With the 2020 election being one of the most contentious elections in a generation, many states are still investigating their election results. The four states conducting audits of various aspects of their 2020 election results are Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
At the Veterans, Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona, an extensive forensic audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results is currently taking place. The Arizona Senate began the auditing process back in January due to widespread reports of fraud and irregularities in Maricopa County. However, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors refused to comply with the Arizona Senate until Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ordered them to do so on February 26, 2021.
The comprehensive audit of all of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots from the 2020 election is being conducted by the security firm Cyber Ninjas. The firm uses a unique process to examine the ballots that include identifying differences in ballot text, color, and thickness, as well as inspecting mail-in ballots for folds and verifying the signatures on each ballot. If the process is proven effective at identifying fraud and anomalies, it will likely be used by other states as a model for audits of their own 2020 election results. The Maricopa County forensic audit is currently over 60% completed and is expected to be completed by the end of June.
In Georgia, 531 prominent Republicans recently sent a letter to Governor Brian Kemp urging him to launch a full forensic audit into the state’s 2020 election results. The letter was signed by various Georgia Republicans, ranging from grassroots conservative activists to Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer.
News of the bombshell letter comes as an audit of all of Fulton County, Georgia’s absentee ballots are set to begin. According to a recent ruling from Henry County Superior Court Judge Brian Amero, approximately 147,000 absentee ballots from Fulton County, Georgia’s November 2020 election must be unsealed and audited.
The ruling came after a lawsuit was filed in the Fulton County Superior Court that alleges extensive instances of voter fraud and voting irregularities occurred in Fulton County during the 2020 election. If the audit in Fulton County produces evidence of voter fraud or voting irregularities, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will be compelled to authorize a statewide forensic audit that emulates the one currently being conducted in Arizona.
In the small town of Windham, New Hampshire, discrepancies in their 2020 election results could have statewide or nationwide implications. New Hampshire election officials recently conducted a post-election audit in the town of Windham due to major differences between reported election results on Election Night and reported election results after a hand recount. On Election Night, election results showed that Republicans swept all four of Windham’s state representative races. However, Democrat Kristi St. Laurent lost a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives by just 24 votes. As a result, she requested a recount.
The results of the recount did not go in her favor. Following a hand recount of the election results in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives Rockingham County district seven-race, the margins between each candidate changed significantly. The vote totals for each of the four Republican candidates on the ballot in the race increased by around 300, whereas Democrat St. Laurent’s vote total decreased by nearly 100.
While the recount did not change the overall outcome of the election, the major discrepancies between the results tabulated by voting machines and the results reported by the hand recount appear to show a potentially major flaw in the voting machines. For this reason, the New Hampshire Senate unanimously passed S.B. 43 on April 12, 2021. The bill authorized an audit of ballots and voting machines in Windham to determine why the reported results on Election Night and the results reported after the recount differed tremendously. A report that details the results of the audit will be published by July 11, 2021. If the major discrepancies identified in the Windham recount are confirmed by the audit, a statewide audit of the 2020 New Hampshire election results will likely be imminent.
Although there is currently no official outline for a statewide audit of Pennsylvania’s 2020 election results, a delegation of three Pennsylvania lawmakers toured the site of the Arizona audit last week. Members of the delegation included Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman, Pennsylvania State Senator Cris Dush, and Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano.
After the tour, the delegation members called for an audit similar to the Arizona audit to take place in Pennsylvania. To quote Sen. Doug Mastriano, “I’m convinced it needs to happen here…Should an audit happen in Pennsylvania, the Arizona model is the one.” This move is obviously popular with the people of Pennsylvania, considering the fact that over 50,000 Pennsylvania residents have already signed a petition calling for a full forensic audit of their state’s 2020 election results. With various audits in three other states nearly complete, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to conduct a forensic audit of their 2020 election results that incorporates the best aspects of each preceding audit.
Since there is no precedent for the post-election audits being conducted in numerous states, the future is still unclear. What is clear is that there was something extremely unique about the 2020 election that warrants these unconventional audits across America.
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