Politics Breaking down the 2020 election audits still underway
Mike Lindell Insists There Are 'Two Pathways' to Change 2020 Election Results
The MyPillow CEO claimed that the 2020 election will be "pulled down" after his planned "cyber symposium" in August.Lindell, a staunch Trump loyalist, continues to baselessly claim that the last presidential election was "rigged" or "stolen" by the Chinese Communist Party to favor Biden instead of Trump. The extraordinary allegations about so-called "widespread fraud" in the election have already been thoroughly litigated in state and federal courts and wholly discredited. But Lindell and Trump continue to promote the groundless conspiracy theory.
While President Joe Biden secured a victory in the 2020 race more than nine months ago, some efforts to review how the election was handled are still underway.
The ongoing or proposed reviews come against the backdrop of several GOP states pursuing changes to their election laws that Republicans say are necessary to restore trust in elections.
However, Democrats say the basis of both the reviews and the voting reforms is a lie told by former President Donald Trump about the election being stolen — a claim with no evidence.
Here is where 2020 election reviews stand now.
Arizona Senate president says 2020 election audit's ballot count differs from Maricopa tally
Ballots counted in the Arizona Senate's audit of the 2020 election differs from the tally by Maricopa County officials. © Provided by Washington Examiner That's what Senate President Karen Fann said in an interview on Tuesday in which she also noted that the discrepancy prompted the legislature to acquire new machines — "not Dominion’s, separate ones" — to again count the ballots. An official canvass report released by the county, which includes Phoenix, said 2,089,563 ballots were cast in November's election. Fann said she did not know the size of the discrepancy.
A sweeping review of ballots and machinery used in Maricopa County, Arizona, has dragged on for months with no end in sight.
The partisan audit began when the GOP-controlled state Senate pursued a countywide recount and review of election machinery — even though Maricopa’s results were already reviewed immediately after the 2020 election. Officials conducted a hand recount of a statistically significant ballot sample at that time and found no issues.
Among the many reasons critics have slammed the Maricopa audit is the Republicans’ choice of contractor. Cyber Ninjas, the company tapped by the state Senate to handle much of the audit, is led by a CEO who has previously echoed debunked claims of widespread election fraud from Trump.
Arizona election auditors seek more records, voter canvass
PHOENIX (AP) — Contractors hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to oversee a partisan review of the 2020 election said Thursday that they don’t have enough information to complete their report, and urged legislators to subpoena more records and survey voters at home. Leaders of the GOP audit described a wide variety of reasons their review is taking months longer than the 60 days initially planned, including confusion about damaged ballots and a lack of access to certain data. They described the delays during a meeting livestreamed at the Capitol Thursday and watched by thousands.
The company also has no prior experience with election audits. House Democrats last weekan investigation into Cyber Ninjas’s role in the review.
In late June, auditorsa recount and manual inspection of the roughly 2.1 million ballots cast in the county.
But the results remain secret, as auditors are currently pursuing more avenues for inspection before releasing all their findings in a planned report.
The Republican state Senate also subpoenaed machines used in the election for further inspection, prompting the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to$2.8 million to replace the equipment. Arizona’s secretary of state warned that after Cyber Ninjas was granted access to the equipment, the machines would no longer be approved for use in future elections out of concern the integrity of the equipment could be compromised by the company.
Mike Lindell Claims 'Real Totals' From 2020 Election Are Trump 80M, Biden Below 68M
Lindell has also said that his "cyber symposium" this month will reveal new evidence of voting machine fraud orchestrated by China. He also said that he has technological experts examining "packet captures" of voting machine data to show exactly when and where election fraud occurred.This evidence, he added, will convince the Supreme Court to vote unanimously to reinstate Trump into office by the fall.Lindell's claims that machines from Dominion Voting Systems flipped votes from Trump to Biden during the 2020 election compelled the company to file a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against him in February.
Despite months of review, Arizona Senate Republicansthey would pursue even more information from the county in a hearing last week.
The Republicans suggested they will seek to subpoena a bevy of new materials, including a backup copy of the voter database and a record of changes to voter rolls leading up to 2020.
The auditors shelved a plan in May to gather information about how Arizonans voted by going door to door after the Justice Department warned in athe practice could be considered voter intimidation.
Auditors brought up the idea of canvassing again in last week’s hearing, during which county officials signaled they plan to file a lawsuit challenging the final report when the Republicans release it.
Regardless of whatever Republicans find, Arizona has already certified its election results, and there is no mechanism for changing them. President Joe Biden won the state by more than 10,000 votes, and his margin in Maricopa County was even larger.
Biden beat Trump by more than 45,000 votes.
FULTON COUNTY INVESTIGATION
Mike Lindell Says 'God's Had His Hand' In Effort to Overturn 2020 Election
"It will be the biggest revival for Jesus in history," the MyPillow CEO said.Lindell—like Trump—continues to baselessly claim that the presidential election was "stolen" for President Joe Biden. These extraordinary allegations have already been thoroughly litigated in state and federal courts and wholly discredited. But the businessman continues to travel around the country, attending events where he promotes false claims and misinformation about the election results.
The Georgia secretary of state’s officelast month into how Fulton County handled ballot box transfer documents in the wake of the 2020 election.
Secretary Brad Raffensperger opened the inquiry based on comments from a Fulton County election official to a local paper, the, in which the official acknowledged some of the transfer documents appeared to have been misplaced.
According toput in place for ballot drop boxes, which Georgia used in 2020 for the first time, election officials were to collect ballots from the drop boxes at least once every 72 hours for the first part of the early voting period, and at least once every 24 hours for the final two weeks of early voting before Election Day.
Each time they collected ballots, election officials were required to record “the date, time, location and number of ballots” on a ballot transfer form, according to the State Election Board.
The investigation remains open.
Georgia Star News initially claimed Fulton County failed to provide 385 ballot transfer forms in response to a public records request.
But a recentfrom Georgia Public Broadcasting suggests the actual number of missing transfer forms is much smaller. Fulton County officials told GPB they located nearly all the documents and sent them to state investigators, although they acknowledged they still could not find eight of the forms.
Trump's PAC has spent no money on ballot audits as he pushes his election fraud claims, but has funded his flights and other personal expenses, report says
Trump has often pushed the false claim that the election was stolen from him, but the WaPo reports he has spent no money trying to prove the claim.The Save America leadership PAC was founded last year as Trump pushed his "big lie" that last year's election was stolen from him as a result of an elaborate plot by Democrats. The PAC, which has few legal limits on how it can spend its money, raised $75 million.
Fulton County has a long history of problems in election administration.
In one recent example, digital scans of absentee ballots revealed nearly 200 ballots werein Fulton County in the 2020 election.
The problems have prompted Raffensperger to call for theof two high-ranking county election officials. Georgia’s new voting reforms allow the State Election Board to make changes in counties where recurring issues have hampered election administration, although the law also diluted the secretary of state’s role on the board.
WINDHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE AUDIT
Auditors in a New Hampshire towntheir final report last week to state officials after reviewing irregularities in the vote count for the town of Windham.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu authorized the audit in mid-April because a recount of ballots for state legislative seats revealed some mistakes in the initial count.
When the results for the local races were unusually tight, one of the trailing candidates requested a recount. The effort added hundreds of votes to Republican candidates while subtracting roughly 100 votes from the Democratic candidate.
Auditors stressed they found no evidence of fraud in their review. Instead, they blamed errors that occurred when voting machines attempted to read folded paper ballots.
ANTRIM COUNTY, MICHIGAN CHALLENGE
Although an attorney in May dismissed a challenge to the election results in Antrim County, Michigan, lawyers involved in the case filed anlast week in a move that could bring the results back under scrutiny.
'Sore loser' Trump reaps fruits of election lies in Arizona
Ex-President Donald Trump's big lie came full circle on Saturday as he traveled to Arizona to dangerously seize on the false fruits of a sham election "audit" precipitated by his own discredited claims the 2020 election was stolen. © Ross D. Franklin/AP Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D.
Antrim County attracted controversy immediately after the election because human error caused the county to misreport initial returns on election night.
Early results showed Biden leading, but officials laterthe numbers to reflect a Trump victory in the county.
Reviews of what occurred in a state Senate committee report showed fraud did not contribute to the mistake.
POTENTIAL PENNSYLVANIA REVIEW
Pennsylvania Republicans arefor an audit of select counties in the Keystone State.
Republican State Sen. Doug Mastriano has led efforts to get the Legislature behind an audit. Mastriano sent letters earlier this month to three Pennsylvania counties requesting a range of materials, including computer logs and copies of their election results. Mastriano threatened a subpoena, although the state Legislature hasn’t opened an investigation.
Mastriano, among other issues, concerns with how Pennsylvania changed its election rules in the weeks leading up to the election.
Multiple Republicans — including Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who challenged Pennsylvania’s results when the election was certified on Jan. 6 — have questioned the loosening of rules regarding mail-in voting for the 2020 election.
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But the Trump campaign’s aggressive challenge to the Pennsylvania results was already thrown out by courts, which found no basis to overturn results. Trump’s legal team attempted to take its Pennsylvania challenge to the Supreme Court, which rejected the effort.
There has been no evidence of fraud in Pennsylvania.
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Georgia Republicans set process in motion for state takeover of Fulton County elections .
Georgia Republicans requested a performance review of the top elections official in Fulton County, the first step toward a possible state takeover of Atlanta-area voting contests. © Provided by Washington Examiner A group of two dozen lawmakers signed a letter, obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, seeking the inquiry into Fulton elections chief Richard Barron, who is facing backlash for his handling of the 2020 election in the Democratic stronghold. “We’re asking them to simply correct a record they say is easily corrected.