Arizona’s Maricopa County has been under continued scrutiny since the 2020 election. The most recent inconsistency uncovered is that the county accepted 4,484 federal-only ballots for the presidential election, relying solely on voter attestation and not verifiable proof of US citizenship. Does that move the needle toward a fraudulent outcome? Hardly, the numbers are minuscule. But that needle points to a lack of competency in how the US elections are conducted, tallied, and tabulated in this critical swing state.
In November 2020, Maricopa County reported 14,298 residents registered to vote only in the federal general. A total of 8,114 federal-only ballots were cast; 3,630 were military persons and folks living abroad (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act) and justly certified.
Republican precinct committeeman Tristan Manos requested this specific information, and no conservative likes what the report states.
Yes, it’s legal for folks to claim to be citizens and be granted a ballot. On the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, the department describes how to register to vote: “A person is not required to submit proof of citizenship with the voter registration form, but failure to do so means the person will only be eligible to vote in federal elections.” Why? That question came from the state Republican Party.
Following the 2022 election mishaps, the State House and Senate passed HB 2492. The law requires counties to check citizenship against multiple databases for folks who can’t or won’t prove they are legitimate voters. It’s a Class 6 felony for officials who are found to ignore the law. But punishment is merely a slap on the wrist, or as the Arizona Legislature defines: “The offense shall be treated as a misdemeanor for all purposes until such time as the court may actually enter an order designating the offense a misdemeanor or a felony.”
Democrats cried foul, and the law is now held up in the courts with the Department of Justice calling it a “textbook violation of the National Voter Registration Act” and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Arizona is a hot mess of mass electoral confusion.
Troublesome Times in Maricopa County
Although a disturbing discovery on the federal level, it is not remotely a win for Donald Trump; it does prompt further oversight for the next series of crucial elections: The 2024 presidential contest is looming. As one imagines, Democrats will downplay the issue as Republicans still crying over spilt milk in the loss of the 2020 election. But that is not the case, nor the ongoing premise of a rigged system. The election was certified by both Houses of Congress and is a uniquely American tradition. The transfer of power was effected despite the disbelief and anger viscerally felt by Trump’s supporters. The only reason Arizona and, specifically, Maricopa County are on the hot seat is that historically the state and county cast their votes for Republican presidential candidates and state leaders. But also because the county registers the most screw-ups pre- and post-Election Day.
It’s like they aren’t even trying to get it right. And that segues into the problem with former gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. It is likely the election that gave Gov. Katie Hobbs the eighth floor at 1700 West Washington is riddled with missing puzzle pieces as well.
The run-up to the 2020 election in Maricopa County, no doubt, created suspicion that doubled down on what the 45th president was continually saying: Somehow, the Democrats would try to steal the election. And as election watchers observed, several small yet alarming mistakes were indeed made.
Liberty Nation’s Joe Schaeffer wrote about the recent déjà vu mistakes in AZ in 2022:
“Maricopa County was the epicenter of controversy last fall over extremely tight US Senate and governor races. According to various news reports, dozens of voting machines in the county failed to work on Nov. 8, preventing voters who showed up on Election Day from casting their ballots. Supporters of anti-establishment Republican candidates Kari Lake and Blake Masters had encouraged red backers to vote in person in a slap at mail-in voting, which they regarded as unreliable and prone to tampering.”
Arizona doesn’t seem to rise to the challenge of accountability and election integrity, yet no one can actually prove that theory either. The voter experience in 2020 was suspect: There was the Sharpie not registering on paper ballots rumor, others claimed that voting equipment was faulty, and the forthcoming audit by Republicans over Trump’s unexpected loss in the state — all contributed to the fray. But only a handful of minor abnormalities were, thankfully, revealed.
Several lawsuits were spawned by the 2020 and 2022 results. Kari Lake, who still has not conceded the election, is one such plaintiff. Lake’s attorney, Kurt Olsen, addressed many of the most recent discoveries: “The issues are of such an extensive nature that they show Maricopa officials conducted secret testing on the tabulators on October 14, 17, and 18 – that’s after the Logic and Accuracy test was certified … 260 of those 446 tabulators failed that secret testing. And then those tabulators were used in the election.”
In 2022, multiple reports claimed that Maricopa County experienced unprecedented ballot tabulation machine malfunctions. As a result, a whopping 59% of polling places rejected ballots outright. And that does move the needle — not necessarily toward intentional fraud but perhaps poor decision-making of providers. Sure, 4,484 unverified voters, perhaps including foreign nationals with an agenda, should not be disregarded. But, add in the significant missteps over the years, and it is more important than ever for Arizona to prepare for a smoother 2024 primary and general cycle.
Americans should have this voting thing figured out. This country has performed this contest in our Constitutional Republic for plenty of years now. But until Arizona can prove it has its act together, the state will be watched and remain in question with great trepidation as the next presidential match gathers steam. And Maricopa County, the most populous of all, must lead by example.
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