In this installment of their weekly Sunday Six conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative break down the results of the recently-released results of Maricopa County’s audit of the 2020 presidential election.
#6: Duplicate ballots were called out as a concern by the auditors.
PF: The headlines and the takeaways we’ve seen from the Maricopa County audit results have focused almost exclusively – and understandably so – on the conclusion that the overall outcome of the election is unchanged. Trump lost Arizona, and we’ll get to that point in a moment. But the audit also determined that there were indeed problems with the way in which the election was conducted, including the possibility of “5,047 voters who may have cast ballots in more than one county.”
I understand that no matter the processes or methods, elections are executed by human beings, and for that reason there are always going to be issues with human error. Fair enough. But this one seems entirely preventable to me. Folks registering to vote are almost always managed at the county level, not the state level, and we can assume that it is that aspect of Arizona’s voting process which allowed these irregularities to happen. We can also therefore assume that there is a lack of checks and balances at the state level which enabled the problem to occur, and that prospect is inexcusable.
Arizona, and other states can easily tighten up their processes, and they had better do so, quickly. But there’s another piece of the puzzle which people are missing with this issue: the punishment for those who vote fraudulently. In a piece I wrote for The Western Journal right after the election last year, I pointed out that the penalties for election fraud are far too lax. Federal sentencing guidelines recommend a maximum prison sentence of five years; that’s the maximum, not the minimum, and that type of sentence is ludicrous.
The left are pooh-poohing the idea of voter fraud, and the results of this audit will only raise the volume on those dismissals… at least until one of their guys loses an election. It’s no big deal, they say. Get over it, Republicans. But it is a very, very big deal. Whichever of those 5,047 voters engaged in actual voter fraud by voting multiple times, they should spend decades in prison. One could argue that such actions are tantamount to treason; trying to undermine the very foundation of our electoral process, the bedrock on which our republic is founded. Declare a federally-mandated minimum sentence of twenty-five years for voter fraud, and throw a few of them behind bars, and watch how quickly such problems disappear.
#5: For better or worse, nothing has considerably changed after seeing the results as compared to before seeing them.
Parker: We needed the audit to happen, just as we need every state to audit and then crack down on the ease of voting right now (early voting, mail-in voting, same-day registration, no identification…do you get a sense there are ways to cheat?), but my greatest fear of this process is that nothing would change.
The audit produced some numbers for us to digest, but at the end of the day what do they mean? The left can point to the fact that the election results don’t change definitively, and are able to double down on what they called a sham from the beginning. They are correct in asserting that the election results stand.
As a result, they have their “proof” that claims of fraud and theft were false from the beginning, and that Trumpers were engaged in a lie told from the very top.
At the same time, the pro-Trump crowd and those that still feel something was amiss (and many still do regardless of this audit or not) can point to some not-so-insignificant figures from the report. Nearly 60,000 ballots are “questionable;” Joe Biden only won by about 10,000 in the entire state. Of those 60,000, almost one-third were sent from previous addresses and another one-sixth seem to represent duplicate voting; i.e. there were more votes than registered voters from some precincts. Is this proof of cheating? Is it the smoking gun? A hard no, to be sure, and that is the problem. It leaves just enough space for both sides to pursue their narrative, and even provides quantitative reassurance. If anything, both camps can rightfully adhere to their cause with more assuredness than before, which at the end of the day does not help. We need to trust in our election process, and not an iota of trust was garnered from Maricopa.
#4: Even with all the issues pointed out by the audit, we can conclude with little question that Trump lost Arizona; and if he lost Arizona, the argument that the election was stolen from him loses almost all credibility.
PF: It pains me to say it, but Trump lost the election last November. Were there problems with how the elections were run in different states? Absolutely. In Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and Georgia, and yes in Arizona as well, there were significant irregularities, violations of state constitutions, and outright voter fraud. But ultimately, Trump lost.
Team Trump and the GOP have had over ten months to make their case and back up Trump’s claim that not only did he win the election, he won in a “landslide.” No, he didn’t. He lost, and we need to move on. Keep in mind, the Maricopa County audit was orchestrated by Arizona Republicans, and not only did the results of the audit conclude that Trump was, in fact, the loser, they determined that Biden’s margin of victory was actually larger than what we had thought before the audit began. We need to focus on the future, and that focus can certainly include addressing voter fraud and improving election integrity, but we must ditch the narrative that Trump is the rightful winner of the election.
Sorry, he’s not.
If nothing else, the results from the Maricopa County audit should strengthen the argument being made elsewhere, and hopefully in Arizona as well, that voter integrity laws are needed to fix such problems. We’ve seen such laws pass in Florida, Georgia, and Texas, and we’ve seen Democrats have a collective conniption as a result. Voter ID laws, tightening up mail-in ballot processes, and limiting nonsense at polling places are a good idea, and this audit proves it. Such measures aren’t racist, or akin to Jim Crow, they’re common sense. Republicans should hammer home this message, and they should be able to hold up aspects of this audit as examples of why we need such laws.
#3: Let’s not forget that election theft occurs in more than just one way, and it wasn’t captured in the audit.
Parker: To your point about Biden earning more votes than Trump, we can only go off the numbers provided. In November, those numbers leaned toward BIden in the slightest way, and it was confirmed by one of the most thorough recounts in recent memory. It stands to reason that after multiple verifications of each ballot, review of machines, and the other steps that the Republicans took had they needed to verify their results (if the results swung the other direction), we have to accept that either the cheating is insurmountably effective or there was no widespread cheating. I am agnostic on the issue of whether massive fraud stole the election; I am fairly certain that if Democrats could cheat to win that they would.
And that is why they would not put all of their election theft eggs in the same basket. Say what you will about leftists’ lack of morality, they do not lack for cunning – at least those at the top of the leftist food chain; the leftist proles are idiots.
As I shared in my post yesterday on a review of the week’s big headlines – see it HERE – I reviewed an article written by General Michael Flynn. Prior to this recount even kicking off, he had highlighted the fact that Trump gained 250,000 votes in 2020 in Maricopa County compared to his 2016 efforts. What’s more impressive is that this represents a full one-eight of all ballots cast in the county. Trump’s magnetism is real – and I believe every ballot was true. (I also, anecdotally, have friends in the county that had their mail-ins rejected because the signatures did not match, so the count should have been even higher). Somehow, Joe Biden’s boring and nonexistent campaign topped Hillary’s performance by an astounding 340,000 new votes. When there are claims of fraud, this is why.
Even so, if it was not straight up fraudulent counting and duplicate counting, here is where theft also takes place: Arizona is a border state. The term border is used loosely here. The Democrats make no effort to conceal the fact that our border is welcome to anyone who will pull the lever for them; history shows that most of these people will produce kids who favor Democrats by a large margin. Our open borders constitute as much election fraud and theft as marking a ballot illegally and running it through the scanner. They defy immigration law, morality, and concern for citizens and import illegal votes that do not reflect the will of the real American people. Given enough time, Democrats will bring in tens of millions of new voters. If Trump’s share of the electorate grew by eleven million this past election and it still wasn’t enough, how do we expect to compete against double that in every cycle?
#2: The audit confirmed: Widespread mail-in balloting is problematic, and a legitimate concern not just for Arizonans, but for all Americans.
PF: The most obvious and concerning damage that was done to the integrity of last year’s election was inflicted by the mainstream media and Big Tech. We’ve seen bias from those folks before, but not like we did last year. They totally buried the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, censored Trump and his supporters, and put their thumbs on the scale for Biden at every opportunity. Of all the factors that tilted the election towards Biden, this was the most egregious and the worthiest of investigation. It was outrageous. But the problems with mail-in balloting comes in a close second, for me.
The audit is referring mail-in balloting irregularities, and “chain of custody” concerns, to Mark Brnovich, the Arizona Attorney General. Will Brnovich indict and prosecute? We’ll have to see, but it seems clear that concerns we’ve had all along with mail-in voting is justified, at least to some extent.
The integrity of our elections must be sacrosanct. We, every American, should have the utmost faith that when election results are announced, those results are accurate. But for almost five years now, the confidence of voters on both sides of the aisle has taken a huge hit. Democrats argued for years, with some still arguing, that Hillary Clinton was the rightful winner in 2016, which is absurd. Republicans continue to have concerns with last year’s results, and some of those concerns are legitimate. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to address the issue head on, and in bipartisan fashion, but they won’t.
When voting in-person, there are a wide array of controls that are in place, and visibly so. Even in states that don’t require identification, they have verification methods in place. But with mail-in ballots, we’re relying on nineteenth century technology – the postal service – to handle the very lifeblood of our democracy; elections. Mail-in voting, early voting, and absentee voting must be strictly limited and controlled. Only in extenuating circumstances should Americans be allowed to vote without going to an actual polling place. It happens only once a year, twice if we include the primaries, and a few hours a year is a small price to pay for safeguarding election integrity. We should abolish widespread mail-in voting, and it should be done at the federal level.
#1: Trust and faith in the electoral systems are at all-time lows – and that’s not good for the Republic.
Parker: I typed that headline before you wrote your piece, so there might be a little overlap, but this is important as a stand alone. There are two concurrent concerns here. First, there is no democracy if no one believes that their vote counts. We already see a lot of general apathy when people make comments like “my one vote won’t make a difference” and nonsense like that. Second, I think that’s part of the point. What better way to destroy the country than from within like this?
We have reached a point where neither side is willing to accept that their loss was legitimate. Hillary peddled lies after 2016 and Trump proposed his own allegations in 2020. If anyone has a right to claim theft, it’s Trump, given that the system absolutely doesn’t want him involved. That being said, the bigger problem is that half the country feels cheated, rightly or wrongly.
How long can we go on like this? Short of implementing drastic countermeasures, and notwithstanding the constant assault against the Republic in other ways, none of this bodes well long term.