The midterm elections in Arizona’s largest county were chaotic. Nearly 50 ballots may have been cast incorrectly. The printers used the ink unevenly and produced the wrong size ballots. The long lines may have convinced some people to drop their vote altogether.
But was all this enough to cancel the midterm elections, which resulted in the shocking loss of an aide to former President Donald Trump?
On November 8th, Carrie Lake, a former TV news anchor and one of Trump’s most vocal supporters, loses her bid to become governor of Arizona.
Now it is seeking to overturn its loss in Maricopa County Superior Court, in a case that reflects the rejection of the 2020 election and a new normal for conservatives to challenge the results by questioning the basic function of the system’s country’s elections.
Experts called in by Arizona and Maricopa County cited overwhelming evidence that showed several hundred people may not have voted amid a series of Election Day issues — far fewer than the 18,000 people needed to change the outcome of the election.
But Ms. Lake spent months offering assurances she would win, and her attorneys argued, during two days of testimony this week, that the vote in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, was marred by technical and procedural problems that it could not count. trusted.
The list of expert witnesses included a pollster rated among the worst in his profession, an investigator involved in an earlier recount effort in Arizona who spent millions of dollars and found no major problems, and a security expert funded by high-profile election deniers.
Those experts told the court that loopholes in the records raised the possibility of votes being maliciously injected or removed from the system, saying local election officials misled the public by claiming that queues could be controlled and that technical flaws had been corrected.
They claimed that the scale of the problems on Election Day swung the votes, as those who voted on November 8 were overwhelmingly Republicans. The number of disenfranchised voters “would be large enough to change the leader of the race. It would happen,” said Rich Barris, a pollster who calls himself “The People’s Analyst.”
The court case has given a new stage to the competing visions of the truth that have come to define politics in the Donald Trump era. Mr. Barris’ work has earned a rare failing grade from the respected survey aggregator FiveThirtyEight. In court, he referred to the old saying, “Beware of PhDs from presidents and pollsters.”
In response, attorneys for Maricopa County and Democrat Katie Hobbs, the secretary of state who is now the governor-elect, called for the testimony of Kenneth Meyer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who insisted that the judge address him as “Dr. Meyer.”
Professor Meyer himself did not participate in or observe the vote, but relied on records provided by Maricopa County to conclude that the claims of disenfranchisement are “all based on speculation” and “there is simply no data to support any of these claims.” – in fact a very large amount of data that these things did not happen.
Mr Paris estimated that a large number of voters gave up partly because of the large proportion of people who did not fill the ballot boxes.
Another concern was raised by an election contractor employee, who said employees were allowed to bring ballots to their workplaces, rather than placing them at specific polling stations. “It’s a chance to get ballots” in the system, said Heather Honey, an investigator who previously worked on an Arizona Senate-approved review of the 2020 election, after spending $6 million to find 99 more votes for Joe Biden when stripping Mr. Trump. 261.
Ms. Honey cited her inability to obtain some internal documents from the 2022 vote to indicate that the legal chain of custody did not exist for any of the ballots cast on Election Day.
She and others also secured 25,000 votes for a discrepancy in the number of initially reported ballots compared to the final count.
Election officials responded that the first figure was incomplete and was changed as the vote count continued. They said several of the system’s security features protect against ballot stuffing.
The lawsuit also exposed an issue where some 19-inch ballots were printed on 20-inch paper.
Clay Barrick, a cybersecurity expert who was called in by Lake’s legal team, raised the specter of fraud, saying such a problem “couldn’t be accidental.” Mr. Barrick was a guest of Mike Lindell, CEO of pillow maker My Pillow and one of the most outspoken 2020 election deniers in the country. “At the very least, we have presented solid evidence that the outcome of this election is uncertain,” said Kurt Olsen, Ms. Lake’s attorney.
Local officials offered a more benign explanation: They said technicians had mistakenly changed the “reduce size” function on the polling printers.
In closing, Maricopa County District Attorney Thomas Leidy defended sentencing day against those who questioned the election.
“It has happened all over the country and it must stop,” he said.
We must return to respect for elections. “Because that’s all we have.”Different religions. different denominations. different strains. different origins. There is one thing that makes us Americans – we believe in choosing our leaders. »