| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

Election officials rebut claims in Republican-led Arizona review of Trump’s 2020 loss

According to an official response issued on Wednesday, election officials in Arizona’s most populous county found almost every conclusion in a partisan “audit” of Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election to be incorrect or untrue.

The 93-page study by the Maricopa County Elections Department attempts to address dozens of charges made by Trump’s Republican Party loyalists in their so-called “complete forensic investigation” aimed at throwing doubt on his defeat in the battleground state.

While last year’s Republican-led investigation had previously been widely criticized as biased and procedurally defective by election experts, the report, titled “Correcting The Record,” was the first extensive rebuttal by county officials.

“We determined that nearly every finding included faulty analysis, inaccurate claims, misleading conclusions, and a lack of understanding of federal and state election laws,” according to the audit report, which was contracted out to a private company called Cyber Ninjas by Arizona Republican senators.

The county study, according to the report, uncovered 22 assertions that were deceptive, 41 that featured poor or incorrect analysis, and 13 that were manifestly wrong.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, won Maricopa County, which contains Phoenix, by around 45,000 votes, making it vital to his tight victory over Trump in November 2020. A manual recount and other post-election accuracy testing affirmed Biden’s victory. There has been no proof of the vast fraud that Trump and his backers erroneously claimed.

Republicans, led by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, pushed for a thorough study of the election, including a manual recount and an audit of tabulation equipment. They issued a final report in September, which determined that the vote tally mainly matched the official results, notwithstanding various reports of apparent abnormalities.

The Cyber Ninjas, for example, utilized information from a third-party commercial database to suggest that over 33,000 persons may have voted unlawfully because they had relocated before to the election and no longer resided at the address on file with the county.

According to the county’s study, Cyber Ninjas identified flaws by employing “soft match” approaches that depended on basic data elements such as first name, last name, and birth year, resulting in problems.

“Our investigation revealed no voter ineligible to vote from their residential address during the November 2020 General Election, and no evidence of multiple voting,” according to the study.

Republicans’ biased audit in Arizona was part of a bigger campaign to destroy trust in the 2020 election and gain more control over the voting process. Since the election, some Republican-controlled state legislatures have introduced legislation restricting access to the voting box or concentrating power over election administration in the hands of partisan officials.

Maricopa County election officials will disclose the results of their study during a public meeting of the county Board of Supervisors on Wednesday.

  • Reuters