Last week, initial leaks from the Arizona audit, which happened in Maricopa County, began to circulate. As RedState reported, the raw tally of ballots found over 300 more votes for Joe Biden than the original count. But as I said at the time, while that may have been somewhat surprising, you could bet that number was being presented out of context and that there’d be more to come.
While I find it unlikely these initially reported results will be shown to be outright false, anytime anything is leaked to the Post, it’s almost always out of context. So you can expect the real report to offer more than what’s being said here. If the Post has the report, which they claim to do, why are they saying so little about it? We’ll have to wait and see what else is in the multiple-page document.
So did the trend of The Washington Post publishing convenient leaks as an effort to abscond from further revelations hold? Yes, it did, and the report included some serious caveats about the ballots that were inspected. The Post, as suspected, chose to not publish them in its write-up despite claiming to have the entire document.
For example, take this passage from The Federalist’s write-up on the audit. Also, credit to Margot Cleveland, who has always been great when we’ve interacted, for laying this stuff out in an easy-to-understand way. I say that because confusion is one of the tools used to muddy the waters.
These statutory provisions and procedures prove significant because the audit revealed that 15,035 mail-in votes in Maricopa County were from voters who had moved prior to the registration deadline, another 6,591 mail-in-votes came from voters who had moved out of Arizona prior to the registration deadline, and 1,718 mail-in votes came from voters who moved within Arizona but out of Maricopa prior to the registration deadline.
When you sign the affidavit that comes with the ballot, you are legally attesting to living at the address that exists on the registration. Is it really plausible that all those mail-in votes came from people who had only temporarily re-located? I find that suggestion to be absurd. It’s obvious that many, if not most of the votes in question here were cast illegally. Whether that was malicious or people just not realizing that they can’t move without updating their address we’ll never know.
And while that doesn’t provide evidence of a mass, singular conspiracy to cast illegal votes, what it does show is that Maricopa County was extremely lax, to the point of probable illegality, in enforcing existing voting laws. That’s a theme we saw all over the country, including in Georgia as well.
That suggestion is further bolstered by facts like these.
Ayyadurai also highlighted several implausible statistics, such as that while there was a 52.6 percent increase from 2016 to 2020 in the number of early voting ballots, Maricopa County reported a decrease in signature mismatches of 59.7 percent. “This inverse relationship requires explanation,” the report noted, and then recommended a full audit of the signatures.
Again, it’s just not plausible that early votes went up over 50% but that signature mismatches went down almost 60%. That fact again points to clearly insufficient enforcement of existing election law. Other issues included finding ballots where the affidavit had not been signed at all. Per the state’s election procedure manual, those votes are invalid and are not to be counted.
Now, what are the caveats? There are a few, and I want to try to give all the angles here. For example, while there appear to have been obvious issues with the enforcement of election law regarding registrations, we do not know who those voters cast their ballot for. And because we don’t know that, things remain murky enough for some to claim that it didn’t change the outcome of the race in Arizona.
Also, in regards to the small number of signatures missing from affidavits (which makes those votes invalid), while that points to a possibly larger, systemic issue, it is not conclusive because the audit didn’t actually go through and compare signatures for the rest of the ballots to see if the problem was larger.
That leaves us pretty much where we’ve been the entire year. It’s almost certain, to the point where it becomes absurd to claim otherwise, that a significant number of illegal votes were cast in Arizona. Yet, because of the realities of what the audit covered and didn’t cover, it did not deliver a conclusive finding that the illegal votes favored Biden enough to change the outcome.
But what the audit did do is outline the problems to the point of showing exactly what has to be fixed. This is why red states passing voting integrity bills is so important. The biggest fraud of 2020 was not dead people voting or some mass multi-state conspiracy to cast illegal votes. Rather, it was state after state and county after county ignoring voting laws or changing them without proper procedure under the guise of a COVID “emergency.” In Maricopa County, election officials seemingly ignored (though, they’d probably claim incompetence) safeguards when it came to early voting, a period which already heavily favors Democrats.
We can’t change the 2020 election, but we can secure upcoming elections, at least in the states Republicans control. Do that and drive turnout, and enough power can be regained to hopefully prevent what happened in 2020 from ever happening again.