Trump Backs AZ Candidates' Lawsuit Calling for Paper Ballots and Hand Count
Former President Donald Trump endorsed a lawsuit filed by Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem.
“Every state should follow the lead of the patriots in Arizona, where yesterday Kari Lake, Mark Finchem and others filed a lawsuit to ban electronic voting machines and replace them with a transparent hand count system … paper,” Trump told a “Save America” rally crowd in Delaware, Ohio, on Saturday night.
“We don’t have to worry about signals being sent down from the sky,” he added.
President Trump: “Every state should follow the lead of the Patriots in Arizona where yesterday @KariLake & @RealMarkFinchem filed a lawsuit to ban electronic voting machines & replace them with a transparent hand count” pic.twitter.com/9rNt8oSAsp
— Mark Finchem (@RealMarkFinchem) April 25, 2022
The suit, filed in federal district court in Phoenix on Friday, asked for an injunction against using voting machines in this year’s elections.
The complaint was filed by Arizona attorney Andrew Parker; Washington, D.C., attorney Kurt Olsen; and Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz.
“You have to understand I’m a liberal Democrat,” Dershowitz told MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell during a Facebook interview, according to Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star.
“I’m happy with the results of the election,” legal expert said. “This is about whether or not votes are being properly counted.”
The complaint points out that other countries like France — which just had a presidential election over the weekend — banned the use of electronic voting machines due to their vulnerability.
The Associated Press reported that French voters in Sunday’s presidential election used “the same system that’s been used for generations: paper ballots that are cast in person and counted by hand.”
Further, the European nation does not allow early or mail-in voting due to concerns about voter fraud. Those who can’t make it to the polls must appoint a proxy voter.
“To do so, a voter must fill out a form ahead of time and bring it to a police station. A person can be the proxy of no more than one voter living in France — and potentially one additional person living abroad,” according to the AP.
The Lake, Finchem lawsuit also raised the issue of private companies overseeing voting in the state, as was highlighted during the Maricopa County audit of the 2020 general election commissioned by the Arizona Senate.
The attorneys for the plaintiffs noted these companies “refuse to disclose their software and system components and subject them to neutral and expert evaluation.”
“It raises the profound constitutional issue: can government avoid its obligation of democratic transparency and accountability by delegating a critical government function to private companies?” they asked.
“[I]n Defendant Maricopa County, officials do not possess credentials necessary to validate tabulator configurations and independently validate the voting system prior to an election. Dominion maintains those credentials,” the complaint says.
In May 2021, shortly after the Maricopa County audit began, Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. refused to turn over usernames and passwords for the tabulation devices to the auditors.
Further, the county responded to a senate subpoena in August saying only Dominion had the usernames and passwords they sought.
Dominion told the senate that the subpoena “violates (the company’s) constitutional rights and … exceeds the Legislature’s constitutional and statutory authority. Doing so would cause grave harm.”
In a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in September, Senate President Karen Fann identified the passwords issue as problematic.
“No private company should be trusted with the keys to our democracy,” she wrote.
Senate President Karen Fann’s letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning the Maricopa County Forensic Audit pic.twitter.com/TYOb1zRiEr
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) September 25, 2021
“If the county does not even have the administrator passwords for its vote-counting machines, the county cannot properly monitor its own elections.”
The Maricopa County Elections Department addressed the issue of voting machine accuracy in a document titled “Correcting The Record” published in January.
Officials explained that the county contracted with Dominion to lease tabulation equipment before the 2020 general election cycle after the company obtained both federal and state certifications.
“As part of the certification process, the equipment underwent extensive testing for reliability, accuracy and security,” the county said.
Officials further noted logic and accuracy tests of the machines were conducted both before and after the 2020 general election.
Additionally, a hand count audit of election results of “a statistically significant sample of ballots” was performed by representatives from the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties.
They found a 100 percent match to the vote tabulation equipment, the county said.
A hand count by the senate audit team of all the over 2 million ballots cast in Maricopa County determined President Joe Biden’s margin of victory of 45,000 votes to be nearly identical to that calculated by the tabulation machines.
However, in a letter to Fann earlier this month, Brnovich raised concerns about the authenticity of some of those ballots.
His Election Integrity Office found “instances of election fraud by individuals who have been or will be prosecuted for various election crimes.”
The review is ongoing, so “we are therefore limited in what we can disclose about specific criminal and civil investigations,” Brnovich added.
The report did not give an indication of how widespread the alleged fraud was.
The office also found multiple violations of ballot transportation procedures.
“This included missing audit signatures, missing ballot count fields, missing Election Department receiving signatures, missing courier signatures and missing documentation of security seals and lack of the two required seal numbers,” Brnovich wrote.
“In other words,” he added, “it is possible that somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 ballots were transported without proper chain of custody.”
Biden was declared the winner of the Grand Canyon State overall by 10,457 votes.