Earlier today, I spoke with Dr. Kelli Ward, Arizona GOP Chairwoman, about the Arizona audit. Not surprisingly, most of what you read on Twitter or hear on the news is entirely false.
First, I asked what we won out of the settlement earlier this week. “Won?” she replied. “We didn’t lose anything.” The Arizona Secretary of State, Katie Hobbes “won” the right to have observers present. But Ward found that laughable: “We invited Hobbes to be a part of the process from the beginning,” including having observers. As for the absentee ballot signature verification, Cyber Ninjas was not doing that in the first place.
Cyber Ninjas issued a statement saying, “The settlement with the Arizona Democratic Party does not change anything in the conduct of the audit.” In addition to the observers, the settlement required the audit team not to have blue or black pens when ballots were handled. It never has—this was a Hoax News report based on nothing. Nothing has changed. The settlement required the audit team to secure the ballots, which have been secure from the beginning. Nothing changed. And the settlement required the audit team not to compare signatures on early ballot envelopes with signatures from the voter registration file. Cyber Ninjas had not been doing this anyway. Nothing changed.
I then asked Ward about the significance of the May 14 deadline. “Not a problem,” said, Ward. Currently, the lease renews after a three-day interim for high school graduations. The machines and other paraphernalia can be locked up away from the main floor (Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum is a pretty big place, capable of hosting tractor shows, basketball, and hockey games, and rodeos—it has enough space to easily and securely house voting equipment during three days’ worth of graduations). So if the counting needs to go on past May 17, as it likely will, it will continue at the Coliseum.
“So the process is ongoing? The counting continues?” I asked. “The counting continues,” she said, despite threats from the Biden Department of Justice and other wrench-throwers. I asked Ward how long she thought the process would take at current rates. “Probably another month,” she replied, “but that depends on how many volunteers they get. At present, they have about 70 tables but, at any given time, only about 20 of them have examiners at them.” Want to help? To volunteer, go to: fundtheaudit.com/volunteer
Ward said she had heard many people volunteered at Arizona GOP Headquarters, and there was no follow-up. She said the Cyber Ninjas were inquiring into this.
I inquired about Judge Daniel Martin, the new judge who took over when Judge Christopher Coury withdrew due to a conflict of interest. My impression, I said, was that he had been pretty good. She agreed. “So far, he has been fair. Our one concern came from the leak about the Cyber Ninjas procedures, but we are convinced that did not come from him.” She did not know where that leak came from—obviously, someone in Martin’s staff, who could face repercussions—but the only advantage it gave the Democrats is that they could see the strategy in hopes of countering it.
“Do you have any sense of what Cyber Ninjas is finding?” I asked, then added, “I would hope for security purposes, not.” She agreed. “No, Cyber Ninjas has been entirely professional, and there have been no leaks. And it’s better for everyone that there weren’t.” So if you are reading about “early results” from the Arizona audit, the information is not coming from either the Arizona GOP or Cyber Ninjas, meaning it should not be trusted.
Right now, Cyber Ninjas and the Arizona State Legislature is fighting with the Board of Supervisors to obtain the passwords for the Dominion machines, which was required in the first court ruling. “They may have to go back to court again,” Ward stated.
My final question involved the implications if, indeed, fraud was found. Would it lead the Legislature to audit the whole state? “That’s a possibility. If enough fraud is found, that will throw the election into doubt just from Maricopa County, then Arizona’s electors were disenfranchised, and that would be a suit. If criminal activity is found, it will be reported to the State Attorney General or the DOJ.” Neither of us commented on the obvious reality that Joe Biden’s DOJ would be as interested in accepting this as a penguin is in being dropped into the Amazon rain forest. A statewide GOP suit would not preclude a class-action suit, though so far, the U.S. Supreme Court has ducked such cases with regularity. In short, about a month to go, and the counting continues. No other claims can be made.