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Weeding out Trump’s comments on the Arizona audit



Logan and Ben Cotton, a digital forensics analyst working on the exam, described issues that they believe need further investigation. Trump parroted them as evidence that the election results were tainted.

District officials and electoral experts say the allegations are false and based on a misunderstanding of the election material, which gives the appearance of irregularities where none are present.

Trump most accurately spelled out his claims in a statement Friday night. A look at the irregularities he alleges in that statement:

TRUMP: “168,000 fraudulent ballot papers printed on illegal paper (unofficial ballot papers)”

THE FACTS: All of this is wrong. The ballots weren’t unofficial or printed on illegal paper, and even Logan never claimed they were fraudulent.

Logan pointed to the ballot paper, the print of which was slightly offset between the front and the back. He claimed this could result in votes for the wrong candidate being counted if ink leaked from side to side. He said the voting problems were mainly due to ballot papers at polling stations being printed on-site and said about 168,000 ballot papers were cast this way. The overwhelming majority of Arizona voters cast their ballots through the mail.

“We see a lot of very thin paper being used, especially on election day,” added Logan.

The allegation goes back to the debunked conspiracy theory of “Sharpiegate”, which emerged in the days after the election. Election experts say that blood flow does not affect the number of votes because the bubbles on one side of a ballot do not match those on the other. Ballot papers that cannot be read are flagged and duplicated by a bipartisan team.

The Arizona electoral process manual only states that ballot papers “must be printed in black ink on white paper of sufficient thickness to prevent the printing on the back of the ballot from being seen.” Maricopa County is using 80 pounds of Rolland Votesecur paper, which is one of the papers approved by Dominion Voting Systems, which makes the county’s tabulation equipment, said Fields Moseley, a county spokesman.

Logan did not provide evidence that alignment issues impacted the vote count, and said the issue requires further analysis.

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TRUMP citing “74,000 letters received that were never sent (magical ballot papers).”

THE FACTS: No, there weren’t any magical ballots. He claims that the number of completed ballot papers that electoral officials received in the mail exceeded the number of people who previously asked for postal ballots by 74,000. But that didn’t happen at all.

The claim misrepresents reports made for political parties to keep track of who voted earlier so that they can target their voting efforts.

A report records all requests made by voters up to 11 days before the election by post or in person for early voting. The other report tracks all ballot papers received up to the day before the election. That leaves a 10-day window of time during which people voting in person but not requesting a postal vote would appear in one report but not the other.

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TRUMP, claiming “11,000 voters were put on the electoral roll AFTER the election and are still voting.”

THE FACTS: There is nothing uncomfortable about the electoral roll growing after election day. The lists are simply updated to reflect individuals whose preliminary ballot papers are added to the list after election officials confirm that they were eligible to vote.

The claim that the updated number was the result of electoral abuse first came from Logan last week when he told state lawmakers that “11,326 people who did not appear on the 7th version of the electoral roll after they voted but then did appear on the electoral roll from December 4th. “

Maricopa District officials said Logan is likely referring to preliminary ballot papers cast by people who do not appear on the electoral roll or who do not have proper ID on election day. They are only counted if the voter later proves that he was eligible to vote. In order to be eligible to vote, these voters must have registered before the deadline.

“These go through a rigorous screening process to ensure that tentative ballots are only counted if the voter is eligible to vote,” Maricopa County officials wrote on Twitter. “That happens after election day. Only those eligible to vote are included in the electoral roll. “

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TRUMP claims “all access logs to the machines were deleted and the election server was hacked during the election”.

THE FACTS: That contradicts the evidence. The Maricopa County’s election server is not connected to the internet and independent auditors found no evidence that the election server was hacked.

Trump’s hack allegation relates to the unauthorized download of public data from the county’s voter registration system. This system, which is connected to the Internet and generally available to political parties and election workers, is not connected to the election management system, the network of ballot counters, computers and servers that count votes.

The election management system is “air gap” or kept separate from the rest of the county’s computer network and the broader Internet. Two companies certified by the US Electoral Assistance Commission to test voting systems found that Maricopa County’s machines were disconnected from the Internet and had no malicious hardware or software installed.

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TRUMP: “Arizona shows fraud and irregularities in the vote many times over than would be necessary to change the election result.”

THE FACTS: Not like that. The number of potential frauds is far less than President Joe Biden’s winning margin in Arizona.

According to an Associated Press investigation, county election officials identified 182 cases where voting issues were clear enough to refer them to investigators for further review. To date, only four cases have resulted in charges, including those identified in a separate state investigation. Nobody was convicted. A person’s vote was not counted twice.

Biden won Arizona with 10,457 votes out of 3.4 million votes cast. Of the four cases that led to criminal charges, two concerned Democratic voters and two Republicans.

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