Thursday, May 20, 2021

AZ Senate dances to the tune of the Fanndango

Fann threatens Maricopa County with more subpoenas reports Howard Fischer (Capitol Media Services May 18, 2021) in the Arizona Capitol Times.

Senate President Karen Fann said lawmakers may have to take new steps — including new subpoenas and possibly going back to court — to get information that Maricopa County election officials are refusing to provide about their ballots and equipment.

The move by the Prescott Republican comes after county officials, as promised, refused to show up at a hearing she had called for Tuesday where they were supposed to answer the questions posed by Cyber Ninjas. That’s the firm she hired to conduct a review of the 2020 election returns, including the 2.1 million ballots.

County supervisors did submit written responses on Monday. But they also made it clear they were not going to attend on Tuesday. And they said they were done answering questions related to what several consider a “sham” audit being conducted by a firm run by Doug Logan, who had previously said he does not believe that Donald Trump lost the election.

In the end, that just led to Logan and others involved with the audit telling Fann and Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, what they still don’t know and why they still believe they need to know it to finish their report.

Bear in mind that Fann has gobbled up $150K of your (!!!) tax money spending it on an “unhinged” (as some would regard it) audit - fraudit if you like. And she isn’t done. More dark money has been devoted to more of the screwy investigation. “Fann told Capitol Media Services Tuesday she does not know who is providing the extra cash.”

BUT WAIT! This hanging sack of batsh!t craziness goes from bad to worse. A WaPo observer and election audit expert Jennifer Morrell explains: I watched the GOP’s Arizona election audit. It was worse than you think. Cyber Ninjas is hunting for bamboo fibers and cheese dust.

Here’s just a small sample (with thanks to Scriber’s Editor-at-Large Sherry0.

…In more than a decade working on elections, audits and recounts across the country, I’ve never seen one this mismanaged.

I was stunned to see spinning conveyor wheels, whizzing hundreds of ballots past “counters,” who struggled to mark, on a tally sheet, each voter’s selection for the presidential and Senate races. They had only a few seconds to record what they saw. Occasionally, I saw a counter look up, realize they missed a ballot and then grab the wheel to stop it. This process sets them up to make so many mistakes, I kept thinking. Humans are terrible at tedious, repetitive tasks; we’re especially bad at counting. That’s why, in all the other audits I’ve seen, bipartisan teams follow a tallying method that allows for careful review and inspection of each ballot, followed by a verification process. I’d never seen an audit use contraptions to speed up the process.

The fourth reason [for flagging ballots] was folding. The auditors reasoned that only absentee voters would fold their ballots; an in-person, Election Day voter would take a flat ballot, mark it in the booth and submit it, perfectly pristine. I almost had to laugh: In my experience, voters will fold ballots every which way, no matter where they vote or what the ballot instructs them to do. Chalk it up to privacy concerns or individual quirks — but no experienced elections official would call that suspicious.

Audits are supposed to make us better. They are supposed to make our elections more secure and transparent — to strengthen the public’s trust in our democratic process. Maricopa County is known for having some of the best election practices in the country: Officials had already undertaken a hand-count audit and a forensic audit of their 2020 ballots and found no evidence of fraud. Now a group with no expertise, improvising procedures as they go, is sowing doubt about the outcome of a well-run election.

This is not an audit, and I don’t see how this can have a good outcome.

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