the company said in the report.
Maricopa County refuted the allegation on Friday, saying, "Mail-in ballots will not be forwarded to any other address." It also claimed that voting from a previous address is “legal under federal electoral law,” as in the case of US military and foreign voters. The county also said it had 20.933 one-time temporary address requests for the 2020 general election.
9.041 more ballots returned by voters than received
Cyber Ninjas found that 9.041 more ballots were returned by voters than were sent to them .
According to the report, “9.041 ballots show more as returned in the EV33 Early Voting Returns file for a single person who voted by mail than as sent to that individual in the EV32 Early Voting Sent File.” “In most of these cases, a person got one ballot, but got two ballots on different dates.”
Auditors later noted that they were told that some of the discrepancies "may be due to the protected voter list" but could not be validated. Maricopa County has friday one similar statement released .
The county disputed the finding on Twitter and said that most times there are multiple entries in the EV33 file, when voters have "returned a ballot paper with no signature or with a signature difference," and in such cases the election staff contacts the voter.
Cyber Ninjas: Voters Who May Have Voted in Multiple Provinces
Cyber Ninjas noted that approximately 5.295 ballots were influenced by voters who may have voted in multiple provinces.
The company said it had compared Maricopa County's list of all of its voters who voted in the election (sometimes referred to as the VM55 Final Voted File) with the equivalent files of Arizona's other 14 counties, to get a total of 5.047 to find voters. with the same first, middle, last name and year of birth, which amounts to about 10.342 votes in all provinces.
“The Ballot Impacted was calculated by subtracting the total number of votes (10.342) and the maximum number of potential unique people (5.047). This yielded 5.295," the report said.
Separately, the company found that the number of ballots counted in the official Maricopa results was 3.432 more than the total number of people who voted.
“The official result totals do not match the equivalent totals of the Final Voted File (VM55),” said Cyber Ninjas (P12).
Cyber Ninjas said the finding is significant because "the number of people who showed up to vote should always match the number of votes cast." The company advised considering legislation "that would require official canvases to be fully compliant with the final voted file".
Cyber Ninjas, in another finding, said there were 2.592 more duplicate ballots than original ballots sent to duplication — a process of replacing damaged or incorrectly marked ballots with a new ballot that preserves the voter's intent.
“This is probably one of the more interesting parts… that we had more duplicate votes than original ballots,” Cyber Ninja CEO Doug Logan said in his presentation on Friday. “According to our audit counts, we had 26.965 original ballots and we had 29.557 that were duplicate ballots, and those numbers should be the same.
“Based on the numbers we received from Maricopa Province, we should have had 27.869 of both originals and duplicates and they should have matched perfectly,” he added.
Other impacting ballot findings included 2.382 in-person voters who moved out of Maricopa County, and 2.081 voters who left the state in the 29 days leading up to the election. In response to the findings, the county said it had separate samples be transported. and found “no discrepancies” for any of the numbers.
Cyber Ninjas also reported that 1.551 votes had been counted, more than the voters who voted, as well as a slew of other categories of findings that affected a smaller number of ballots, such as 397 ballot entries sent without a single vote. record was theirs. after being sent, 393 ballots with incomplete names, 282 votes cast by individuals “marked as dead”, and 198 votes cast by individuals who registered to vote after the October 15 deadline, among other smaller categories.
17.322 duplicate early ballot return envelopes
Shiva Ayyadurai, who was instructed by the Senate to "check the signatures or lack thereof" on the return envelopes of the early ballot papers (EFB), said during Friday's presentation that the audit "uncovers anomalies that raise questions on the verifiability of the signature verification process. ”
Ayyadurai said his team was only hired to check whether the envelopes contained a signature – not whether the actual signature matched that of the voter in question.
Of the 1.929.242 return envelopes provided by the Senate, 17.322 duplicates were found, with some voters having cast the same vote three to four times, according to Ayyadurai's report ( pdf ). He noted that the Maricopa County investigative report, meanwhile, contained no duplicates.
In response to allegations of double ballots, wrote Maricopa County Friday : “Re: double ballots. Every time a voter questions a signature or has a blank envelope, we work with that voter to restore the signature. That's our staff doing their job of contacting voters with question marks or blank ballots. Only one vote is counted.”
In addition to a number of key findings, Ayyadurai noted that more than 25 percent of duplicate ballots were received between November 4 and November 9, 2020.
Allegations of takedowns
Auditors stated in their report that “according to the Master File Table (MFT) of the drives, a large number of files on the Election Management System (EMS) Server and HiPro Scanner machines were deleted.”
“These files would have assisted in our assessment and analysis of the election systems as part of the audit,” the report reads. “Deleting these files significantly slowed down much of the analysis.”
Maricopa denied the allegation in a Twitter post on Friday and said: “Maricopa County strongly denies allegations that @maricopavote staff deliberately deleted data.” The county also said it has “backups for all November data and those records have never been subpoenaed.”
While auditors have completed part of the audit around the ballots, they say an evaluation of the voting machine equipment is underway.
“Because the Maricopa County Board of Trustees and the Arizona Senate recently settled their dispute over open subpoenas, this portion of the review is not yet complete,” the Cyber Ninjas report states.
Response to findings
Jack Sellers, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement in response to the Senate hearing: “The Cyber Ninjas' opinions stem from an abuse and misunderstanding of the data provided by the province and twisted to fit the narrative that something has gone wrong .”
“Again, these 'auditors' threw out wild, malicious, false claims during their audit and the Senate leadership gave them the platform to present their opinions, suspicions and erroneous conclusions unchallenged and unchallenged. Today's hearing was irresponsible and dangerous."
The Democrats of Arizona, meanwhile, threw themselves at the accountant's report.
“The Cyber Ninjas have embarrassed Arizona for months, violated voters' trust, denied transparency and left AZ taxpayers with a multi-million dollar bill. What did they find? Biden won," Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who has often criticized the audit and has aspirations to become governor of Arizona, wrote. on Twitter . “The so-called leaders who allowed and encouraged this must be held accountable in 2022.”
But Fann has long said that the purpose of the audit was to improve Arizona's electoral system and was not intended to nullify the results.
“Our No. 1 goal is to make sure those laws are enforced,” Fann said during Friday's hearing, adding that there are “a lot of people” with questions about the integrity of the state in elections. Citing a poll, Fann said 45 percent of Arizona voters had significant distrust of the electoral system.
Ahead of the report's official release Friday afternoon by the state Senate, Trump said the audit revealed "significant and undeniable" fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
“The audit revealed significant and undeniable evidence of fraud!” he said in an emailed statement. “I have heard it is very different from what is reported by the fake news media.”
Trump added: “Until we know how and why this happened, our elections will never be safe. This is a major criminal event and should be immediately investigated by the Attorney General.”
Arizona was one of the major swing states, including Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin, which were certified for Biden in the November 3 election. Trump won all those states in 2016. According to official results, Biden Arizona won over Trump by a margin of just over 10.000 votes.
Maricopa County did not respond to The Epoch Times' request for comment.
Correction: An earlier headline in this article incorrectly stated that Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said the report confirmed that a specific candidate had won the Maricopa County election. Instead, in her comments, she confirmed the findings in the draft audit report, which stated that there was no significant difference in the number of votes when told. However, Fann highlighted specific concerns about the trial, which she referred to the Arizona Attorney General. The Epoch Times regrets the mistake.