In a report released this month, Election Systems Integrity Institute concludes that the election signature verification process used in Maricopa County, Arizona, during the 2020 general election was severely unreliable.
According to the study, an estimated 200,000 ballot envelopes with mismatched signatures were sent to be counted without further review by the county, under the supervision of systems engineer Shiva Ayyadurai.
Ayyadurai, who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with multiple degrees, testified last fall about the details of the Maricopa County 2020 general election audit.
On the basis of the findings of the newly released study from ESII, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office requested the voter signature files and other information from the Maricopa County recorder and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
“In the study, it is alleged that over 250 of those sampled ballot affidavits on the envelopes to did not appear to match the voter’s signatures,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright, who represents the office’s Election Integrity Unit.
In order to evaluate the concerns raised by the ESII report, the AG’s office sought “copies of all the signature exemplars in the voter’s registration file.”
In addition, Wright requested information about the procedures used by the county to determine whether the signature on the mail-in voting envelope matched that on file with the county, so as to either allow the ballot to be counted or put it through the “curing” process to ensure the voter’s identity.
Karen Fann, Arizona Senate President and Republican who ordered Maricopa County’s 2020 general election audit, tweeted Sunday a copy of Wright’s letter, dated March 9, with the question, “What are they hiding now?”
Looks like Maricopa BOS doesn’t want to comply with AG’s request for documents. What are they hiding now? pic.twitter.com/Ar7XQlxj9T
— Karen Fann (@FannKfann) March 20, 2022
An interview with reporters earlier this month revealed that the Maricopa County Recorder of Deeds never provided the Senate with signature files for its signature verification study. ESII, hence, compared the signatures on ballot envelopes to those on file with the Recorder of Deeds.
In an email to reporters on Thursday, Elections Department communications director Megan Gilbertson stated, “Voter signatures and ballot envelopes are not public record. We have not released this protected voter information to any organization other than the Arizona Senate as required.”
Gilbertson’s statement seemed to contradict Ayyadurai’s claim that the Senate didn’t have the files.
A study by ESII found that 11.3 percent of the roughly 1.9 million mail-in ballots should have been cured, rather than the 1.31 percent that was.
That amounts to more than 215K needing to be cured as opposed to the “upwards of 25K” reported by Maricopa County.
“I found it fascinating that they didn’t give us an exact number. They just said up to 25,000,” said Ayyadurai, who noted the county referred to it as a “rigorous signature verification process.”
“So the bottom line is this, that if you’re doing curing, that means for every cured envelope, there should be the verified and approved [one]. That’s what they’re saying,” he said.
“Which means you should know exactly how many were cured. Why did you say, ‘Upward of 25,000’? Because we found out exactly 17,126 were duplicate images, that means we definitively know how many were cured. Why isn’t the county saying exactly how many were cured?”
According to Maricopa County, only 587 ballots were rejected out of those that were cured. This means that only 0.03 percent of the 1.9 million mail-in ballots cast could not be counted.
In a statement issued on Monday, former President Donald Trump declared, “Arizona Senate President Karen Fann is asking the exact right question about the corrupt Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, ‘What are they hiding now?’”
President Donald J. Trump:
“Arizona Senate President Karen Fann is asking the exact right question about the corrupt Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, "What are they hiding now?"
Based on the already released information regarding the Rigged and Stolen 2020… pic.twitter.com/G2f3MJWDSs
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) March 21, 2022
Trump noted the county’s “disgusting refusal” to release documents, saying, “Now is finally the time for the Arizona Attorney General to issue warrants and take his investigation to the next level.”
“The American people deserve answers, and there is no time to waste!” he added.
However, no disclosure has been made regarding who these votes were cast for. It is impossible, therefore, to predict whether the outcome of the Arizona election would have changed even if all 200,000 ballots were tossed out – which is an improbable event.
“This has never been about decertifying the electors,” Fann told reporters a year ago. “This is about election integrity.”
Meanwhile, another legal battle rages in Georgia as Kari Donovan reported for the Republic Brief earlier this week.
Georgia’s ballot harvesting probe advances as state elections board have approved subpoena power that allows Secretary of State investigators to compel testimony delivery of evidence, and it is the power that is sending Democrats into a panic.
The news about an ongoing Georgia investigation that was started in January of 2022, addresses whether third-party liberal activists illegally gathered thousands of absentee ballots in the 2020 general election and a subsequent runoff- and it now has gotten a boost of energy.
A group called True the Vote has been instrumental in numerous states organizing official complaints about the election that has resulted in forcing the government to investigate their claims of voter fraud.
The focus of the election is on a GA Senate race that was won suspiciously, and determined Democrat control of the U.S. Senate, after a highly problematic General election just weeks prior.
The new power was a major win for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, guided by True the Vote, who announced the investigation into alleged ballot harvesting in January and was seeking the subpoena authority to assist the probe. Now Raffensperger’s team can get evidence about a whistleblower who alleged to an election integrity group that he participated in a large operation to gather ballots in which activists were paid $10 for each ballot they delivered
Under Georgia law, it is illegal for any third party to pick up and drop off ballots for voters, also known as ballot harvesting. According to reports, at least 242 people made over 5,000 ballot drop-offs during the Georgia Senate runoff elections.
“Credible evidence was given to us that people were harvesting ballots,” said Raffensperger to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “This information was provided to us and they said there’s a witness, a ‘John Doe.’ And so we’re looking at subpoenaing that person to get the information.”