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The Maricopa County Arizona Audit Is Complete: What Did We Learn?

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By now, most people have heard that the Arizona forensic audit of the 2020 election results is done.  The results were presented in a public hearing last Friday, and the complete reports can be found here.   Democrats and the MSM are happy because the audit showed that the total number of ballots counted generally matched the number reported, and the counted ballots showed that the totals for Biden and Trump effectively matched the numbers reported.  They are asserting that despite what they claim was a partisan Republican audit conducted by rank amateurs it actually proved that Biden won and the election was fair and secure.

Republicans are happier, though, because the audit uncovered incontrovertible evidence of fraud and malfeasance in the election and in the conduct of those responsible for ensuring the integrity of the election.  Although the totals generally matched the numbers that were certified. the audit found that there were huge quantities of ballots counted in the totals that should never have been included.  For instance, 17,000 voters had two, three, and even four duplicate ballots counted, for a total of over 34,000 counted votes that should have been eliminated (page 62, here).  

In several other cases, the stamp “Verified and Approved” appeared behind the pointer to the signature box on the return envelope (page 78).  The problem, of course, is that the pointer was printed on the ballot envelope before the ballot was sent to the voter.  How did the validation stamp get marked on the envelope before the pointer was printed?

Additionally, the audit showed that thousands more in-person ballots were counted than there were people who showed up to vote, thousands more mail-in ballots were received than were sent out, while thousands of votes were counted from voters who had moved and were no longer eligible.  Altogether, there were numerous discrepancies in the ballot counting that make the total votes reported unreliable to a high degree.  In other words, the number of votes affected by counting issues and potential election fraud exceeds the number of votes separating the candidates, such that it is impossible to tell who won the election in Maricopa County. 

The election results should never have been certified.  Since invalid ballots were mixed in with valid ones, and all counted together, it is impossible at this point to determine which ballots should have been counted and which rejected.  The only way to get a valid count would be to completely re-do the election with proper controls in place and with fully updated voter rolls.  Not a likely event at this point.

Machine Issues

Beyond demonstration of substantial errors in the ballot counts, Republicans were vindicated in two other areas as well.  The election officials relied extensively on Dominion systems for most aspects of the tabulation, recording, and processing of ballot information.  Dominion and the Maricopa County Supervisors have consistently maintained that the machines were “air gapped” and never connected to the internet. 

The CyFIR investigations showed conclusively that they were connected at various times throughout the election.  These connections did not happen just once or twice, but hundreds of times.  Some of the lawsuits Dominion has filed against such people as Mike Lindell and Sidney Powell have included assertions that Dominion machines were never connected to the internet as the defendants had alleged.  These audit results provide powerful evidence not only that the machines had internet connections, but that the connections were baked into the software.  Several of the machines would attempt to establish internet connections during part of their boot-up processes.

In addition to the internet  connections, the CyFIR team also found evidence that system logs had been deliberately deleted and security logs overwritten, erasing entries before the start of 2021, including the period of the election.  In some cases, the deletions occurred only days before the systems were surrendered to the auditors.  Further, almost 2 million files containing election data were deleted from the systems.  There was no evidence that the files were backed up, so they would represent unique election data that by Federal Law were to be maintained intact for a minimum of 22 months.  These deletions indicate deliberate destruction of evidence and violations of election law while the machines were in the possession and control of the county supervisors. 

Where Does That Leave Us

The audit results should provide increased incentive for other states to conduct their own audits.  Aside from the obvious ballot issues, the problems associated with the Dominion systems should give any state using them pause.

Arizona should never have certified the 2020 election results given the high likelihood known at the time of election irregularities.  The correct step to take at this time would be to decertify the election results reported.  A full audit of the remaining counties should be undertaken to see if a sufficient margin of valid votes can be established to determine a winner.  Failing that, the results should simply be decertified and left as unassigned electoral votes.  By itself, Arizona does not have enough electoral votes to alter the national total, but it can reduce the margin of the Biden win.

It is also clear that criminal investigations should be undertaken to determine who might have altered the system logs and election files.  While not in the report, the CyFIR representative testified during the Friday hearing that they were able to match camera images to the specific time stamps on the system logs so they had video evidence of the persons likely making the modifications.  These investigations should begin immediately.  They could proceed as high as the governor’s office if it is found that the results were certified despite knowledge of improper counts.  In other words, what did they know and when did they know it. 

There should also be investigations into the ballot irregularities.  People identified as those who voted improperly after they moved should be pursued, as well as those in whose name duplicate ballots were introduced.  Consideration should be given to the possibility that these voters are innocent and simply had their names used to generate fraudulent ballots.  Such fraud is one of several mechanisms for election fraud enabled by widespread use of mail-in ballots.

The various audit reports contain numerous suggestions for legislative actions to protect future elections, including better control of ballots, open inspection of election hardware and software, clean-up of voter rolls, among others.  These recommendations should be taken seriously, not only in Arizona but throughout the country.

I am often bemused by those who say we should put the 2020 election behind us and fix things in 2022 and 2024.  An operational definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  Until and unless the fraud mechanisms and issues uncovered in the audit are effectively addressed, no future election is secure or trustworthy.

Addressing fraud includes extending audits and processes to all other states, not only to restore confidence in future elections, but also to determine what the actual results were of the 2020 election.  If it should be found that there was sufficient fraud and other issues that the outcome cannot be legitimately determined, we need to quickly implement a remedy either by an emergency national vote, or by some other means.

By David Robb

David Robb is regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a practicing scientist who has been working in industry for over 50 years. One of his specialties is asking awkward questions. A large part of his work over the years has involved making complex scientific issues clear and understandable to non-specialists. Sometimes he even succeeds.

Image by Gage Skidmore at Flickr.