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 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.