Conducting an audit on an open and fair election should not be an issue, especially when the audit can be easily observed by the public in real-time.
Yet, Democrats have left no stone unturned in their campaign to end the Arizona state Senate’s comprehensive forensic audit of all ballots cast in Maricopa County during the November presidential election.
Following months of obstruction via bogus lawsuits and a full-court press from heavyweight Washington lawyer Marc Elias (who commissioned the Steele dossier) and his many minions, influential Democrat-run organizations appealed to the Department of Justice late last week. Their efforts have born fruit. According to KNXV-TV, the DOJ has decided to get involved in some capacity in the matter.
This latest move smacks of desperation and leaves many Republicans wondering what has the Democrats running scared.
The DOJ Civil Rights Division’s Principle Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan wrote a letter to Karen Fann, the president of the Arizona state Senate, on Wednesday to express the department’s concerns about ballot security and potential voter intimidation arising from the forensic audit.
Karlan wrote that she is concerned about “potential noncompliance with federal laws enforced by the Department.”
The first issue involves “reports suggesting that the ballots, election systems, and election materials that are the subject of the Maricopa County audit are no longer under the ultimate control of state and local elections officials, are not being adequately safeguarded by contractors at an insecure facility, and are at risk of being lost, stolen, altered, compromised or destroyed.”
The other concern has to do with measures the lead audit company, Cyber Ninjas, is taking “to identify voter registrations that did not make sense.” This includes knocking on doors to confirm if individuals actually live at their reported addresses.
“Past experience with similar investigative efforts around the country has raised concerns that they can be directed at minority voters, which potentially can implicate the anti-intimidation prohibitions of the Voting Rights Act,” Karlan wrote. “Such investigative efforts can have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future.”
Frankly, I’m impressed to hear they are knocking on doors. That tells me this is a serious audit. The Senate Republicans are going to great lengths to ensure that the election was free and fair.
#BREAKING the DOJ Civil Rights Division has sent a letter to Senator Fann raising concerns over how the #azaudit is being conducted.
1. Election assets are not under the control of election officials.
2. Reports of door to door canvassing. pic.twitter.com/OaCWvyAM57
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) May 6, 2021
Perhaps the most egregious, hypocritical and ironic statement concerning this audit was the reaction from Tammy Patrick, an adviser to the George Soros-connected Democracy Fund, to the Cyber Ninjas’ requirement that audit volunteers sign non-disclosure agreements.
According to KNXV, the NDA states that “observers must agree to keep information detailing what they saw and experienced while present to themselves unless given permission by the company.”
Patrick told KNXV, “The very heart of being an observer is to be able to watch, to observe, to take that information and to share it with others.”
Patrick needs to remember first that this is an audit which is very different from the counting of votes on Election Day.
Second, we all remember how cooperative the Democrats were in allowing Republican election observers “to watch, to observe, to take that information and to share it with others” in November.
Last week, The Last Refuge reported, “After the Democrat Secretary of State failed to get the [Republican] Arizona State Attorney General to initiate an investigation of the audit; and after a Democrat state judge rejected the Democrat effort for a temporary restraining order; and after all other efforts have failed … now we see three outside left-wing election groups (claiming bipartisanship yet led by lawyers from NYU) asking the DOJ to intervene in the Maricopa County, Arizona, ballot audit.”
The organizations behind this eight-page missive include The Brennan Center for Justice, Protect Democracy and The Leadership Conference. These “election experts” are “very concerned that the auditors are engaged in ongoing and imminent violations of federal voting and election laws.”
“Specifically, we believe,” the letter stated, “that the senate and its agents, including Cyber Ninjas, are … violating their duty under federal law to retain and preserve ballots cast in a federal election, which are and have been in danger of being stolen, defaced, or irretrievably damaged.”
“First, the senate failed to properly ensure the physical security of the ballots and other election materials. As reported in multiple media outlets, the auditors failed to implement basic physical security measures, such as locking doors, to prevent unauthorized access to the ballot storage facility and the ballots themselves,” the organizations stated.
“Second, the auditors are failing ensure that the ballots are properly preserved during the audit. Cyber Ninjas originally equipped auditors who were reviewing the paper ballots with blue ink pens, rather than the red ink pens typically used by election administrators when reviewing or tabulating ballots.”
“Third, the auditors are using materials and technologies that will cause ballot paper and marks to deteriorate and place the ballots in jeopardy of being irreparably damaged. Based on press reports,21 auditors are engaged in a practice of holding up ballots to an ultraviolet light during inspection without gloves. It is well established that ultraviolet light causes not only paper to deteriorate, but also leads to the deterioration of marks on paper ballots,” the letter added.
The Associated Press reported that the Arizona Democratic Party and the state Senate reached an agreement on Wednesday on terms that will “ensure that voter and ballot privacy is guaranteed.”
“The agreement reached Wednesday puts teeth in a court order that already required the Senate and its contractor, Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, to follow state laws around ballot privacy. Any violations of the agreement would be enforceable by seeking an emergency court order.”
When news of the Arizona Senate’s audit of Maricopa County ballots first arose, I had very little confidence in it. My confidence is growing for two reasons, the first being the Democrats’ Herculean effort to try to prevent it and then to stop it.
The Senate GOP has tried to conduct this intensive audit since November and each attempt was surprisingly blocked by the Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
Finally, after much legal wrangling, the Senate was allowed to go forward. The Democrats then flew in the big guns, including Marc Elias.
With every resource at their disposal, Elias and his minions worked for at least a month to crush this effort. Still, the GOP prevailed.
When the audit began two weeks ago, Democrats immediately raised a new legal challenge. They asked for a judge to stop it.
Second, I believe the state Senate and its audit team are conducting a very serious, thorough review that just might uncover some important evidence.
After reading an excellent article about ballot security on the American Free News Network on Tuesday, I asked writer Martin Knight what he thought of the Maricopa audit. He replied, “I feared the Maricopa Audit was failure theater — like Brian Kemp’s ‘Signature Audit’ in GA — at first. Now that they’ve confirmed that they are looking at inks, I am cautiously optimistic. … Of course, if I had my way, it would be a nationwide operation covering PA, GA, MI, NV and WI as well.”
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