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Election Officials Dispute Trump Team Claim That AZ Audit Report Shows Over 50K Votes 'Illegally' Cast

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CORRECTION, Oct. 7, 2021: Just prior to the publication of this article from Patriot Project, Maricopa County tweeted a fact check thread addressing some of the claims made in the Arizona audit report draft. The tweet disputed the argument — made by the Trump organization and reported by The Western Journal — that any votes were proven illegal by the audit and should not have been counted.

“The report, which was released on September 24, 2021, noted there were ‘potential ways’ that the ballots cast ‘would not violate the law’ and ‘some error is expected.’ Maricopa County disputed the claim that the ballots were illegal, stating that mail-in ballots are ‘legal under federal election law’ and explained in detail the situations where that applied in the state,” fact checker Lead Stories reported.

As a result of this fact check, The Western Journal has added context to the headline of this article in addition to noting the above to provide context for the comments made by members of the Trump team.

While multiple mainstream media outlets reported Friday the Maricopa County, Arizona, audit draft report confirmed President Joe Biden’s win over former President Donald Trump, the 45th president’s team argued the report showed over 50,000 of those votes were “illegally cast.”

By the official count, Biden’s won the Grand Canyon State in November’s general election by 10,457 votes.

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The only county he flipped from red to blue to do so was Maricopa, the state’s most populous, encompassing the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Trump carried the county by approximately 44,500 votes in 2016 and Biden won it by 45,100 in 2020.

Several media outlets reported the Maricopa County audit determined that Biden in fact increased his margin of victory by 360 votes, according to the results of a hand recount.

However, in a Friday statement, Trump contended many of those ballots should not have been counted.

“The Fake News is lying about the Arizona audit report! The leaked report conclusively shows there were enough fraudulent votes, mystery votes, and fake votes to change the outcome of the election 4 or 5 times over,” he said.

“The number includes 23,344 mail-in ballots, despite the person no longer living at that address. Phantom voters! The official canvass does not even match who voted, off by 11,592 — more than the entire Presidential Election margin,” the 45th president added.

Trump also cited over 10,000 voters who cast ballots in multiple counties, about 2,400 ballots coming from people who no longer live in Maricopa County and approximately 2,600 “more duplicate ballots than original ballots.”

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“Just those fraudulent ballots alone total 50,252, and is fraud many more times than the so-called margin of ‘victory,’ which was only 10,457,” he noted.

“There is fraud and cheating in Arizona and it must be criminally investigated! More is coming out in the hearing today,” Trump concluded.

Trump spokeswoman Liz Harrington tweeted a clip of former Trump White House aid Peter Navarro arguing the election was in fact “stolen in Arizona.”

“It’s the canvas, not the count” of the ballots cast that matters, Navarro said.

Boris Epshteyn, a former special assistant to Trump, also tweeted, “To all those trying to spin the Arizona Audit, spin this: The number of illegal ballots found in Maricopa County alone is over 4 times the current amount separating President Trump and Joe Biden in Arizona as a whole. Should have never been certified.”

Harrington further highlighted a portion of the report showing, “Even Maricopa County’s own canvass is OFF by more than the supposed margin.”

In a Thursday night statement, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors president Jack Sellers defended the county’s conduct of the election.

“You don’t have to dig deep into the draft copy of the Arizona Senate/Cyber Ninja audit report to confirm what I already knew — the candidates certified by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General — did, in fact, win,” Sellers said.

“This means the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters. That should be the end of the story. Everything else is just noise,” he continued.

“As we have done before, we will correct their errors and misrepresentations about the processes [the auditors] don’t understand,” Sellers said.

Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward, a strong supporter of the audit, shared the Trump team assessment that not all the votes included in the official tally should have been counted.

She tweeted, “Remember: ‘all votes’ is not the same as ‘all LEGAL votes.'”

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