Allahpundit addressed this story yesterday, but after digesting it for a while I wanted to add some additional thoughts.
The audit of the 2020 election results in Arizona still hasn’t wrapped up, but the results out of several counties have produced some interesting results. While the number of likely voter fraud cases discovered is nowhere near enough to flip the outcome of the presidential race in that state, it’s still enough to suggest that better election integrity measures should be considered. The Associated Press published a report on the proceedings which, as usual, struggles to sell the Democratic Party line that voter fraud is vanishingly rare and the audit is nonsense, but when you dig into the numbers and the explanations offered for the irregularities that were discovered, a significantly different tale emerges.
Arizona county election officials have identified fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud out of more than 3 million ballots cast in last year’s presidential election, further discrediting former President Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election as his allies continue a disputed ballot review in the state’s most populous county.
An Associated Press investigation found 182 cases where problems were clear enough that officials referred them to investigators for further review. So far, only four cases have led to charges, including those identified in a separate state investigation. No one has been convicted. No person’s vote was counted twice.
While it’s possible more cases could emerge, the numbers illustrate the implausibility of Trump’s claims that fraud and irregularities in Arizona cost him the state’s electorate votes.
As I said, the total numbers discovered thus far wouldn’t be enough to reverse Biden’s recorded margin of victory in the state of 10,400 votes. But there were definitely some disturbing things going on. While 11 out of 15 counties forwarded no cases for prosecution (and we should be asking why), they reported the majority of incidents involved “people casting a ballot for a relative who had died or people who tried to cast two ballots.” They note that cases of people attempting to vote twice who were over the age of 70 were dismissed because they may have been confused or forgetful. But younger people who should have known better were doing it also. And anyone who cast a ballot in the name of a dead relative was obviously making a deliberate attempt at committing voter fraud.
The report also noted, “an unusually high number of people appeared to have intentionally voted twice, often by voting early in person and then again by mail.” How is that not a problem? And doesn’t it speak to the complaints about issues caused by massive numbers of mail-in ballots?
As to general security measures, the AP article boldly claims that “safeguards are built into the system to not only prevent fraud from happening but to detect it when it does.” Oh, really? In a single sentence, you are saying both that safeguards exist to prevent voter fraud from taking place and that it’s detectable when it happens. If it’s happening at all, then the safeguards aren’t all that foolproof, are they? Further, more than 180 instances of voter fraud were only discovered because there’s an audit taking place. How is that statement even remotely defensible?
We should also point out that finding a couple of hundred cases of voter fraud (so far) wouldn’t change the outcome of the presidential election, but what about the down-ballot races? Let’s not forget the race in New York’s 22nd District that came down to a smaller margin than the number of illegal ballots cast in Arizona. And there were dead people voting in that race also.
The bottom line here is that all of the screaming and hand-waving about how these audits are somehow “illegitimate” and should be “condemned” are completely undermined by these results. Even if they’ve found every single case of voter fraud and no results are changed, the original vote tally was wrong. Wouldn’t you want the record to be correct? And if people are getting away with submitting ballots for the dead or voting twice, doesn’t this speak to the need for stronger election security measures?
The one thing this audit doesn’t address is the voting machines. The only way you’re going to find hypothetical proof of truly widespread malfeasance and election tampering is if the machines turned out to be doing some dirty dealing. I’m not saying that any of them were definitively rigged, but the allegation was out there and being reported in the media. A full analysis of all of the software and hardware by independent analysts could determine whether all of the machines were operating honestly and accurately. That should be shared with the public as well. If your concern is the weakening of public confidence in the electoral process, a thorough audit with the results being transparently shared with the public can only go to strengthen confidence, not weaken it. Do you know who is opposed to public audits of such records? People with something to hide.