Election laws may have been broken and procedures ignored, according to Ken Bennett, one of the two Senate Republicans’ liaisons for the Maricopa County audit. He and liaison Randy Pullen, who reviewed the painstaking procedures followed in the audit, presented their reports at the end of the audit report hearing on Sept. 24.
The Arizona Senate Republicans hope that the lessons learned from the audit will inform legislative election reform and strengthen the way counties in the state conduct their elections. Bennett said during the hearing:
“The expressed purpose of the Senate-requested Audit was to verify state laws and procedures were followed, and identify how they can be improved to ensure Arizona elections are conducted with accuracy, integrity and transparency.”
The Arizona audit was performed for the express purpose of investigating the way the 2020 election was conducted—not overturn the election. The questions and evidence reported raise significant questions about the integrity of the election. Duplicate ballots, sloppy signature verification, procedural malfeasance, cybersecurity issues resulting in deleted files and overwrites, and multiple types of non-compliant paper used for the ballots are just a few of the problems found by Doug Logan’s team from Cyber Ninjas, Dr. Shiva’s EchoMail team, and Ben Cotton, founder of CyFIR.
Bennett’s job was to summarize the specific laws and procedures found in the 2019 Elections Procedure Manual authorized by SoS Hobbs that were breached in the process of conducting the November election in Maricopa County. Bennett’s presentation identified six categories where laws and procedures were allegedly either broken or ignored.
- Missing signatures on ballot envelope affidavits and law that says if an affidavit isn’t signed, the County Recorder shouldn’t count it.
- Original and duplicate ballots without matching serial numbers, duplicates should be clearly labeled “duplicates,” recording of serial numbers per EPM linked above.
- Many instances of a failure to follow chain-of-custody procedures.
- Shared and/or common usernames and passwords (per EPM linked above).
- Missing serial numbers on electronically adjudicated ballots. (per EPM linked above.)
- Possible ineligible voters.
A couple of the slides from his presentation are pictured below:
Bennett’s report states, “[O]n approximately 2,500 duplicated ballots, there was no discernible serial number recorded on either the original or the duplicate ballot.” The report also states that both laws and procedures in the manual were violated with regard to eligible voters. Vol. lll of the Navarro report estimated that approximately 41,000 votes were either non-citizen votes or voters who did not live in Arizona but voted in the state. The canvass conducted by Liz Harris estimated 96,389 ghost votes—“mail-in votes that likely could not have been physically cast by the voter that the vote was registered to.” Either number, if true, is well over the 10k margin of victory for Biden.
Senator Peterson, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Senate President Fann made their remarks at the end of the presentations. Peterson emphasized 8 areas of concern, making a point to say that counting duplicate ballots is against the law. He also wondered out loud why data was “churned” and deleted. He says he wanted to get to the bottom of who deleted data and why with a referral to Attorney General, Mark Brnovich. Their remarks can be viewed in the video clip below:
Fann wrote a letter to the AG immediately following the report hearing, sending over all reports to him. She emphasizes better maintenance of voter rolls, making available trained cybersecurity experts during elections, and conducting more extensive audits after each election “to make sure everyone is following the rules.” The Senate still awaits a report on the paper and kinematic artifacts and data from the routers and Splunk logs.
Senate President Karen Fann’s letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning the Maricopa County Forensic Audit pic.twitter.com/TYOb1zRiEr
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) September 25, 2021
Volunteers for the forensic audit—now no longer under non-disclosure agreement (NDA)— are beginning to speak out about what they witnessed during their time working the audit as well as why they volunteered their time in service of election integrity. The short video, found at a1000cuts.org tells some of their stories.