By Stephen Tuttle | Oct. 2, 2021
It should have put to rest the nonsensical fabrications of a failed president and his delusional acolytes. It did not.
After 10 months and $6 million, the Great Maricopa County Election Audit in Arizona was finally completed. It was conducted by an outfit from Florida calling itself Cyber Ninjas led by a man who had already publicly bought into the election fraud idiocy. As a bonus, the company had no experience with Arizona elections nor any other elections, much less election recounts. They were ably assisted by a guy who claims he invented the internet – he did not – and had election experience similar to that of Cyber Ninjas.
Maricopa County, Arizona's largest by population, home to Phoenix and 2.5 million voters, has traditionally been a Republican stronghold, though that grip has been slipping in recent years. In 2020, Joe Biden carried the county by 47,000 votes, a surprise to many, but incomprehensible to then President Trump and those in his orbit. Republicans in Arizona's state senate then orchestrated a recount, enabled by a friendly judge. Never mind that an audit and recount had already taken place and the results confirmed.
So they hired the Cyber Ninjas, whom they believed to be fellow travelers on the election conspiracy train. But after all that time and money, their only concrete, fact-based conclusion was that Joe Biden actually received 99 more votes and Donald Trump, 261 fewer votes than had been previously reported.
They found no fraud.
They brought in ultra-violet lights searching for something. They looked for signs of bamboo in or on the ballots, based on the bizarre notion that counterfeit ballots had been printed in China. They searched for internet connections that never existed. They searched for a connection to former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, though he has been dead for 13 years. They searched for a mysterious computer server that supposedly existed on a U.S. military base in Germany. Or maybe it was Italy. They even tried to determine if a “Cheeto fingerprint” on a ballot was a sign of fraud.
They did not find that thousands of dead people -- or any -- voted. They did not find that thousands of illegal immigrants -- or any -- voted. They did not find thousands of people who voted twice, or that people from other states were shipped in to vote illegally, or that people who weren't registered to vote voted anyway. And they did not find any ballot counting machine that somehow magically altered or otherwise changed any vote cast.
Cyber Ninjas’ list of “concerns” are more like an outline of Arizona election processes and laws they simply didn't understand.
For example, there were perhaps thousands of mail-in ballots with illegible voter signatures, which is not different from mail-in ballots in pretty much every state, because some people have horrible handwriting. There is a process, allowed by federal and state election laws, called “curing,” in which election officials contact those voters to make sure that is, in fact, their signature, their ballot and their vote. It isn't fraud.
Their other “concerns” were easily and quickly debunked by county election officials, most of whom are Republicans.
The former president's reaction? Declaring it was proof positive of massive election fraud. He then sent off a missive to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Trump supporter, insisting he “decertify” the Arizona election. It doesn't seem to matter to the former president there is nothing in case law, state or federal statutes or the state or U.S. Constitution that allows the governor to do any such thing.
And Trump's loyal sycophants around the country? They're demanding “audits” in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and three counties in Texas won by Biden. An Arizona member of Congress, Paul Gosar, who never heard a Trump lie he didn't believe, has insisted the entire election have a big “do-over.”
There is no point in even more audits other than to further besmirch the integrity of our election system. We already know the verified, certified results – Joe Biden won and
Donald Trump lost.
(This is probably a good time to mention the Cyber Ninja “audit” in Arizona was farcical, with chain-of-custody issues with the ballots, unscientific methodology, lack of basic knowledge of Arizona election procedures and laws, and an overt starting bias. They so compromised voting machines they'll need replacing at a cost of millions.)
This is destructive nonsense promulgated by an individual who neither respects nor loves the traditions of a country he wants to lead. Rather, he and his most ardent followers seem happy to destroy the foundations of our constitutional republic for his cynical and narcissistic benefit.
But this isn't one of Trump's business deals he can scam, lie and bully his way through. The majority of Americans are more than ready to say, “Enough!”