New Arizona voter fraud report energizes madman
For the most ardent supporters of Donald Trump, the Republicans-led Arizona Senate “forensic audit” of more than 2 million ballots last November offered a chance to prove electoral fraud, if not to cancel the victory of Joe Biden. Right-wing media have been enthralled by the often bizarre polling station practices, including the hunt for bamboo fiber ballots and suspicious folds of ballots that are believed to indicate Democratic electoral theft.
But more than four months have passed since the initial date the report on the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County was first promised, and supporters of the audit are agitating. . The count ended this summer and the tellers even held a two-month meeting on Wednesday evening. A number of issues delayed the report, including a COVID-19 outbreak that infected the chief audit operator “Cyber Ninjas” and two of his employees.
State Senator Wendy Rogers (R), whose advocacy for the audit turned her into a rising figure on the national Republican fringe, this week acknowledged critics who called the audit, in her own words , of “false” and “not real.” Rogers says the final report will be submitted to the Arizona State Senate next week.
“YOU’LL SOON LOVE THE ARIZONA SENATE EVEN THOUGH SOME ARE CRAZY ABOUT US NOW,” Rogers wrote on Telegram, a social media app favored by Trump supporters.
But while supporters of the audit have long awaited the promised report, they have started to embark on other half-baked investigations. Now, they’ve got hold of another conservative report that makes bamboo fiber audit research look purely scientific.
Arizona activist Liz Harris last week published a “popular solicitation report” that purported to prove massive voter fraud in November. According to Harris, more than 173,000 ballots were not actually counted in Maricopa County, while 96,389 “ghost votes” with no identifiable voter behind them were created.
Harris even claimed to have uncovered specific fake addresses behind mail-in ballots, photographing vacant lots she said had served as home to ghost voters. But experts and Maricopa County officials say the report is riddled with errors and so flawed that she had to change the photo on the cover page of her report.
According to Harris, volunteers using the voters list have deployed to Maricopa County to investigate voter registration information. The report was quickly adopted by right-wing media and Trump allies, with far-right blog The Gateway Pundit touting its “explosive results.”
State Representative Mark Finchem (R), a proponent of QAnon conspiracy theories whose candidacy to become Arizona Secretary of State has been approved On Monday by Trump, the Harris report cited in an appearance on One America News.
“This indicates more than the fraud of electoral systems,” Finchem said. “This is being reported as voter registration fraud. “
Interviewing Harris on his podcast, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon pointed to coverage of the report, which Harris said showed vacant land that could not legally have registered voters.
“It’s a wasteland from which two votes come!” said Bannon. “Such a ruckus.”
Despite Trumpworld’s adherence to the Harris document, it has kept its methodology a secret. The instances where Harris exposed the data behind his claims were easily debunked.
Harris did not respond to a request from The Daily Beast to see the data behind his claims, and would have refused share their data with the Republic of Arizona. In a joint statement, the county registrar’s office and the assessor’s office said Harris had “refused” to provide them with information they could use to investigate his allegations of voter fraud.
Garrett Archer, a data analyst at Phoenix ABC15 television who tried to understand the report’s methodology, said Harris also refused to share his evidence with him.
“I could write a book on the many issues that are out there,” Archer, who previously worked as an election analyst for the Arizona Secretary of State, told The Daily Beast.
Even the cover photo of the empty lots that Bannon rented has been criticized. The first version of the report released by Harris featured a location she claimed was wasteland. But in their statement, Maricopa County officials disputed that description, saying the land actually houses a house with four legally registered voters.
Harris quickly changed the report’s cover photo to a new empty lot. But county officials also disputed that claim, saying the land previously housed a mobile home. The registered voter at the mobile home voted from a temporary address, officials said, meaning Harris’s photo of an empty field proved no electoral mischief.
“They made a mistake on their cover page, so there is a chance that there are some errors in the actual data,” Archer said.
While Harris’ methodology remains obscure, it is clear that his volunteers did not survey all voters in the county. Instead, they seem to have taken a small subsection and then multiplied the voter list discrepancies they found to arrive at their tally of hundreds of thousands of missing or illegal ballots.
“They’re just making these general assumptions without contacting the county and going through their data to see what might have happened,” Archer said.
As for the audit report itself, Trump supporters awaiting its results still have at least a week to wait. Defending the audit last month, Rogers went on the offensive, saying critics should focus more on trying to organize similar efforts outside of Arizona.
“For those who say Arizona’s audit results are taking too long, I can tell you they’re coming faster than 49 other states,” Rogers wrote on Telegram.