The Arizona audit team reported on Tuesday that the hand count of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots cast in November’s general election is almost completed.
“Audit Update: Hand count of ballots was completed yesterday with the exception of Braille ballots. The paper examination phase continues and we are examining over 100k ballots per day!” the auditors posted on their official Twitter account.
Audit Update: Hand count of ballots was completed yesterday with the exception of Braille ballots. The paper examination phase continues and we are examining over 100k ballots per day!
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) June 16, 2021
Arizona Republican Chairwoman Kelli Ward, who is not involved in the audit, but monitoring it closely, elaborated what the paper examination phase involves in a Wednesday video.
“The audit is continuing with the forensic analysis of the paper used for the ballots. The auditors are — they’re really making sure that all of the ballots were printed on the proper types of paper,” she said.
“They also are conducting the inspection of the actual marks on the ballots themselves. They’re verifying that — you know, the little ovals that you have to fill in whenever you have a paper ballot — that those ovals were filled in by hand and not by some sort of a printing device.”
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) June 16, 2021
The Arizona Senate first subpoenaed Maricopa County, which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area, for access to the ballots and voting equipment in December.
“There is technology that can look at those ballots to see if there are any anomalies, to see if there’s any dual voting and whether or not these were pre-printed,” then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Eddie Farnsworth explained in an interview at the time.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors sought to quash the subpoenas in court multiple times, but in late February, a Maricopa County judge ruled definitively the Senate had the authority to examine the ballots, the Dominion Voting Systems machines and other election-related materials.
They have changed their ballot storage system since last time I was here. Last week, this cage was almost empty, and it has always held the ballots that hadn’t been touched yet. Now, it has ballots that already have their colored tape on it indicating they have been counted. pic.twitter.com/RGsQwyFT4W
— Jen Fifield (@JenAFifield) June 16, 2021
Digital scanning expert Jovan Pulitzer, whose technology the Arizona audit team is reportedly using, testified before the Georgia Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Elections in December, that a forensics team would be able to detect fraudulent ballots.
“We would be able to tell if [the ballots] were folded, if they were counterfeit, whether they were filled out by human hand, whether they were printed by a machine, whether they were batch fed continually over and over. We can detect every bit of that,” Pulitzer said.
The expert further stated his team would be able to detect if the ballots were officially printed by the government or mass-produced on other machines.
“We will tell you instantly what came out of a mass copier versus what came out of a printer, officially printed,” Pulitzer said. “We will tell you, ‘Did a human fill this out or did a machine fill it out?'”
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik recently toured the Arizona audit site and reported in a piece for Newsmax, “one of the auditors showed me an example of a ballot that was flagged as suspicious because every single oval was filled out perfectly, without a single stray mark — something that would be easy for a machine to accomplish, but is almost impossible to do by hand.”
“If every state performed an audit like this one after every election, public faith in our democracy would be absolute and unshakable,” Kerik wrote. “The audit process being used in Arizona has accuracy, integrity, and accountability, and there’s no way to cheat because everything is captured on film.”
“Now that I’ve seen the process for myself, I finally understand why it has the Democrats so hot and bothered,” he added.
“They know that if anything improper happened in the 2020 election, this audit will catch it — and they also know that they have no hope of refuting any improprieties this audit reveals.”
GOP Arizona Senate President Karen Fann commented on Kerik’s article tweeting, “An insight of what’s really going on at the audit.”
— Karen Fann (@FannKfann) June 15, 2021