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The Arizona audit fallout

The investigation failed to prove widespread fraud but sparked calls for election reviews elsewhere


Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan (left) with Randy Pullen, the Arizona Senate audit spokesman, prior to a Senate hearing at the state Capitol in Phoenix on Sept. 24. Associated Press/Photo by Ross D. Franklin

The Arizona audit fallout

The audit results are in: President Joe Biden won the country’s fourth largest county by 45,000 votes, but not every part of the 2020 election ran smoothly in Maricopa County, Ariz. After five long months, Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas and lead contractor for the audit, presented findings to the Arizona Senate on Friday, Sept. 24. The audit supported rather than undermined the presidential election outcome: It found an additional 99 votes for Joe Biden and 261 fewer votes for former President Donald Trump.

“What went almost ignored in last week’s presentation was that the Cyber Ninjas agreed with Maricopa County’s results: Joe Biden won Maricopa County in the 2020 election,” said Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County recorder, in a statement on Tuesday. “We thank the Senate for confirming what we’ve said since November of last year.”

But Logan called 23,000 ballots in Maricopa County questionable and claims that even after running a forensic audit for five months, he still does not have enough evidence to rule out fraud completely. County election officials would not meet with the audit team personally, refusing to participate in what they called a dangerous sham.

The contentious audit highlights a crisis of voter confidence across the country surrounding not only the 2020 presidential election but the upcoming 2022 races. A George Washington University poll published in July found Republicans are only 28 percent confident about the integrity of the 2022 elections, compared with 46 percent confidence before the 2020 vote. The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group also found rapidly declining trust levels among Trump supporters regarding elections compared with Democrats.

In an August open letter, Richer, a Republican, lamented what he called an “obsessive desire to find election fraud,” noting that the Maricopa audit only focused on races where Democrats beat incumbent Republicans. He lambasted Cyber Ninjas as “biased,” “unscrupulous,” and “incompetent.”

Logan pushed back on the assertion that his audit undermined faith in elections. “Whether real or fake, the perception that an election was rigged is detrimental to our elections,” he told me. “This was never about overthrowing an election. This was about finding any problems if they exist and making sure they can be fixed so the American people can have confidence that when they cast a vote it’s going to be represented the way they cast it.”

At the public presentation, auditors said officials purged databases and deleted ballot files, including thousands of scanned images. Their report also claims just over 23,000 mail-in ballots were cast by voters who had moved out of Maricopa County.

Officials with the county, though, said the claim of deleted data was false and that they had simply archived excess data in storage files that were not subpoenaed. Regarding the 23,000 ballots, the Board of Supervisors disputed the number on the basis that the auditors used a private population database rather than official county numbers. The county tweeted rebuttals that attributed the mail-in votes to legal address differences for military voters, college students, and “snowbirds”—people temporarily residing in a different state for the winter.

The audit team said it removed from its tally voters who appeared to be college students, as well as voters who had moved but still had a family member living at the residence that received their ballot. But it said it could not account for the remaining thousands. Cyber Ninjas requested permission to conduct door-to-door canvassing in cases like these, but the Arizona Senate scrapped the request after the Justice Department said canvassing could constitute voter intimidation. Without this, Logan claimed it is impossible to know whether the ballots were correctly cast or if someone else illegally filled them out.

Third parties commonly run business audits, so what makes an election audit so contentious? Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow and manager of the organization’s Election Law Reform Initiative, said public misperception plays a role. An audit can only analyze results and processes, uncovering whether mistakes were made or not. Additionally, deadlines to contest election results from 2020 have long since passed. Despite calls—including from former President Donald Trump—for Arizona to decertify its election results, audits cannot change an election outcome. “That misunderstands the purpose of an audit,” von Spakovsky said. “An audit protects voters no matter which political party they affiliate with because it ensures all voters have access and security in the election process.”

Cyber Ninjas and subcontractors included a list of recommendations for Arizona and called for further investigations from the attorney general or secretary of state. Von Spakovsky said an audit should mark the beginning, rather than the end, of an election review process: “Executive branch officials in Arizona would be derelict in their duties if they do not follow up and investigate the problems found in the audit. We’re not going to know whether that audit report is correct until and unless election and law enforcement officials conduct individual investigations.”

Logan also recommended the county create an election audit department to analyze voting machines, inspect registration lists, and verify hand counts on a regular basis. He also suggested watermarking the ballot paper and installing a full accounting process for each vote. He said he was especially concerned by the lack of U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) regulations for Dominion voting machines: “Why would the software that helps determine the most powerful person in the world not be up to the same standards as the finance industry with bank account transactions?”

In February 2021, the EAC announced new voluntary guidelines for voting systems to improve cybersecurity and accessibility. The four commissioners said it was the most significant update since 2005. One of the key changes listed in the announcement was “improved auditability.”

Swing states are showing interest in 2020 election audits. Following an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas secretary of state’s office announced it would begin a forensic audit into four major counties. Trump won the historically red state in 2020 by 5.5 percentage points. The office said it would not hire independent companies to conduct the audit. In Pennsylvania, Senate Republicans subpoenaed the Pennsylvania State Department for voter information for an Arizona-style forensic audit, an action that Senate Democrats have taken to court. In Wisconsin, a retired conservative state Supreme Court justice is leading a GOP-sponsored 2020 election audit, which the Democratic governor termed “a $700,000 boondoggle.”

Logan said multiple other states have asked him to conduct election audits, but he has yet to decide whether to start a new project.

Democrats argue such audits exacerbate declining trust levels by spreading confusion and unfounded conspiracies. Jessica Post, president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, denounced the audits as Republican attempts to “keep the fantasy alive that they weren’t soundly defeated in the last election.”

On Tuesday, Maricopa County officials said they were compiling a technical report to refute Cyber Ninjas’ results. “The opinions that came out of Friday’s hearing were conjecture without proof and were twisted to fit the narrative that something went wrong,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers.

In the meantime, Arizona’s attorney general has not yet announced whether he will pursue investigations based on the audit results.

—WORLD has updated this story to clarify the types of voters Cyber Ninjas excluded from the tally of 23,000 ballots it called questionable.


Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.

@CarolinaLumetta

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WORLD's Mickey McLean

THIS SERVES AS A REMINDER AND AS A WARNING TO COMMENTERS: WORLD understands that debate over the issues of the day can become heated, even among fellow believers. Much of the debate in this thread has been generally respectful, but several of you have come close to crossing the line of making personal attacks. Please check yourself and limit your arguments to each others' ideas and refrain from name-calling and other attacks on character. WORLD reserves the right to delete comments and take away commenting privileges to anyone who violates our website policy, particularly our Rules of Engagement. I encourage you all to review our policy (wng.org/website-policy) before commenting any further in this thread. Thank you, and may your typed words seek to honor and glorify God.

Tom HanrahanWORLD's Mickey McLean

AMEN, and thank you.

DAL

Salty1 is exhibit A in my claim that too many evangelicals/fundamentalists have bought into lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories when it comes to the political realm (and others too). This has nothing to do with left or right, conservative or liberal, democrat or republican. It has to do with telling the truth and using credible and respected sources of information--even knowing what those are. Even World Mag hasn't fallen into this type nonsense (citing fringe or extreme sources/conspiracy theories) showing one can be conservative and still care about the truth and facts. A difference Salty1 clearly doesn't understand. Anyone who demonizes their opponents like this and views everything through a prism of those who are with me are on God's side and those against me the devil's-- are not rational, reasonable, nor biblically grounded people to begin with. They are not to be taken seriously. Too much salt, not enough light.

FIMIKIDAL

It's easy to despair. I certainly did, after debating fruitlessly with friends and family who I thought were devouring every tantalizing theory that gave credence to the suspicion that their ideological opponents had destroyed their favored champion through nefarious means. I worried that the witness of the church will be marred for an entire generation through slanderous gossip cloaked as truth-telling.

https://starkandmain.org/home/2020/5/25/what-we-lose-when-we-embrace-conspiracy-theories

But thank God that his plan and his kingdom is not dependent on our feeble efforts! This isn't the first and won't be the last time we as the embodied church fail to live up to our calling. More than any other time of my life I've been encouraged to share the gospel of Christ with friends, co-workers, and neighbors, because it truly is our only hope of salvation. This is not to abandon the debate and the willingness to lovingly correct our brothers and sisters in Christ, but to recognize that we should not put our hope in being seen as winsome and credible in the world's eyes.

Another thing I realized is that I had made an idol out of the intellectual aspects of my faith and conservative ideology. I was proud to be part of the "facts don't care about your feelings" group that saw through emotional arguments and the logical fallacies that the faithless left foolishly brandished. How humbling it is to realize how close we all are to falling into tribalism and succumbing to cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. If so many people that I know and trust could have gotten this wrong, what else may I be missing or overlooking? We are all so desperately dependent on God's grace and mercy and the grace and mercy of fellow believers when we get things gravely wrong.

Salty1 and I obviously disagree on what went down in November last year. But I would hope that we can all agree as fellow heirs with Christ that this disagreement should not be what ultimately defines us or dictates the terms of our fellowship, but rather our trust in God and his sovereignty over all. In such times it's always worth asking: what might God be teaching his children though this?

DALFIMIKI

All good points for sure. And yes, I absolutely agree that our identity of being Christ-followers, Christians, must come first, over country, political party, or ideology. And we must be committed to the truth and facts, even if we don't like where they lead. Otherwise, we are no better than the political extremes on either side. We have to do better. Thank you for your comments here.

Salty1DAL

DAL, I would say that you have bought into the left’s lies and distortions. Your “reputable” source of Slate, Fact-check, and USAToday are a joke. They spew the left’s propaganda all over the place. Slate pushes transgenderism.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/06/supreme-court-transgender-women-aimee-stephens-victory.html

Not only that, but they support Planned Parenthood.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2016/01/how-planned-parenthood-helps-transgender-patients-get-hormone-therapy.html

They support transgender men having babies telling doctors to “get over it”.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/01/transgender-parenting-doctors-cant-refuse-treatment.html

Slate is radically pro-abortion where they plot against pro-life efforts

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/05/supreme-court-roe-casey-abortion-activism.html

FactCheck also supports abortion

https://www.factcheck.org/2015/07/unspinning-the-planned-parenthood-video/

https://www.factcheck.org/2009/02/freedom-of-choice-act/

USAToday supports the homosexual agenda:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/2021/10/06/lil-nas-x-sex-education-lena-waithe-champion-black-lgbtq-love/5845146001/

It also supports abortion,

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/10/06/federal-judge-blocks-texas-restrictive-abortion-law/6030311001/

Are you serious that you would trust ungodly sources over the Thomas Moore Society which is solidly Christian?

https://thomasmoresociety.org/about/

And my other source is the Foundation for Governmental Accountability (FGA) which did the research on the flow of the Zuckerberg money. The president is Tarren Bragdon.

https://thefga.org/about-us/

https://solutionsproject.org/staff/tarren-bragdon/

Tarren is a Republican and is one of the bright lights working to defend America and to protect against the forces that seek to destroy this nation. And you would listen to Slate, FactCheck, and USAToday over him?

The MacIver Institute is another conservative nonprofit group that supports the free market, ballot integrity, and other issues where they are located in Wisconsin.

Yes, we do have a different perspective about credible sources, where you embrace the left’s media which continually spews out distortions, lies and half truths. It is not to say that they don’t have some news that is legitimate but they are part of the network that has an anti-Christian agenda.

You say the following:

“Anyone who demonizes their opponents like this and views everything through a prism of those who are with me are on God's side and those against me the devil's-- are not rational, reasonable, nor biblically grounded people to begin with.”

I am not a postmodernist who believes truth is relative. As Jesus called a spade a spade, where he called the Pharisees “white washed tombs” so I believe we should stand up to those who are pushing agendas that hurt the church. Now I am not saying that you are a Pharisee or an unbeliever, but I am saying you are helping push an ungodly agenda which is harmful to our Christian cause.

Now I understand that the election was a contentious issue and that many Christians may disagree with me, but I have looked at the evidence that shows the election was subverted, not only by ignoring election laws but by actual ballot manipulation and manufacturing. It is interesting how the real critical items showing corruption in the election were never investigated or prevented from being investigated! Essentially, Zuckerberg and other rich “Hamans” bought the election and they conducted one of the most massive propaganda campaigns to hide their devious actions. Don’t you see their labeling “the election was stolen” where they hide that information in search engines and the like is disinformation in itself? There is an information war going on and we need to fight for the right side!

This fight has to do with a lot more than just the election. There is an attempt to destroy our country so we need to stand against that too. This part should be pretty obvious by now with the push for abortion, the moral corruption, standing against capitalism, taking away our religious liberties, the “woke” agenda and so much more. We need to turn back to God and stand for his truth!

DALSalty1

"...but I have looked at the evidence that shows the election was subverted, not only by ignoring election laws but by actual ballot manipulation and manufacturing. It is interesting how the real critical items showing corruption in the election were never investigated or prevented from being investigated!"

Unfortunately, World Mag disagrees with you, Christianity Today disagrees with you, every other respected evangelical publication disagrees with you, every respected and credible secular source disagrees with you, the courts disagree with you, key GOP leaders disagree with you, the most well-known and respected conservatives disagree with you, those responsible for oversight and who actually run the elections and understand the laws and process disagree with you, the facts disagree with you, and no audit has produced anything that would confirm your claims. However, you do have the conspiracy theorists in your corner, so that's something.

Salty1DAL

“World disagrees with you.”

They pulled their support for Trump when the Democrats played the hit piece on the man a few weeks before the 2016 election. Never did they list all the ways Trump was benefiting our country and specifically the Christian cause. I would hope that the readers of World Magazine understand now why we all should have supported Trump. Just look at how president Biden and the Democrats are destroying America now! Look at the tyranny which is going on where the justice department is labeling parents as domestic terrorists for voicing their opinions at school board meetings. Conservatives are shut off social media because they voice an opinion that doesn’t agree with the tech giant’s propaganda. And look at the socialist and even communistic agenda we see playing out in the political sphere where several trillion dollars of spending is being pushed for every liberal cause, from abortion to climate change and so much more.

I think World is attempting to navigate all this by staying out of what is viewed as the extreme, where they don’t seriously look at or investigate the evidence, for example of the election fraud. If they go too conservative then they will alienate the more progressive Christians and if they go too progressive they will alienate us conservatives. I sympathize with them for this dilemma somewhat, but I sometimes feel my blood boil when they trumpet the progressive cause which is antithetical to the Christian cause.

One example is immigration, where many conservatives have said for years that the fight against voter ID laws and the pushing for open borders was meant to steal elections. I would hope that Christians now see the chaos at the border and understand that this is an attempt to change America so Democrats can dominate for years to come. The scooping up the 100,000 Afghanis wasn’t about saving the translators who helped our troops, for they had trouble finding translators on the flight out of Afghanistan, but it was about getting more people in who will vote for the liberal cause. When Christians were trying to help Afghani Christians out of the country, the State Department attempted to squash it. Why did they do this? I would say they were worried about getting the wrong voters into our country!

But I digress from the topic of concern. I think both World and Christianity Today try to stay in what is perceived as the mainstream view with a nicety nice “Christian” spin. This causes them to have a minor “woke” agenda where getting into the pig pen of politics sometimes is pretty messy. The reality is that a lot of devious things are going on, such as having a mentally declining president in the office, where people are in charge who were never elected. Would World or Christianity today ask this question and seek to answer it? Of course not, they would alienate too many subscribers to their magazines.
The same could be said for most other Christian publications. Here I should say that World is so bold on so many fronts, I hate to disparage them. It is just the political side they sometimes get it wrong. Even those who sometimes promote the slightly “woke” agenda aren’t that woke and are very fine people. It is more due to their age and lack of experience.

“Every respected and credible secular source disagrees with you”: As I already pointed out many of these publications are against our Christian cause parroting the same liberal propaganda talking points across the media realm.

“The courts disagree with you”: the courts never allowed the evidence to be investigated. For example, the ballots that were shipped down to Pennsylvania from New York were never investigated. Why wouldn’t the Justice Department investigated this? All they would have to do is ask the mail center for the video that they constantly run in the building. Why wouldn’t the courts allow discovery and allow the scope to be broad enough to investigate the relevant troubling issues? Clearly, a political agenda was being played out.

“Key GOP leaders disagree with you.” Were these the same officials who were legally bound to oversee the elections? Of course they wouldn’t want to state there was corruption in the election for they could go to jail for it. But many did agree that there was voter fraud, though they likely would debate the extent.

“The most well-known and respected conservatives disagree with you.” And who might these be? Are these the ones seeking the accolades from the liberal media establishment? Some are pressured to bend because of their organizations. Others haven’t looked enough at the evidence to make a fair opinion.

“Those responsible for oversight and who actually run the elections and understand the laws and process disagree with you.”

They are the ones who will admit that they adapted procedures and rules which violated state laws and state constitutions. There is no debating this fact. Also, these same folks took Zuckerberg bucks and put ballot boxes primarily in liberal districts. This is unequal treatment giving Democrats the advantage!

The Zuckerberg money did pay for a lot of additional workers who cheered as Republican poll watchers were kicked out of the Detroit TCF Center, where most all the workers were Democrats.


“The facts disagree with you, and no audit has produced anything that would confirm your claims.”

Nothing was investigated except in Maricopa County, where even there Democrats blocked Cyber Ninjas from statistically comparing voting of the voters compared with what the voting records show.

Here is some more evidence

https://tennesseestar.com/2021/08/05/zuckerberg-funded-nonprofit-paid-11-8-million-to-democrat-political-consulting-firms-for-nonpartisan-voter-education-in-michigan-2020-election/

Here is the law suit that Trump filed which is filled with evidence if you take the time to read it.

https://cdn.donaldjtrump.com/public-files/press_assets/1.-11-10-20-trump-v.-benson-w.d.-mich.-complaint-final.pdf

Here is the Amistad Report:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20428534-hava-and-non-profit-organization-report-final-w-attachments-and-preface-121420

Here is some more evidence where the whole video of the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society is shown:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jap3EgiHwz0

DALSalty1

The views espoused here where everything is black and white, good v. evil, and seen through a conspiracy fueled, extreme, right-wing political prism tells us everything we need to know as to what is wrong with evangelicalism in America right now. None of the rhetoric here takes away in the slightest the point made: You belong to a radical minority view (no widely respected or reasonable source, of any type, agrees with you, Christian or otherwise--that should bother you or any reasonable person) that has nothing to do with conservative/liberal, right/left, or democrat/republican differences, as understood, at least prior to 2016. Yours is an ideology of power for power's sake (under the guise of good v. evil) that is impervious to facts, truth, or principle. It will set the evangelical witness back decades, especially if you actually get what you want. You will also lose a generation of young people. I want nothing to do with a form of "Christianity" that is really just a wholly bought and owned subsidiary of the most extreme parts of the GOP, with all its white nationalism, racism, sexism, and anti-science ignorance. Bottom line: We disagree.

FIMIKIDAL

Well to be fair, Christianity for much of history was a radical minority view! Of course, when you hold such a position, the burden of proof is on you. I love Chuck Colson's quip about the trustworthiness of the apostles regarding the resurrection because it speaks both to the confidence we can have in the truth of what we believe and to the folly of conspiracies: "Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible."

But DAL, I would exhort you not to be bitter or dismayed or put "Christianity" in scare quotes just because someone has a radically different understanding of the times we're in and how we should respond. Christ died for all of us - shouldn't that matter more than any ideological instincts? See my reply to Salty1 below.

DALFIMIKI

You make many good points and they are well taken, overall.

“Well to be fair, Christianity for much of history was a radical minority view!”

Right, but such isn’t a fair comparison. Every religion started thus. If 2000 years from now there is a religion called the “election truthers—there was fraud” then, well, a fair point. Until then, there is a huge difference between the beginnings of a religious/faith movement and a current dispute over an election. That the election was fraudulent is a radical minority view.

“But DAL, I would exhort you not to be bitter or dismayed or put "Christianity" in scare quotes just because someone has a radically different understanding of the times we're in and how we should respond.”

I would caution you that it’s very possible there were Christians in Germany, in the 1930s, who were telling their friends the very same thing. Christians use to exhort others the very same advice when they were upset about slavery, civil rights for minorities, women, and a host of other issues.

“Christ died for all of us - shouldn't that matter more than any ideological instincts?”

It should. But that is the very problem being demonstrated by evangelicals right now. Clearly too many of them see their political opponents as evil, the enemy, rather than noting Paul’s words that we do not struggle against flesh and blood. I’m not bitter. I am dismayed however, and frankly any Christian should be at the moment.

Back to the main point of the post, see: https://archive.is/zvoeb

Salty1DAL

“I want nothing to do with a form of ‘Christianity’ that is really just a wholly bought and owned subsidiary of the most extreme parts of the GOP, with all its white nationalism, racism, sexism, and anti-science ignorance. Bottom line: We disagree.”

God doesn’t look down on people who are white like you do. God expected a nationalism where Jews longed for a Jewish state and where each citizen of a country held forward a national identity. It seems to me that you don’t see Trump or his supporters as they really are - honest people without racism who hold to a science that includes the creation. You are so off on your political perspective that I would challenge you to prove it.

FIMIKISalty1

You know, I've been scratching my head for a long while now, trying to figure out how I've ended up seeing some things so differently from fellow believers. Our church has had people leave because they felt the leadership wasn't supportive enough on particular issues, and I'm sure World has lost subscribers because of this as well. What's driving all this? I don't have a perfect answer, but this article I read earlier in the year helped me see folks who landed differently on some matters with more sympathy:

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevin-deyoung/why-reformed-evangelicalism-has-splintered-four-approaches-to-race-politics-and-gender/

Election fraud isn't one of the issues on that matrix, but I bet you would know where to fit it in if it were. The point the writer is making isn't that everyone is right or that what is right can't be known, but to recognize that different instincts tend to lead us to different conclusions, and that as "good stewards of God’s varied grace" we would to well to heed the perspectives of brothers and sisters who see things differently. In times of trouble and pressure we're always tempted to fall back hard on our instincts, forgetting that the Lord created us differently and with different gifts (mercy, prophecy, teaching, etc) for a reason.

Tim Keller (an Orthodox Christian who has often been accused of political compromise) had this to say recently about his perspective on Christians and politics:

"Some have said that my being attacked by both the “right” and the “left” is a sign I am teaching truth because truth is found in the middle between extremes. I appreciate the support, but I don’t think that’s accurate.
First, virtually everyone occupies a SOME middle because there’s nearly always someone to one side or the other on issues who thinks YOU have compromised. Nearly everyone is in a ‘middle’—the question is: which middle is the right one?
Second, Christians should never seek a middle ground for its own sake. The goal should be to take positions that do justice to the Biblical teaching, regardless of whether the world sees you—in its categories-- as an extremist or a moderate.
Third, often Christians look like they are taking a “Third Way” not because they are moderates but because, in being biblical, they combine what the world considers extreme positions. So the bible’s view of humanity in the imago Dei is far more optimistic about human nature than Rousseau and yet its view of human sin is far more pessimistic than Hobbes—both at once! It might be fair to call that a third way between major alternatives but it is not a half-and-half way or middle way.
Fourth, when Christians formulated the doctrine of Christ’s person, was it a half-way between Docetism (Christ isn’t really human) and Ebionism (Christ isn’t really divine)? No, Jesus is not half God and half human but fully God and fully human. (Cf. key biblical doctrines—of the Trinity, of justification by faith alone)
The biblical doctrine IS NOT a middle way. It “diagonalizes” the alternatives (C. Watkin). It “subversively fulfills” the alternatives (D. Strange) That is, it fully critiques both and yet fulfills the best aspirations of both at the same time, without merely combining them or borrowing from them. The biblical position is not somewhere on a spectrum between alternatives—it is off the spectrum yet acknowledges the concerns of all the positions.
Fifth, my main criticism of so many Christians on social media who attack from the “Right” or from the “Left” is that they UNKNOWINGLY wed the faith with secular political ideologies. On the right people make idols of individual freedom and of the market--and demonize government. On the left people make idols of sexual expression, racial identity, and the State—and demonize religion and love of country.
Biblical faith sees all of these as good things, but relativizes them before God and his love and grace. All things were made good (Gen 1), all things are fallen (Gen 3)-yet God through Jesus is redeeming all things."

So while this is a bit off-topic relative to the article, I think it might be helpful to think about whenever we wade into these discussions.

Salty1FIMIKI

Hi FIMIKI,
Did you look at any of the links I posted? When you follow the Zuckerberg money trail it should upset all Americans for the money flowed through Democrats Hands giving them unfair ability to manipulate the election. For example, the money in Michigan went to Democrat organizations where it is unknown how they used the money where some speculate it went only to turn out Democrat voters. With no oversight, why would you expect them to push Republicans to vote?!

Tim Keller goes to my denomination the Presbyterian Church in America. He is not my favorite since he tries to make Democrats and Republicans morally equivalent, which is not true especially if you look at the abortion issue. He also has caved on the creation viewpoint where he supports BioLogos. He is also more liberal on many issues where he has an unhealthy sway on the denomination. His quote here is not too bad, where I agree on parts of what he is saying, but not all of it. At the end of the day, I don’t measure myself comparing to what others think, but I seek the truth, wherever that leads. Trying to get away from supporting Republicans when they are fighting our Christian cause is problematic.

FIMIKISalty1

I did indeed! Perhaps you didn't see my reply to your first post for this article where you raised the issue? Long story short, even if it really was his intention to throw the election, I don't think Zuck got much bang for his buck, because when you look at the counties that received those grants vs ones that didn't, there wasn't much difference in % increase in voters or actual turnout. This makes sense because the grants were mostly in response to issues processing mail-in votes that were identified in the primaries. These issues were more pronounced in Democratic counties because the covid-conscious Dems favored mail-in voting and were mostly in large urban areas, so those counties got the most money.

Even in counties were Republicans had an edge in voter registration (like the one in Texas that I live in) went for Biden because a lot of folks split their ticket. That's nothing new - the same thing happened a few years ago here when it was Ted Cruz vs Beto O'Rouke. People here are ideologically conservative all else being equal but are sometimes averse to politicians who are highly combative.

As with most things, there are normative explanations for what occurred if you're willing to see it. Seeking truth means weighing all possible explanations against each other, and that's where our instincts come into play. Being aware of what those are and how they might influence our perception of things has been a bit of a revelation to me.

I've generally voted Republican because of the abortion issue, like you said. But I do worry that many of us have become dogmatic about that and have given a pass to bad actors just because they support that one issue. No one party fully owns the Christian cause, only Christ!

Salty1

There are witnesses to filled out ballots being trucked down from NY to Pennsylvania.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Np6gBU3H1BU

There is a witness to ballots magically appearing after the date but they were backdated by postal workers.

https://www.maciverinstitute.com/2020/12/watch-video-here-wi-postal-employee-testifies-that-they-were-directed-to-find-100k-ballots-on-wednesday-nov-4th-and-backdate-ballots-for-election/

All of this suggests that organized illegal activity was widespread during the election.
We have the Time Magazine article that tells of the organized “conspiracy” to help elect Biden.

https://time.com/5936036/secret-2020-election-campaign/

We see it was a national conspiracy where they got Zuckerberg to give 400-500 million which the spread around battleground states. Here is shown where the Zuckerberg money went Arizona.

https://thefga.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Arizona-Zuckerbucks-brief-3-12-21.pdf

Did Zuckerberg just want fair elections? Don’t you remember him being grilled by Republicans on Capitol Hill? Do you really believe that the nonprofit run by a former Obama official was nonpartisan? Here is a paragraph from the link:
“For example, in Maricopa County, the only county in the state to flip in the 2020 election, President Trump increased his vote total by more than 248,000 votes yet lost the county to Biden.19 In 2020, Biden improved on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 vote total in the county by more than 337,000 votes. This nearly 90,000-vote difference cannot be explained by registration increases. While Democratic voter registration in Maricopa County has grown more than Republican registration since the 2016 election, the net increase was fewer than 50,000 votes and registered Republicans still outnumber registered Democrats by more than 100,000 voters. In counties that went for Biden in 2020, Zuckerbucks seem to have helped boost Democratic turnout.”

The Cyber Ninjas were not able to identify the smoking gun in AZ because they weren’t allowed to investigate the things that mattered, such as comparing what voters said they voted for compared to what the ballots said they voted for. I would bet money they rigged the vote and it could be identified if any meaningful investigation was allowed to happen. We have become a banana republic and we see the insanity every day with open borders (we are supposed to reach 400,000 coming in in the month of October), insane levels of spending that will bankrupt our country, the draconian measures being used to push the COVID vaccination, the double standards in our legal system between Democrats and Republicans, the continued push for abortion by the Democrats, the denial of reality in acceptance of transgenderism, the insane number of new programs causing uncontrolled inflation, the propaganda war the left is waging on social media platforms and the press, and the irresponsible exit out of Afghanistan. If you cannot see we are in an unsustainable period that will likely bring drastic change in America, destroying the country we know, you have blind eyes deluded by Satan. Perhaps God will be gracious to us and bring us out of this but we had better dress in sackcloth and ashes, confess our sins and ask for God’s mercy!

CMCC6020

I appreciate that this is a delicate topic, and World wants to walk a fine line between two polarized camps.

However, to not even list the audit's numerical items -- this is poor reporting.

And to fail to discuss that the audit backed off (long ago) from conducting any kind* of signature matching -- this is failure to analyze and think through the issue.

*"any kind" of signature matching: well, the audit did measure completely BLANK signatures, which was one of the numerical bullet items that this article failed to list.

DALCMCC6020

World did address the numerical items, as has many other outlets.

From Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/arizona-republicans-release-findings-widely-panned-election-audit-2021-09-24/
"The audit was marked by practices that critics described as ranging from inappropriate to bizarre, including counters marking ballots with blue ink, which can alter how they are read by machines, and workers checking for traces of bamboo fibers based on a conspiracy theory that forged ballots may have been shipped in from Asia."

As to signature matching see: https://www.azmirror.com/2021/10/01/audit-expert-shiva-ayyadurai-didnt-understand-election-procedures-he-made-a-number-of-false-signature-claims/

"Ayyadurai was far from alone. Audit team leader Doug Logan and team member Doug Cotton made numerous claims throughout the more than three-hour presentation in which they portrayed normal, commonplace practices as possibly suspicious while acknowledging that there may be reasonable explanations that they were overlooking."

As to these audit "experts" (what a joke) see: https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-arizona-business-technology-election-recounts-c5948f1d2ecdff9e93d4aa27ba0c1315

What a waste of time and money. These grifters saw evangelicals coming from a mile away.

Salty1DAL

Again, more propaganda!

CMCC6020DAL

DAL, you are making many assumptions in that reply -- largely assumptions about what I was thinking -- most (perhaps all) of which are simply not true.

As to the actual #s -- the World article mentioned a couple, but failed to mention several. They are readily available in the official report. The lack of listing them therefore makes me question if the World author(s) even read the official report. If not, then it is a rather strong demerit against World.

As to the signature matching -- the auditors abandoned the goal of doing a signature match, months ago. It has nothing to do with Mr. Ayyadurai and what he did or didn't say or think; his views are utterly irrelevant to the point.

The point is that signature matching was not done during the election (adequately, at least) nor during the audit. There was a court case, early on, in which random samples were pulled and the Trump-side expert witness found 6% of the signatures were not verifiable. The Biden-side expert witness found 11%. (To be sure, this does not mean that 11% or even 6% were invalid; it means that they couldn't be confirmed.) This would seem to raise significant questions. Signature matching is the one thing that would catch the most likely form of cheating. It would give some level of assurance (or denial) of the validity of the ballots. Yet it was not performed on any substantial basis. But to that point, there were blank signatures [obviously invalid], there were signatures that consisted of a straight line [obviously invalid], there were signatures that consisted of printed block capital letters [probably invalid]. Yet these votes were counted.

Furthermore, on a simple notional basis, why did the Maricopa officials resist the audit so vehemently, fighting tooth & nail at every point? If the election was so sterling, then why did they fight the audit? The answer is obvious: they have something to hide. The top-level point is also obvious: everyone should be in favor of auditing elections; it not only provides assurance of accuracy, but if it is known to exist in advance of the election, then it deters people from cheating.

DALCMCC6020

“As to the actual #s -- the World article mentioned a couple, but failed to mention several.”

They mentioned the most significant—the numbers making up the most significant claims of fraud.

“The lack of listing them therefore makes me question if the World author(s) even read the official report. If not, then it is a rather strong demerit against World.”

You would need to take that up with the writer. I think they did fine.

“As to the signature matching -- the auditors abandoned the goal of doing a signature match, months ago. It has nothing to do with Mr. Ayyadurai and what he did or didn't say or think; his views are utterly irrelevant to the point.”

The link still addressed those issues. Is this the case you are referring to: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/12/04/arizona-judge-rejects-republican-effort-overturn-state-election-results/3821578001/

“At most, there were a handful of cases where the limited number of signatures on file made it impossible to match envelope signatures to the standard used by handwriting experts. But county officials don't use that standard, which is typically applied in criminal cases where experts have to be sure ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

‘Our voters are not on trial,’ state elections Director Bo Dul testified Friday, noting that election officials have other information available to them to help verify a voter's identity. ‘It's not a comparable process.’

In his ruling, Warner said there was ‘no evidence that the manner in which signatures were reviewed was designed to benefit one candidate or another, or that there was any misconduct, impropriety, or violation of Arizona law with respect to the review of mail-in ballots.’”

“Furthermore, on a simple notional basis, why did the Maricopa officials resist the audit so vehemently, fighting tooth & nail at every point? If the election was so sterling, then why did they fight the audit?”

Because they knew what every rational observer did: there was not enough evidence (I’m being generous) of the type of fraud that would be necessary to over-turn the election. Whatever mistakes were made (and there are mistakes in every election, at every level), were not significant enough, or rose to a level such, that would demand an audit. These audits were the result of Trump’s blatant lies (he said even before the election that if he were to lose, it would have to be because of fraud) that were then echoed by the GOP, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing media.

The only problem: They had no basis in reality or fact. His cult-like followers, however, weren’t interested in either.

These audits were a total waste of time and tax-payer money and all they did was undermine democracy and the notion of fair elections. World Mag covered this just right.

PS

“The much-delayed report from Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm whose owner had spread pro-Trump conspiracies, had been repeatedly hyped up by Trump himself.” Yeah, let’s listen to these guys. Sure. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/24/trump-friendly-cyber-ninjas-audit-of-arizona-votes-still-shows-biden-won.html

CMCC6020DAL

DAL (and FIMIKI),

You are obviously very convinced of your view. No doubt nothing I (or anyone else) can say will dissuade you. OK.

I'll just observe a couple points along the way:
1) You say that the audit was a waste because we already knew there was no problem. This before-the-fact knowledge is... profound. It also ignores the need in a democracy to assure the voting public that elections are on the up-and-up. (A status which is thoroughly lacking, as of now.)
2) On the earlier court case in which handwriting experts found 6% and 11% unverifiable signatures: you're strangely quoted a point that supports my position and undermines yours. The fact that the judge shifted to requiring court-case-level signature verification, instead of the normal voter-level signature verification, is a sign that rules were twisted to achieve the desired outcome.
3. Both DAL and FIMIKI, you have argued that Cyber Ninjas are evil deplorable people and that the Maricopa county officials were fully justified in fighting the audit on that basis. (a) Do you seriously believe that Maricopa would have behaved differently had it been a different outfit running that portion of the audit? (b) More directly: can you point to something in the actual report that betrays the supposed sinister nature of Cyber Ninjas? What evil did they actually perform in the actual audit?

And bottom line: the most likely source of election fraud was invalid ballots being sent in. When one candidate was painted, quite literally, as the second Hitler, it is easy to motivate people to commit a little election fraud here and there. The only way to catch that would have been by signature matching. There is evidence already on record that a large % of signatures are in grave question. YET the audit did not check that. Nothing you have said denies that -- nor, so far as I can see, can possibly deny that.

DALCMCC6020

"It also ignores the need in a democracy to assure the voting public that elections are on the up-and-up. (A status which is thoroughly lacking, as of now.)"

The only reason people had doubts was because of Trump asserting continually and loudly, without any credible evidence, that there was fraud. This was amplified by conspiracy theorists and right-wing media. They created the very problem they then, shamelessly, noted should be investigated. It would be like an arsonist asking the Fire Department why it isn't doing more to find out who's causing all these fires. Please.

FIMIKICMCC6020

1) Yes, as the trust gap grows, so does the need to demonstrate the soundness of system. For this reason I'm not totally opposed to the Arizona audit and I've been grateful for prior audits there and in other states. The more it can help assure people of the soundness of the election the better. I also like some of the proposals coming out of the Arizona senate - like making ballot images public - to increase transparency and trust. But these are technological solutions to mitigate epistemological problems, and those solutions can only take you so far. My hope that these will really, truly restore confidence in the system is diminishing, because no system is 100% perfect, and it seems that so long as there is any one thing that cannot be perfectly explained to the doubter's satisfaction, they will always assume fraud.
2) I don't think it should come as a surprise to anyone that standard voter-level signature verification missed a number of signatures - speed usually comes at the expense of accuracy, a sacrifice that prior to now had been acceptable in elections. The question shouldn't be "is the signature verification used 100% accurate?", but "is it accurate enough?". While I don't see anything that suggests fraud, I do hope we can come up with a better way of identifying absentee voters in the future.
3) I think Cyber Ninjas are heavily biased and a bit out of their league, not evil and deplorable. If we must project motivations on people, I usually rely on Hanlon's razor. The Maricopa county officials certainly see them as enemies, though.
(a) Yes. Other third-party firms conducted audits of the county voting machines and there were no complaints from the county. Risk sampling audits are done routinely by state law.
(b) It's not the report itself, but the authors of it that generate so much suspicion, thereby tainting any assertions. The owner of Cyber Ninjas previously pushed vote-flipping conspiracy theories regarding Dominion voting machines, theories that implicate the purchasers and operators of those machines (like the county board) in high crime.

https://www.maricopa.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2119
https://www.azmirror.com/2021/03/31/arizona-senate-hires-a-stop-the-steal-advocate-to-lead-2020-election-audit/
https://www.azmirror.com/2021/04/09/arizona-audit-leader-doug-logan-wrote-fraud-claims-on-kraken-lawyers-website/

I agree that the most likely source of election fraud was invalid ballots submitted by individuals or small groups of individuals, not some complex scheme orchestrated by an evil cabal. I'd even assert that we mostly likely saw the most fraud in history with this election, by simple fact that we had the most turnout in history with this election and much of it driven by mail-in ballots. But why do we assume it was all in Biden's favor, when there was just as much apoplectic terror on the right about the implications of a Democratic victory? Indeed, the most recent proven case of significant election fraud at the federal level was for the benefit of a Republican Baptist pastor running in 2018 for a house seat.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/the-tearful-drama-of-north-carolinas-election-fraud-hearings

We live in a world of uncertainty, and that's something I've had to come to terms with ever since I watched the Matrix with my friends and realized I couldn't prove to them that I WASN'T actually living in a simulated reality. It's nigh impossible to prove a negative, but that's what those who insist on ensuring there's proof of no fraud, rather than no proof of fraud, are doing. Many claim that it's only fair because the Democrats had a field day in 2016 trying to implicate Trump in a Russian collusion plot. But I would hope our response to someone being ridiculous and paranoid is to condemn ridiculousness and paranoia, not adopt it!

CMCC6020FIMIKI

FIMIKI thanks for a reasoned response.
However, I think you're overlooking key factors. For example,
+ the Zuckerbucks buying of election turn-out
+ the simple statistical and historical anomalies -- e.g., violation of the vast majority of bell-weather counties; inexplicable variation between neighboring precincts with the same demographics; the last time the losing presidential candidate won key states being Kennedy/Nixon (an election that was also stolen); Biden's own team put out #s on election day saying that if Trump topped those #s then it was all over & Trump would win -- and Trump did in fact top those election-day #s.
+ Changing over 370 election laws/rules/regulations, prior to the election -- largely coordinated by Perkins-Coie, the Democrat go-to law firm
+ Suppression of negative information about Biden (most notably the Hunter Biden laptop) by both MSM and Big Tech [Zuckerberg again involved]
+ The Georgia judge who ruled, between the primaries and the election, that there was no way to verify that the voting machines were accurate. (But she said that she didn't want to upset the apple-cart, so hey, let's go ahead with it. Amazing.)
+ And most importantly of all, the 5-year-long non-stop blitzkrieg of propaganda against Trump, literally presenting him as a second Hitler -- and successfully convincing how many people of that lie?
One specific reply. You wrote, "But why do we assume it was all in Biden's favor, when there was just as much apoplectic terror on the right about the implications of a Democratic victory?" It was not anywhere near "just as much apoplectic terror" on the part of Trump supporters or Republicans. See the last point I listed above. There is nothing that compares with the 5-year-long propaganda effort to convince people that Trump was a new Hitler. Nothing. Not even close.
If you received 8 ballots at your address, and you believed that Trump was Hitler, wouldn't you be rather highly motivated to turn in all 8, with 8 votes for Biden instead of your rightful 1? Wouldn't it rather be your moral duty to stop Hitler by simply voting against him? Wouldn't it be rather easy to rationalize the move?

FIMIKICMCC6020

And thank you for your sincerity and willingness to engage in reasonable discussion! It's distressing to find myself in opposition to so many fellow evangelicals when it comes to the question of what happened last November. The factors that you list are ones I've weighed and considered as well and I understand the arguments. My challenge to you would be: is fraud or the intent to commit or foster fraud the best explanation for each of them, or are there explanations that are just as likely or more plausible? Take each point and do some thorough research, searching out the best arguments in favor of more normative rationales. Separate what we know from the facts vs what we might assume based on people's motivations. It's tempting to look at this big pot of negative information, see common threads of hostile actors, and conclude that something fishy must be going on, but that's not necessarily where each issue leads.

It's difficult to objectively measure which side was more panicked in the 2020 election, and I confess I probably wasn't as attuned to the past five years of media coverage of Trump as you were. Perhaps it's just the circles I run in, but I personally know both Trump voters and Biden voters who thought their side was the only thing standing between the abyss of tyranny and our continued freedoms, and that the other side would obviously steal and cheat if they could. To me, that's one of the saddest things about this whole affair - how quick we are to project maleficence onto our opponents and virtue onto our own tribe. One friend even said the same thing you did about the likelihood of anti-Trump voters cheating, but referring specifically to another co-worker who was an outspoken anti-Trumper. The thing is, she's one of the most relentlessly honest and forthright individuals that I know, almost to a fault, and my friend who accused her doesn't bat an eye about pursuing things that benefit him (software piracy, creative accounting, signup exploits) if he can get away with it. Other pro-Trump friends said they were half-tempted to double-vote because they were certain the other side was doing so. So yes, while individual fraud certainly happens, I don't think we can say with any certainty that it overall must have favored Biden, especially given what we know from proven instances:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/republican-official-ohio-faces-charge-voting-twice-november-election-n1271985
https://www.inquirer.com/news/bruce-bartman-illegal-vote-delaware-county-trump-election-20210430.html
https://www.timesleader.com/news/1507381/dude-in-forty-fort-pleads-guilty-to-absentee-ballot-violation

I think we should be very, very leery whenever we're presented with a narrative that casts people like us as the downtrodden but resolute heroes and people not like us as the ones who are morally compromised, misled, or generally evil. That's catnip to our sinful hearts. Of all people, I would think we as Christians should be the most self-aware of this tendency, but in this post-Christian culture where victimhood is glorified it's been amazing to see so many stalwart conservatives eagerly participating - unwittingly it seems - in the "oppression olympics" they previously decried. Yes, there is the possibility that Trump (and the people that were counting on his continued presence in office) were victims of fraud, but the possibility is so remote that it would be much better in my mind if we focused our energies on explicit, overt attacks against Christian values and constitutional freedoms than on a matter that relies so heavily on casting aspersions on our ideological opponents. Instead this topic of 2020 voter fraud has become one of the primary rallying points for the right, to the degree that it's becoming untenable to be a rising conservative politician without validating people's fears around the issue. What does it say about our credibility if the thing we care about the most ends up to be nothing more than phantoms?

Salty1FIMIKI

We cannot be naive to what is going on either.

Salty1DAL

“These audits were the result of Trump’s blatant lies (he said even before the election that if he were to lose, it would have to be because of fraud) that were then echoed by the GOP, conspiracy theorists, and right-wing media. “

The liar here is not Trump for the Democrats and their nonprofit groups began early on submitting all kinds of lawsuits to weaken the election process and allow the corruption we saw. Trump saw this and was worried about it, but didn’t think it would be at the magnitude that it was.

You are parroting the propaganda of the left, the very godless people destroying this nation. The big lie was that Trump was stealing the election, which the Times Magazine article and many others promoted.

FIMIKICMCC6020

If you were forced to work with someone who had previously accused you of criminal activity and had a history of twisting information to suit their perspective, would you cheerfully volunteer any information they asked for? The Maricopa officials don't have any confidence that Cyber Ninjas are sincere in their efforts to find the truth, but believe that they will only be satisfied if they find some indication of fraud, weather it's true or not.

Now, I think the Maricopa officials are wrong. I wish they would go above and beyond in their efforts to support the audit, because I have so many friends and family who are 100% convinced that there was fraud and my hope is that as time goes on and more and more audits fail to produce evidence of fraud they will doubt their certitude. But it's not hard to understand why the Maricopa officials would be recalcitrant even with a perfect election. Even now in my current job I'm in the midst of handing off support for a contract that another entity took from us, but my superiors insist that I do nothing beyond the minimum in terms of aiding the transition because they would rather see the new administrators choke on their ignorance than volunteer information that could be used to make us look incompetent or malicious. It's spiteful and stupid, but that's the sad state of humanity for you.

CMCC6020FIMIKI

FIMIKI, see reply above.

DAL

As to the 23,000 number see: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/09/the-arizona-election-audit-reveals-more-votes-for-biden-no-evidence-of-fraud.html

“There are many reasons to doubt Cyber Ninjas’ allegation that more than 23,000 voters cast illegal mail-in ballots from the wrong addresses…”

As to the 10,342 number: “The group’s other “critical” finding was that there were 10,342 potential double voters, a claim which has already been debunked.” -Same source

There are many, many, other credible sources that confirm these same facts including here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/09/28/fact-check-arizona-audit-affirms-biden-win-doesnt-prove-voter-fraud/5846640001/

As it is now admitted, under oath, the people spreading lies and false information regarding voter fraud and a “stolen” election were going on absolutely no real proof or the type of evidence needed to prove their allegations. See: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/rudy-guiliani-admits-under-oath-100908876.html -and- https://www.factcheck.org/2021/06/rudy-giulianis-bogus-election-fraud-claims/

Trump and the GOP just made stuff up. It was the BIG LIE and way too many evangelicals fell for it. Period. End of story. Evangelicals use to care about the truth, about facts. When it comes to the political world, they clearly don't anymore. This will greatly harm their "witness" now and in the future. If I can't trust you to tell me the truth about an election, why should I trust you to tell me the truth about my soul?

BLWDAL

Thanks for the link regarding the audit. It is difficult (though not impossible) to accept the results given the choices in the election and the changes to voting procedures. However, Cyber Ninjas, if they didn't have proper databases should not have put out the report - even if the lack of databases was caused by lack of cooperation. That is something I still don't understand. If the secretary of state / election commission could have cleared the concerns by collaborating with the audit - even proactively providing databases I don't understand why they didn't (we know they had to be forced by court enforcement of subpoenas to provide much of what they did) - not to mention that there were many governance practices called out in the report that do raise concerns. I care about the truth. The handling of other Big Lies - let's not forget 2016 results were never accepted by many people due to the Russia Collusion Big Lie, that along with the Hunter Biden emails Big Lie, 2,500 troops for Kabul evacuation Big Lie, etc.) makes me suspicious of who is telling the Big Lie. We're in a sad state.

DALBLW

“…That is something I still don't understand. If the secretary of state / election commission could have cleared the concerns by collaborating with the audit - even proactively providing databases I don't understand why they didn't (we know they had to be forced by court enforcement of subpoenas to provide much of what they did)…”

Probably because they knew the “audit” was based upon lies, fabrications, and Trump just talking nonsense. There was no credible evidence, or standing, or a number of problems (which all the courts acknowledged) with all the assertions of fraud. They had nothing but the propaganda machine of right-wing media, the GOP, and Trump, but no actual evidence (other than anecdotal). That was it. Why then would any rational person think an audit necessary?

I’m reminded of the old question, “When did you stop beating your wife?” Why would any secretary of state or election commission participate in a fraud where, one, the people bringing the accusations are basically saying you didn’t do your job or you’re complicit, and, two, there is no actual evidence for any of their claims? How would that make you feel?

Even conservative, red state, people are getting tired of this nonsense: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/574838-election-denialists-smacked-down-by-idaho-secretary-of-state

From the link: “Somewhere along the line people need to draw a line in the sand and say this is irrational,” he said. “It doesn’t justify the expense of wholesale going out and looking for what you think may possibly be a needle in what you think may possibly be a haystack.”

BLWDAL

For the good of the country vs. offended feelings it would have been better to work with them instead of having to go to court to get what cooperation they did. As to lack of evidence, lies, fabrications, etc. - that was no roadblock to the 4 year Russia collusion story on which we spent $30+ million of taxpayer funds (and over half of Democrats still won't believe it was a lie) nor the Kavanaugh smears. Sorry, but this isn't the biggest "Big Lie". But hey, I think we'll have to leave it at that.

DALBLW

But it wasn't good for the country--all it did was undermine democracy and trust in our elections (which was the point on the part of Trump and the GOP). The people who have bought into the BIG LIE, still think the election was stolen. They are not interested in actual evidence to the contrary. It doesn't help to then begin to the play the "but what about..." game here. This issue has nothing to do with the claims Russia colluded or helped Trump in 2016 and 2020. Evangelicals cannot spread misinformation, lies, and conspiracy theories in the political world, but then expect people to believe and trust them when it comes to spiritual things.

As to these "audits" we just disagree. I'm happy with the way World covers it here.

And since you brought it up: https://www.salon.com/2021/04/15/this-is-what-collusion-with-russia-looks-like-feds-say-manafort-pal-gave-campaign-info-to-spies/ That was money well spent, because there was something there.

BLWDAL

So, the real conspiracy theorist comes out.

DALBLW

I've pushed none--nor do I believe in any (well, maybe there was someone on the grassy knoll). I've provided links from credible sources for anything I've noted or asserted here. Evangelicals should trying doing the same.

CMCC6020DAL

"Credible sources" -- which consist of Slate, USAToday, and FactCheck.

That these are considered "credible" sources reveals all I need to know.

DALCMCC6020

Yes, by the vast majority of reasonable people (which gels with World's reporting here), they are. Evangelicals can continue to live in an echo chamber of conspiracy theories, lies, misinformation, and nonsense, or they can join the rational world of reasonable conversation and make their case. Otherwise, if they just join the land of bat-*#@3 crazy, then they shouldn't think anyone is going to believe anything they have to say as to the spiritual. Loss of credibility in one area, will lead to a loss in every area. Choose wisely.

BLWDAL

DAL,
Political differences aside, I note you refer to evangelicals as though you are not one. That doesn't matter, but I do want to ask, are you a born again believer? I know "born again" as a term can make some cringe but as you may well know it was Jesus who said we must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. Please forgive me if you are - I'm not trying to insult. Perhaps you are but you just find yourself at odds with most evangelicals and are concerned for damage to Christian witness. The good news is that it's the Holy Spirit who uses imperfect vessels so while we are responsible for our actions and our witness - the salvation of others does not ultimately depend on us. I pray that you have that peace.
BLW

DALBLW

I consider myself an orthodox Christian, thus I do have that peace, thank you. I believe and hold to the ancient major creeds of the Christian faith and I attend worship and gather with other believers regularly. I am concerned about the damage done to the Christian witness. I’m concerned at the number of fundamentalists/evangelicals (27%) who have bought into the Qanon nonsense and other conspiracy theories. I’m concerned about the lies, misinformation, and conspiracy theories many evangelicals share and spread on a regular basis on social media as to Covid and vaccines.

Again, if we can’t trust a segment of the faith community to tell the truth in the political and medical realm, why should we trust it when it comes to our souls or spiritual matters in general? I think many non-Christians are asking themselves that very question presently.

Salty1DAL

Your problem is that you trust the leftist media. Why do you think you can trust these godless people?

Salty1DAL

So you are “the rational world of reasonable conversation”. LOL! The only echo chamber is your leftist one that you took hook line and sinker. Wake up my friend, for it seems to me you are not doing the work of heaven!

FIMIKIBLW

I agree that would have been the nobler path, but I don't blame the county for being spiteful either. I work in IT, and it's particularly galling when you're faced with hostile auditors whos pride and arrogance is matched only by their ignorance of what they're doing. Each IT system and business has their own peculiarities that take time and patience to understand, and there's a natural aversion to working with self-proclaimed experts who are interested only in justifying their own suspicions, not gaining a true understanding of your domain of knowledge.

Salty1FIMIKI

You seem very trusting of the Democrats and governments honesty when we have seen illegal FISA Warrants filed to spy on Trump before his election and it continued on to be the Russian collusion narrative that was exposed as a big fraud. The Time Magazine article exposed the leftist “conspiracy” as they called it to “prevent Trump from stealing the election”. As it says, “They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it”. If you believe that a Union boss, Mike Podhorzer a big data guy, was only working aboveboard in this, I think you are sadly naive. Read the article (VOL. 197, NOS. 5-6, 2021) and you see it was a con job in stealing the election. Given Silicone Valleys IT capabilities, I am sure they accessed the databases and digitally manufactured ballots - or some similar method. The way to identify this would be to statistically find this by contacting voters and determining if their vote was counted the way the voter wanted. When Cyber Ninjas attempt to do this the Democrats filed a lawsuit to prevent them from investigating this! Why do this if they didn’t have anything to hide?

FIMIKISalty1

With all due respect, isn't it interesting how you link the Maricopa county board, most of whom are locally elected Republicans, with the activities of federal investigators and foreign intelligence services? Why would the trustworthiness of one impact your perception of the other? Their responsibilities, background, and expertise could not more differentiated, yet they share one thing in common: they performed an action detrimental to Trump's image and power, therefore making them birds of a feather. Do you see how this is a bit of a fallacy? The left made themselves look ridiculous when early in 2020 they condemned the lab-leak coronavirus origin theory not on the merits of its likelihood, but because it was being pushed by people on the right they didn't like and because it might somehow (!) make people feel racist thoughts towards Asians. I think it's important that we always distinguish the message from the impact of the message and the motivations of the messenger, or we'll end up tripping over ourselves in a swirl of bias and suspicion.

I did read that Times article when it came out, and while it's triumphant tone was grating (even though I didn't vote for Trump, I was half-hoping he would win a second term so I could enjoy another helping of delicious schadenfreude from liberals eating crow) I saw mostly self-congratulatory delusions of grandeur rather than evidence of a nefarious and illegal conspiracy. The left fancies themselves as virtuous truth-telling crusaders against tyranny and want the credit for taking Trump down, not realizing how many people distrust them and their agenda. Their coalition is in big trouble now without Trump as their foil.

The election was undoubtedly messy, but I think it's a mistake to assume that was particular to 2020 or just the places Biden won. I'm afraid that what many people really want is not possible: proof of no fraud, rather than no proof of fraud. To do that, we would have to destroy the secret ballot, which would open ourselves up to vote buying, putting ourselves back in the corruption that was rampant in 1800s. At some point you have to trust that the safeguards in place are reasonable and sufficient and that the people appointed to run the election are honest and fairly competent. Unfortunately I don't think that we'll be back at that point anytime soon.

FIMIKIBLW

I think you put the finger on the problem. It's not really that this election in particular was riddled with blatant fraud. I've seen nothing so far that suggests it was substantively different from how previous elections, warts and all, were administered. It's that there's been such an absolute melt-down in trust between citizens and the government, and for good reason! It seems to me that hatred and suspicion of authority used to be something you saw mostly on the left, but it's become widespread now on both sides: a product of Obama's condescending elitism and Trump's demagogic rabble-rousing. This worries me, because it feeds a cycle of tribalism and misinformation, making it difficult to distinguish truth from fiction on any subject - weather it's elections, a pandemic, or foreign threats.

Salty1DAL

DAL, you keep pushing on us your bogus Slate articles and fact checker articles. Do you really believe the propaganda of slate? They also pushed on us the Russian collusion narrative with the propaganda dossier that Hillary Clinton paid for. We were subjected to that lie for years and we later found out they used that dossier to illegally spy on Trump even before he became president. The Justice Department essentially lied to the courts so they would issue the FISA Warrants to essentially spy on Trump and his campaign. Coupled with the Democrats, leftist media outlets, and corrupt government officials they used the information to try and remove Trump. They brought up two bogus impeachments all aimed to destroy him too. Given the animosity, do you really believe they wouldn’t try to steal the election?

The use of the election was the method they used to get rid of Trump. They specifically used the pandemic to illegally change election laws or alter state constitutions to extend the voting time and allow in mail-in ballots. The chain of custody was violated and the Republican election observers were not allowed to do their job in many states, including Arizona.

There was also the conspiracy to steal the election which the Time Magazine article called it. If you believe a senior guy to the AFL-CIO president would use honest tactics to win elections, I would say you are grossly naive at best.

BLW

The article mentions Biden won Maricopa County by 45,000 but highlights only 23,000 questionable votes were found for people who moved out of the county - but other issues bring the total questionable to about 50,000 including a total of 10,342 votes cast by voters with the same first, middle, surname, and birth year across the state - about half are probably duplicates. More important - unless I'm mistaken Arizona is a winner-take-all state and the state margin for Biden was less than 11,000. That is the salient figure for awarding electoral votes. Also important - why did election officials fight the audit so hard and only act under court order? In a corporate environment such combative behavior toward an audit would be reason for serious concern.

Gregory P

Thank you for following up on an earlier article. It is too bad such efforts at ascertaining problems with votes was so delayed. Questions were raised the night of the elections; investigations were blocked or delayed. We have found over the last year that information was blocked, and allegations that were called conspiracies and misinformation turned out to have substance, and some things that were claimed turned out to be spurious. It is no wonder that millions have trouble trusting election integrity, the media , and government leaders.

lausau7

I watched the audit results presentation on C-Span and was aghast at what they reported . Thousands of mail-in ballots were approved that had NO signature or just a scribble in the signature box. This should not happen. They also talked about duplicate, triplicate, and quadruplicate votes that were counted. There were chain of custody problems. Why is none of this mentioned in this article? I thought these things were significant and should be investigated. The number of ballots counted was correct or actually a small undercount for Biden, but the question remains: were the ballots handled correctly and by the law? Mail-in voting is ripe for fraud, and the government needs to have iron-clad, secure procedures if they want the country to trust the results. I want to be able to track my vote and to make sure it was counted for whomever I voted for. As we go forward with electronic voting, audits need to be done routinely to insure the elections are accurate, and the people running the elections should not be allowed to withhold important information from the people doing the audits. That does not inspire confidence.

news2me

There was no cheating, but we are making laws so there won't be any cheating again. ;-)

news2me

It is not good if the people controlling the votes investigate themselves.
Shame!

Salty1

Why didn’t you report this?

https://thefga.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Arizona-Zuckerbucks-brief-3-12-21.pdf

Here is a paragraph from the article and it sounds very fishy:
“For example, in Maricopa County, the only county in the state to flip in the 2020 election, President Trump increased his vote total by more than 248,000 votes yet lost the county to Biden. In 2020, Biden improved on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 vote total in the county by more than 337,000 votes. This nearly 90,000-vote difference cannot be explained by registration increases. While Democratic voter registration in Maricopa County has grown more than Republican registration since the 2016 election, the net increase was fewer than 50,000 votes and registered Republicans still outnumber registered Democrats by more than 100,000 voters.21 In counties that went for Biden in 2020, Zuckerbucks seem to have helped boost Democratic turnout.”

In the other counties, the vote for Biden was increased by 36% thanks to the Zuckerbucks. As I asked before, “Did Zuckerberg give the 400-500 million because he wanted fair elections? He was grilled by the Republicans and Mark Zuckerberg’s intent was to remove Trump. The organization that he gave to was one run by a former Obama official. Do you really believe that an Obama official would seek fair elections? Of course not for this money was used to flip the election where leftist were put in control of running the election.

Cyber Ninjas may not have found the smoking gun but had they been able to talk to voters and statistically evaluate if the voters voted and how accurate the ballots were compared to what the voters said, then I think this would uncover the corruption. Counting the same old ballots without evaluating if the voters voted as their ballot says they did will only give you the same results. Cyber Ninjas was prevented from investigating this further by lawsuits.

lausau7Salty1

Wow, that was a very enlightening, albeit alarming, article. Thank you for sharing it!

Tom HanrahanSalty1

let's do a little math
Voter Turnout is the USA was 22% higher in 2020 than 2016 (156+ million to 128+ million)
If Biden+Trump received a sum of 337000+248000 than Clinton+Trump in 2016, as you said, that is an increase of 585000 votes. Total voting in Arizona in 2020 was (wikipedia page) was 3,387,326.
The turnout was up in Arizona.. just like in the rest of the country.

Salty1Tom Hanrahan

That was in one county where the Zuckerberg dollars went ( a high percentage that went to Arizona). The Democrats increased their voter registration by under 50,000 people which brings into question where all the votes came from. It is interesting that the Cyber Ninjas were going to contact voters and see who voted and verify their vote. If they would find voters who did not vote who the voting record showed they did vote, or voters who voted for Trump yet their ballots showed they voted for Biden, then that would be the method to check the integrity of the vote. It is interesting that Democrats went to court to fight against this. If they didn’t have anything to hide, then exactly why would they fight against this?

FIMIKISalty1

Regarding Zuckerberg, I know it's taken as an article of truth on the right that he's a raging liberal that subverted the election with his millions, but here are some counterpoints worth considering.

Zuckerberg's political donations, both personally and through the Facebook PAC he steers, have gone towards both Republicans and Democrats, slightly favoring the former. He's said "I think it's hard to affiliate as being either a Democrat or a Republican. I'm pro-knowledge economy".

https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=mark+zuckerberg
https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/facebook-inc/C00502906/summary/2020
https://www.thoughtco.com/members-of-congress-supported-by-facebook-3367615

The election funding was primarily for the processing of mail-in ballots, after the 2020 primaries uncovered major deficiencies in the ability to handle the expected deluge. This was of course more pronounced in large counties which also tended to skew Democratic, but I haven't been able to find any instances of conservative jurisdictions that were refused needed aid. Some of the funds were used to help with registration, but according to this article, they made little impact in relative turnout, undercutting any accusations of partisanship: "APM Reports analyzed voting data for the 2016 and 2020 general elections in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania, all of which shifted support from Trump in 2016 to Biden this year. In all three states, the number of voters for the Democratic candidate increased at a greater rate than the rate for Republican voters, regardless of whether a county received a grant. Voter registration also increased at similar rates in the three states regardless of whether the county received a grant. In fact, in Pennsylvania, counties that didn’t receive grants saw a greater increase in voters in 2020."

https://www.apmreports.org/story/2020/12/07/private-grant-money-chan-zuckerburg-election