Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Tells the Feds to Back Off the State’s Audit of the 2020 Election

In a June 14 letter Monday, Brnovich called U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s comments last week expressing concern about post-election audits “troubling.”

“Your statements displayed an alarming disdain for state sovereignty,” Brnovich wrote. “My office is not amused by the DOJ’s posturing and will not tolerate any effort to undermine or interfere with our State Senate’s audit to reassure Arizonans of the accuracy of our elections.”

The audit of the vote in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, ordered by state Senate Republicans, began in April.

“Arizona will not sit back and let the Biden administration abuse its authority, refuse to uphold laws, or attempt to commandeer our state’s sovereignty,” Brnovich wrote.

Former President Donald Trump has praised the audit and urged other states to launch their own election reviews. (NOTE: The Washington Times, a never-Trumper news source some consider “conservative,” claimed that Trump “continues to make baseless claims that Democrats stole the election from him through widespread voter fraud.”)

GOP Chair Elise Stefanik: Justice Department Is ‘Trying to Block’ Maricopa County Audit

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was recently elected as the House Republican Conference chair, said the Department of Justice’s questions about the Maricopa County, Arizona, audit of the 2020 election may be unconstitutional.

On May 5, the Justice Department sent a letter to Arizona Senate leader Karen Fann, a Republican, inquiring about the custody of the ballots under review by a group of private contractors, alleging that the group’s other processes—including the canvassing of addresses—could be considered “voter intimidation.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R.-NY)

“I support that audit,” Stefanik said after being asked about it in a Fox Business interview on May 16. “Transparency is good for the American people. And again, this should be a nonpartisan issue, whether you are Republican, Democrat, independent, or conservative, transparency is important, and the audit was passed by the Arizona state Senate.”

Stefanik later said that the “Biden Department of Justice is trying to block that audit,” which, she said, “is unconstitutional from my perspective.”

“Our states, constitutionally, are responsible for writing states’ constitution law,” she said.

Pamela Karlan, principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, wrote to Fann that “the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters.”

Fann replied that the plan by election auditors to verify the validity of certain voters had been placed on hold.

“If and to the extent the Senate subsequently decides that canvassing is necessary to the successful completion of the audit, its vendor will implement detailed requirements to ensure that the canvassing is conducted in a manner that complies fully with the commands of the United States Constitution and federal and state civil rights laws,” Fann wrote earlier this month.

The Epoch Times reports that Stefanik’s comments on May 16 came just days after Dominion Voting Systems and Maricopa County officials said they wouldn’t provide passwords for election machines in Maricopa County. Dominion said it would comply with the audit, but that Cyber Ninjas—the company hired by the Arizona state Senate—isn’t accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Stefanik was approved last week in a vote by House Republicans to become the Republican Conference chair—the party’s No. 3 position in the House. She took over after GOP lawmakers voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, from the position.

Posted May 17, 2021

Arizona Senate Threatens Subpoenas: Az. GOP Chairman Kelli Ward Offers Update on Maricopa County Election Audit

Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward provides an update on the Maricopa County audit, including the legal battles, in the video below.  Chairwoman Ward outlines how the county board of supervisors has been discovered to have withheld material evidence from the audit despite a court order demanding compliance.

Officials in Maricopa County are refusing to comply with subpoenas from the state Senate that require them to turn over routers or router images to auditors reviewing the November 2020 election. There are certain to be more legal battles ahead as the auditors demand access to all the equipment, including the passwords the county is withholding. Stay tuned.

Posted May 10, 2021

Arizona Bans Post-Election Signature ‘Fix’ for Unsigned Mail-in Ballots

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law that bans voters from adding signatures on unsigned mail-in ballots after Election Day.

The measure, Arizona Senate Bill 1003 (S.B. 1003), was approved earlier in the state legislature in party-line votes with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.

mail truck delivers ballots for dems

The new law codifies a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Oct. 6, 2020, within one month of the 2020 election. It also ended disputes over unsigned mail-in ballots between the state Republicans and Democrats.

Current Arizona law allows election officials to contact voters to fix the signatures on the ballots if the signatures don’t match other signatures from records in the Department of Motor Vehicle, voter registration forms, or previous early ballots. The voters can fix the signatures, if they failed to pass the verification process, within up to five business days after Election Day.

While the new law didn’t change anything about the grace period for the signed ballots, it ended state Democrats’ efforts to add a similar grace period to unsigned ballots.

According to The Epoch Times, Hobbs’s move is part of efforts to honor a settlement in 2019 with the Navajo Nation, which would allow tribal voters with mismatched or missing signatures on mail-in ballots to correct their ballots with five business days after Election Day.

However, the efforts were stopped by appeals court judges who said, in alignment with the state Republicans, that the Democrats went too far by giving absentee voters five days after Election Day to correct missing signatures on mail-in ballots.

“All ballots must have some deadline, and it is reasonable that Arizona has chosen to make that deadline Election Day itself so as to promote its unquestioned interest in administering an orderly election and to facilitate its already burdensome job of collecting, verifying, and counting all of the votes in timely fashion,” the appellate court said.

The new law codified the appeal court’s ruling by adding an amendment to the current Arizona election law. The amendment requires all mail-in ballots to be delivered to the county recorder, other officers in charge of the election, or polling sites no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

“The ballot will not be counted without the voter’s signature on the envelope,” reads the amendment.

Another amendment in the new law required election officers to contact the voter if the signature is missing on the ballot. The deadline for adding a signature to a ballot should be no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer had urged Ducey to veto the measure, saying it would undermine the 2019 settlement.

Senate Unveils Election Contempt Charge Against Maricopa County Supervisors

The Arizona State Senate is moving ahead with its threat to pass a contempt resolution finding Maricopa County has failed to comply with a subpoena demanding access to elections equipment and ballots cast in the November election.

The Senate introduced the resolution on Feb. 3. Timing on a full Senate vote is unclear, but all 16 Republican senators, a majority of the 30-member Senate, are listed as sponsors.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (four of its five members are registered as Republican) on Feb. 2 again refused to comply with subpoenas GOP lawmakers issued to investigate ballots and voting machines as they try to ensure election integrity.

Courts have declined to accept lawsuits questioning election integrity. The Associated Press and other left-wing media claim the courts say there is no evidence Donald Trump lost; both the claim and the alleged “lack of evidence” are false.

Texas sues Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, charging ‘unconstitutional’ election actions

Stiglich editorial cartoon; Biden's gov't steal

The State of Texas is aiming to help Trump upend the election result. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (a Republican) filed suit at the U.S. Supreme Court against the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, calling changes those states made to election procedures amid the coronavirus pandemic unlawful and unconstitutional.

“You might be wondering, what does Texas care about Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin?” Rush Limbaugh said Dec. 8. “If those four states are allowed to violate election law and if they are able to render state legislators irrelevant in writing election law, then they are being affected in Texas by violation of law, and they don’t want that to happen. They’re trying to make sure that election law is kept sacrosanct and that the Constitution is not violated. It’s a big case.”

Texas filed a motion for leave to file a “Bill of Complaint” with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin’s administration of the 2020 presidential election. The Supreme Court gave the states being sued a deadline of 3 p.m. Dec. 10 to file a response to Texas’ suit. Texas’ filing, which includes a request for expedited review and a preliminary injunction, runs more than 150 pages.

Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over certain types of cases, including those involving disputes between states. However, the court has to agree to hear the dispute, which is why Texas is asking for permission to file its suit.

“In its memorandum in support of its motion, Texas argues that the case ‘presents constitutional questions of immense national consequences,’ namely that the 2020 election suffered from serious constitutional irregularities, including violations by the defendant states of the Electors Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution,” Margot Cleveland writes in The Federalist. “The brief also argues that a ruling would help ‘preserve the Constitution and help prevent irregularities in future elections’.”

Along with its Motion for Leave to File a Bill of Complaint, Texas also filed a Motion for Expedited Consideration of its motions, including its second motion, a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, Temporary Restraining Order, or Alternatively a Stay. In this latter motion, Texas asks the court to order Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania not to take any action to certify presidential electors, participate in the Electoral College, or vote for a presidential candidate until the Supreme Court resolves Texas’s lawsuit.

Noting that federal law establishes Dec. 8 as a safe harbor for certifying presidential electors, that the Electoral College votes on Dec. 14, and the House of Representatives counts votes on Jan. 6, Texas implores the court to expedite the proceeding, as “absent some form of relief, the defendants will appoint electors based on unconstitutional and deeply uncertain election results.”

Count 1 – States Violated the Electors Clause

Notwithstanding some (mostly liberal) pundits calling the Texas lawsuit a “Hail Mary” attempt to block the outcome of the 2020 election, the Lone Star State’s complaint presents serious constitutional issues. Those issues, as Texas puts it, far exceed the electoral irregularities of “the hanging-chad saga of the 2000 (Bush-Gore) election.”

In its Bill of Complaint, filed along with its Motion for Leave, Texas presents three constitutional challenges. Count 1 alleges the defendant states violated the Electors Clause of the Constitution.

The Electors Clause of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides “[e]ach state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” As Texas notes, this clause “makes clear that only the legislatures of the States are permitted to determine the rules for appointing presidential electors.”

But, as Texas reveals in its detailed summary of the facts, each of the defendant states, through non-legislative actors, nullified legislatively established election laws in violation of the Electors Clause. For example, The Federalist reports and the lawsuit alleges, several large Wisconsin counties used drop boxes in direct violation of the Wisconsin Election Code that provides detailed procedures by which municipalities may designate sites for the acceptance of absentee ballots. Wisconsin election officials also ignored the statutory certification requirements for absentee ballots, counting votes that the state legislature defined as illegal because they did not include a witness signature and address.

Michigan election officials likewise violated the statutory mandates established by the state legislature, with the secretary of state mass mailing absentee ballots in contravention of state law. And in Wayne County, the home of Detroit’s Democratic stronghold, election officials ignored the state’s signature verification requirement. Georgia also violated the legislature’s requirement for signature verifications, according to Texas’s complaint.

The most egregious violations alleged came from Pennsylvania, where election officials ignored the statutory bar on inspecting ballots before election day, then illegally provided voter information to third parties and allowed illegal curing of the ballots. Significantly, in Pennsylvania these illegal practices only occurred in Democratic strongholds, with Republicans following the law.

These and other practices, Texas alleges, establish a clear violation of the Electors Clause, because that clause makes clear that it is the state legislature—and not administrative agencies, election officials, or even courts—charged under our constitutional system with selecting electors. (This argument finds support in the three-justice concurrence authored by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist in Bush v. Gore.) From there, Texas’s Count 1 argues that “electors appointed to Electoral College in violation of the Electors Clause cannot cast constitutionally valid votes for the office of President.”

Count 2 – States Violated the Equal Protection Clause

In Count 2, Texas relied on the same facts, then asserted an Equal Protection claim, premised on the reasoning of the majority opinion in Bush v. Gore. In Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution is violated when states apply differing standards for judging the legality of votes cast for president.

“The right to vote is protected in more than the initial allocation of the franchise,” the Supreme Court wrote. “Equal protection applies as well to the manner of its exercise. Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of another.”

Then, citing its detailed statement of the facts, which highlighted the defendant states’ disparate treatment of voters, Texas argues in Count 2 that “equal protection violations in one State can and do adversely affect and diminish the weight of votes cast in States that lawfully abide by the election structure set forth in the Constitution.”

Count 3 – States Violated the Due Process Clause

Finally, in Count 3, Texas asserts a violation of the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. This claim is premised on Texas’s allegation that the election practices of the defendant states in 2020 reached “the point of patent and fundamental unfairness,” thus violating substantive due process.

These three counts, and the detailed facts Texas alleges, make clear that Texas’s beef is not with the states’ election laws, but with the states’ violation of their own election laws, in contravention of the U.S. Constitution.

Seventeen other states have filed briefs supporting Texas’ suit.

Texas’ Standing to Sue

Merely alleging the defendant states violated the Constitution, however, is not enough. Texas must also establish that it has “standing” to sue, meaning it has been injured in a way entitling it to stand before the court and seek redress. In its Motion for Leave, Texas argues at great length that it has standing, and presents three separate bases for it.

First, Texas claims the right to present the constitutional claims of its citizens, who “have the right to demand that all other States abide by the constitutionally set rules in appointing presidential electors to the electoral college.”

Second, Texas “presses its own form of voting-rights injury as States” premised on the structure of the Constitution. “Whereas the House represents the People proportionally, the Senate represents the States,” Texas notes. Thus, “[w]hile Americans likely care more about who is elected President, the States have a distinct interest in who is elected Vice President and thus who can cast the tiebreaking vote in the Senate,” the Texas brief stresses. “Through that interest,” the brief continues:

States suffer an Article III injury when another State violates federal law to affect the outcome of a presidential election. This injury is particularly acute in 2020, where a Senate majority often will hang on the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote because of the nearly equal — and, depending on the outcome of Georgia run-off elections in January, possibly equal — balance between political parties. Quite simply, it is vitally important to the States who becomes Vice President.

Finally, Texas argues it has standing to sue as a representative of the state’s “electors.” These electors, Texas argues, suffer a “legislative injury whenever allegedly improper actions deny them a working majority.” Since “[t]he electoral college is a zero-sum game,” the unconstitutional appointment of electors in other states injures Texas’s electors, according to the briefing.

Texas is Not Seeking to Overturn the Election

These injuries, Texas asserts, demand a remedy. But the remedy sought is not what some may surmise is the goal—a second term for President Trump. No, what Texas seeks is for the Supreme Court to mandate that the defendant states comply with the Constitution, and that means that electors are selected by the states’ legislatures. Texas makes this point clear, stressing: “Plaintiff State does not ask this Court to decide who won the election; they only ask that the Court enjoin the clear violations of the Electors Clause of the Constitution.”

Texas’ filing includes the following:

Our Country stands at an important crossroads. Either the Constitution matters and must be followed, even when some officials consider it inconvenient of our of date, or it is simply a piece of parchment on display at the National Archives. We ask the Court to choose the former.

RNC Chair Says Trump ‘Is Not Done Fighting’

RNC chair says Trump's still fighting, Townhall saysStiglich cartoon borrowed from Townhall.com

After a series of legal setbacks this week, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee say the President is nowhere near to throwing in the towel.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said the president still has not conceded. Before explaining voter inconsistencies that they are still pursuing, McDaniel said Nov. 24 on Fox News, “He (Trump) is not by any means giving up this fight,”

“We still have a recount going on in Wisconsin,” she said, “with major issues in how their election laws were applied with over 200,000 people saying they were indefinitely confined, that is four times more than happened in 2016. It just doesn’t seem correct.”

And that, she explained, “helps them to evade voter ID laws.”

Townhall.com reports that McDaniel pointed out other suspicious activity in Georgia. In 2018, 280,000 absentee ballots came in with a 3 percent rejection rate. In this election, 1.2 million ballots came in, with a rejection rate equal to one-tenth of that — three-tenths of a percent. The governor announced a recount to take a closer look at the signatures. In Michigan, the Board of Canvassers voted that there should be legislative review of the election process.

In other words, McDaniel said, “There’s a lot still going on.”

In their Nov. 20 press conference, then-campaign lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani claimed to have proof of vast voter fraud. Powell even went so far as to say that Trump won re-election in a landslide. Since those bombshell statements, the Trump campaign has parted ways with her. But Powell insists she’s still going to prove her allegations.

Several ‘Republican’ Senators Cave-in to Media Demand That Trump Concede

At least six Republican Senators have thrown in the towel, rejecting legal battles to question the fraudulent presidential election and congratulating Democrat Joe Biden on his apparent victory.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it was “past time” to begin the transition to a Joe Biden administration. He joins Senators Mitt “Mittens” Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), daddy’s girl Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) in congratulating Biden and Harris.

Cramer said, “I agree there has to be an end. I frankly do think it’s time —well, it was past time to start a transition or at least to cooperate with the transition. I would rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare should Joe Biden end up winning this. But in the meantime, again, he’s just exercising his legal options.”

As reported in Breitbart News, anchor Chuck Todd said, “I just want to confirm, you believe the head of GSA tomorrow morning at this point ought to say the transition needs to begin, it looks like Joe Biden will be the apparent winner. Yes, there’s more to go through. This is what the head of GSA said. Yes, there’s still more to go through, but it looks like Joe Biden is the apparent winner. Let’s allow the transition process to begin. Should that be what happens tomorrow morning?”

“Yeah, it should happen tomorrow morning because it didn’t happen last Monday morning,” Cramer said. “I think you have to begin that process, give the incoming administration all the time you need. I will also say this — I think Vice President Biden has been a bit overdramatic as it relates to Operation Warped Speed and distribution of the vaccines and things. None of those things are a secret. The military is in charge of Operation Warped Speed. The military still will be there after the election, but there are a lot of other things”

“I informed my staff well over a week ago they had to cooperate with any transition outreach because we want to be prepared. We have a government to run regardless of who the president is,” Cramer said.

In a statement on Saturday, Nov. 21, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said, “I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. They are both dedicated public servants and I will be praying for them and for our country. Unsurprisingly, I have significant policy disagreements with the President-elect. However, as I have done throughout my career, I will seek to work across the aisle with him and his administration, especially on those areas where we may agree, such as continuing our efforts to combat COVID-19, breaking down barriers to expanding trade, supporting the men and women of our armed forces, and keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”

The statement concluded, “To ensure that he is remembered for these outstanding accomplishments, and to help unify our country, President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process.”

Arizona Gov. Ducey Won’t Accept Election Results Until All Lawsuits Are Settled

PHOENIX, AZ. – Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state’s election isn’t over until all court cases have been settled, as the Trump campaign and state GOP filed lawsuits in Maricopa County in a bid to block officials from certifying the election results due to alleged voter irregularities and improprieties.

“There are legal claims that are being challenged in court and everybody on the ballot has certain access rights and remedies and if they want to push that they are able. Once those are adjudicated and the process plays out, I will accept the results of the election,” the Republican governor said in a news conference on Wednesday. It was the first time he held one since the Nov. 3 election.

Gov. Doug Ducey, R-AZ

Ducey has not called Democratic challenger Joe Biden the winner of the election. The governor noted that he heard about voting issues in the state but hasn’t personally seen any evidence.

Arizona state law gives all Arizona counties until Nov. 23 to certify the results of the election. Then, the counties are to send in their results to the Secretary of State’s office, which then has another 10 days to certify the statewide results. The Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, has called Trump’s “base” of supporters “neo-Nazis.”

Biden and Trump

While several news outlets have described Biden as the president-elect and declared him the winner, outlets such as The Epoch Times has not, pending the outcome of lawsuits and other processes needed to complete the election and finally declare a winner.

The Electoral College votes next month, and Congress will hold its Joint Session to formally count electoral votes and declare official election results in early January. According to the unofficial vote count, as of Nov. 18, Biden is ahead of Trump by about 11,000 votes in Arizona. Earlier this week, the Arizona GOP moved to halt county officials in the state to delay certifying their results.

“The party is pushing for not only the county supervisors but everyone responsible for certifying and canvassing the election to make sure that all questions are answered so that voters will have confidence in the results of the election,” said Zach Henry, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party, reported The Associated Press.

The party also filed a lawsuit to request a hand-count in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, of a sampling of ballots. They also are seeking a court order prohibiting the county from certifying results until that case is decided.

“This case is about delay—not the adjudication of good faith claims,” lawyers for Secretary of State Hobbs said in response, AP reported. Hobbs, a Democrat, also claimed Nov. 18 she is receiving threats of violence following the election, alleging that Trump and other GOP members are spreading misinformation. Hobbs did not provide any evidence for her claims of violence.

-Updated Nov. 19, 2020

Georgia Recount Reveals 2,600 Uncounted Ballots In Pro-Trump County

A recount of ballots in Georgia’s presidential race revealed more than 2,600 ballots in Floyd County that were never entered into the final tally, The Daily Wire reports.

Floyd County Republican Party Chairman Luke Martin says the ballots, once counted, will likely give President Trump a roughly 800-vote bite into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s roughly 14,000-vote lead, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Trump is currently leading Biden in Floyd County by a nearly 43% margin of difference.

The recovered votes may also help out GOP Sen. David Perdue, who is roughly 14,000 votes away from securing 50% of the vote in his bid for reelection and avoiding a runoff against Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office said the votes were missed because election workers failed to upload a memory card containing the votes into a ballot counting machine. The Floyd County discrepancy does not appear to be a widespread issue, the office of the secretary of state said.

Gabriel Sterling, the state’s voting system manager called it “an amazing blunder” and said the county’s elections director should resign.

“It’s not an equipment issue. It’s a person not executing their job properly,” Sterling told the Journal-Constitution. This is the kind of situation that requires a change at the top of their management side.”

Three Wrong Counts In Three Minutes’: Georgia Recount Auditor Says Things Aren’t Adding Up

A Republican National Committee monitor in the Georgia recount efforts came forward claiming he witnessed a counted wrongly calling out votes. According to the monitor, the counter called votes that should have gone to President Donald Trump and claimed they were for former Vice President Joe Biden, reports Townhall.com.

“So, second person was supposed to be checking it, right. So, three times in three minutes she called out Biden. The second auditor caught it and she said, ‘No. This is Trump.’ Now, that’s just while I’m standing there,” Hale Soucie, the monitor explained. “So, does the second checker catch it every time? But this lady, three times in three minutes, from 2:09 to 2:12, she got three wrong.”

Soucie said he left the original table he was where they were recounting ballots for Cobb County. He claimed he left the table because the second person wasn’t looking at the vote, but was automatically assuming that the first counter was correct.

According to the insider, table 17, where they were counting votes for Cobb County, was where the woman called the wrong votes. Table 18, which was also counting votes for Cobb County, is where Soucie said he witnessed the second person not looking at the ballots.