Maricopa County’s Printer ‘Problems’ Behind the 2022 Election

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Attorneys siding with embattled GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake are insisting that Maricopa County’s mass Election Day failures were purposeful.

Mark Sonnenklar, a roving attorney with the Republican National Committee (RNC), told AZ Free News that the county experienced few of the issues during the primary election that suddenly metastasized on Election Day: faulty printer settings and incorrect ballot paper size.

Sonnenklar said that out of the 11 vote centers he visited on the primary election day, only one had major problems with tabulation: the North Phoenix Baptist Church location.

“My theory is that the county was on a trial run for the general. I believe in my heart, my gut tells me, that they planned to create this chaos on general Election Day,” said Sonnenklar. “They were testing methods to create that kind of chaos during the primary. That’s when they were figuring out how to do that.”

None have produced evidence that the Election Day failures were intentional.

Although tabulators were the initial suspect for the mass Election Day failures across the county, it turned out to be administrative errors prior to tabulation. Sonnenklar pointed out that it wouldn’t make sense for these issues to multiply due to the sheer amount of in-person voters, since printer settings and paper size wouldn’t be affected.

On Election Day, Sonnenklar said he witnessed mass tabulator issues at six of the 10 vote centers. The widespread failures were so pervasive that Sonnenklar, alarmed, reached out to other roving attorneys across the county to gather their experiences while fresh. Many reported witnessing the same failures, which lasted around eight hours and forced thousands of affected voters to cast ballots into a “door 3” slot to be manually tabulated later.

Maricopa County largely dismissed voter concerns, assuring that door 3 ballots would be tabulated properly and opting to push off a review of the chaos for a post-certification investigation. An estimated 71 sites (44 percent) out of the 211 vote centers were impacted (Lake’s attorneys claim that 132 sites were impacted, or 59 percent).

“I was receiving calls from everyone I knew in the Valley,” said Sonnenklar. “I knew there was a massive problem.”

Poll worker testimonies of election machine issues leading up to Election Day, given during the election certification in late November, aligned with Sonnenklar’s evidence gathered. Similar testimonies were also given during the Maricopa County Superior Court hearing in Lake’s lawsuit challenging the 2022 election results.

Sonnenklar stated that there were at least three primary causes of the tabulator malfunctions: timing marks and small white specks, which were uncovered before Lake’s trial, and incorrect ballot paper size, which was revealed during the trial.

Sonnenklar claimed that he spoke with election officials at various vote centers about the tabulator issue. He cited one example from a Mountain View vote center inspector who reportedly showed him that the timing marks weren’t printing correctly. The inspector backed up her claim with nearly 200 ballots fed into box 3 with faulty timing marks.

“She was definitive. She said that the problem was the timing marks on the ballot not printing dark enough,” said Sonnenklar. “She had 175 ballots that she had taken out of box 3. She showed me every one of those ballots and they were gray, they weren’t black. They hadn’t printed dark enough. All 175 of the ballots rejected by the tabulators had gray timing marks instead of black timing marks.”

As for the white specks: Sonnenklar said that another poll worker noticed that the bubbles indicating the chosen candidates weren’t filled in completely. They appeared to have little white specks where the printer failed to fill them in.

“He asked the voter if they would be willing to color in the white spec with the felt-tipped Pentel pens,” said Sonnenklar. “Every single time that the voter did that, it went through the tabulator just fine.”

The third issue, the ballot paper size, was discussed by Lake’s witness Clay Parikh, an information security officer, during the trial. Parikh testified that ballots from six of the six vote centers he inspected the day before Election Day printed 20-inch ballots on 19-inch paper. Sonnenklar noted that these six vote centers were selected randomly, and expressed concern that this represented a rate of 100 percent of vote centers being problematic.

Maricopa County didn’t dispute the erroneous ballot paper size, noting that it was a recurring issue over the last few years. However, they did dispute the number of affected vote centers (three versus Parikh’s sworn six) and pressed Parikh to admit that these ballots could be duplicated and counted. Parikh noted that those reprinted ballots could be counted, if done correctly. Sonnenklar questioned why the county didn’t solve the problem completely.

“The county maintained that the 19-inch paper on 20-inch ballots only occurred at three vote centers and that they knew about that problem from three prior elections,” said Sonnenklar. “Bottom line is, we think there were multiple reasons why the tabulators failed. In one case it was printers not printed properly. And in another case it was 19-inch paper printing 20-inch ballots.”

Sonnenklar insisted that the court wrongly dismissed Lake’s case because the judge, Peter Thompson, failed to consider whether the affected voters could’ve changed the outcome of the election. He said the judge only considered one legal standard, whether fraud occurred, but didn’t address if there was enough misconduct to render the election outcome “uncertain.” Sonnenklar contended that the judge created a high legal standard inconsistent with legal precedent.

Lake lost by over 17,100 votes, around the same number of voters affected by mass Election Day failures. Though this margin may seem slim, another race was even closer. Hamadeh, also contesting his election, lost by just over 500 votes.

“We just had to prove that the number of votes in the election could have changed the outcome of the election. I don’t think the defendants ever countered that,” said Sonnenklar. “On the legal front, I think we have a very strong grounds for appeal here. I think we made a pretty good case for overturning the decision of the trial court.”

Sonnenklar will be filing a reply brief to the county and Hobbs’ responsive briefs.

*****
This article was published by AZ Free News and is reproduced with permission.

Kari Lake: The Fight Continues

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: The Prickly Pear presents two opposing opinions and sides about the outcome of the 2022 Arizona Governor’s race. It is the belief of this publication that multiple factors were at play in the outcome of the election. The voters should always determine the candidates in their respective party via the primary process and the candidates selected by voters are the choice to be made in the general election by the voters. The fundamental question that should be asked is what can be done to prevent election debacles in the future.

That said, those responsible for the conduct of the election in Maricopa County – the County Recorder (Stephen Richer), the County Supervisors (Bill Gates, et al), and the Secretary of State (Katie Hobbs) were incompetent, dishonest, corrupt or a combination of all three. The Maricopa County 2022 election was severely compromised regardless of how and appropriately became the laughing stock of the nation for election integrity. We are concerned on all of these levels and very concerned about the integrity of the coming 2024 election given this history and the many questions the public are asking.

Obviously election integrity must be addressed and fixed with the appropriate legislative actions. Citizens should be aroused, angry and insistent on repair of election mechanics and replacement of those managing our elections. As referred to below, the GOP Chair, Kelli Ward, got involved inappropriately by supporting Kari Lake during the primary race. The GOP Chairs at the state and national levels have no business in doing this – it is up to the voters to select their candidate for the November general election, not the Chair. Kelli Ward should step down or be defeated in the coming election for state GOP Chair if only for this reason.

 

Regardless of how one feels about Kari Lake, she certainly is a fighter. Her battle in court, if she is heard, could further explain the odd outcomes in recent elections. Hopefully, this will lead to changes in both law and procedures in Maricopa County.

Some contend she is a delusional loser, who just won’t admit defeat. She lost because she alienated Republican voters. A good example of that view is expressed in the first video presented. It is true she did get fewer votes than some other Republican candidates.

It is entirely possible that a split between McCain and MAGA forces within the party cost Lake votes. It is also possible, and in fact probable, that the primary battle between Lake and Robson, aggravated by the bias during the primary by GOP Chair Kelli Ward, also was a factor.

But as the second interview suggests, the loss could also be attributed to electoral machinery that malfunctioned on a grand scale, either on purpose or because of ineptitude. We think Lake’s lawyer makes a compelling case. The second video gives the essence of the legal arguments that are being presented to the courts and they are substantial.

 

There is a third possible view that says choices one and two are not mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible that internal party rifts, or Lake herself, cost Republican votes. Yet whatever that difference was could easily have been made up by Republican voters and independents who either could not wait at the polls and did not vote or those who voted but had their ballots lost or miscounted.  Technical issues affected far more possible votes than the margin of loss because of disaffected Republicans.

In Arizona, the imperfections in the electoral system in Maricopa County in particular are obvious. It has either been a case of malevolence or extreme incompetence, or possibly both. In either case, continued controversial elections undermine the faith voters have in the process. The video below gives the essence of the legal arguments that are being presented to the courts and they are substantial.

However, we let the viewer draw his or her own conclusions.

Despite Obvious Fraud, Katie Hobbs Sworn In as AZ Governor

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The election steal is complete. Democrat Katie Hobbs took office on Jan. 2 as governor of Arizona, the first Democrat governor of the state since 2009. The private ceremony Monday at the State Capitol will be followed by a public inauguration on Thursday [Jan. 4], the Associated Press said. Meanwhile, legal challenges to the shockingly crisis-plagued Arizona midterm election have highlighted the scandals of an election that some argue, based on solid and widespread evidence of blatant fraud, is illegitimate.

It took over a week to count the votes in Arizona [a state with 80% mail-in voting] after an Election Day with astonishingly widespread printer issues and other irregularities, and Hobbs’s office pressured counties that hesitated to certify the election with a lawsuit and other threats of legal reprisals. Currently unsuccessful lawsuits from Lake and Arizona Republican Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh brought evidence of potentially election-altering irregularities.

During Lake’s election trial, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer testified to an apparent violation of state law on Arizona’s Election Day, while “the number of votes [Maricopa] county reported having counted mysteriously increased by nearly 25,000, a number greater than Katie Hobbs’ alleged 17,000-vote victory.” Despite the judge ruling against Lake, many still justly question the legitimacy of Hobbs’ election, and Lake is appealing the decision. The judge seemingly acknowledged the irregularities but claimed that they were not intentional misconduct. So I guess stealing an election and disenfranchising voters is okay if you had “good intentions”?

Katie Hobbs was Arizona’s Secretary of State during the 2022 election and thus was responsible for overseeing and certifying it. Besides pressuring Arizona counties to certify and ignoring election irregularities in 2022, Hobbs was also implicated in the 2020 election fraud scandal.

*****
This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

Maricopa County Attorney Argues That Voters Who Wait Until Election Day to Vote Then Encounter Problems Reap What They Sow

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

During day 2 of the Kari Lake election trial in Phoenix, Arizona, Maricopa County attorney Tom Liddy argued that it was “political malpractice” for a campaign to tell voters to vote in person on election day instead of voting early, and that “you reap what you sow,” meaning that Lake’s campaign lost because of strategy, not because of a printer malfunction error that rendered the ballots incapable of being machine read, long lines that led to voters being unable to vote, or other malignantly incompetent actions on behalf of Maricopa County officials.

Now, playing devil’s advocate, it may well be that even with all of the malignant incompetence on behalf of the county that Hobbs still won. However, for a county attorney to excuse all of that away with references to those who want answers as “election deniers” who shouldn’t have any expectation of working voting machines on Election Day is reprehensible.

During his closing argument, Liddy said:

But those errors, or those mishaps by machines, if you will, the effect that had on election day voters was compounded, Your Honor, not by intentional misconduct by any employee or anybody under the control of Maricopa County, but by months and months and months of communication from the current leadership of the Republican Party of Arizona and the communications specialists of the Kari Lake for Governor campaign that said, do not vote early. Even if…you got an early ballot, don’t mail it, don’t drop it off at the drop box, 2000 Mules…go on election day and vote in person.

And Lord forbid, don’t ever put your ballot in the drop box, in the ballot box, or in drawer number 3, because there’s something very scary about drawer number 3, which is nothing but a ballot box. That’s what people all over the world do with their ballots. Vote it and stick it in the ballot box. But people were terrorized by that on election day. That’s not on Maricopa County. That’s on the Kari Lake for Governor campaign. That’s on the Dr. Kelli Ward-led Arizona Republican Party communications apparatus.

So we did not see — two days of testimony and all of those affidavits came in — evidence of a botched election. We saw evidence of a botched campaign, political malpractice. Who goes out and tells their voters, don’t vote on day one of early voting, day two, day three, all the way up to day 26 of early voting. Wait until the last second. That’s political malpractice. You reap what you sow.

Your Honor, the burden has not been met. When people come into this courtroom without evidence, there should be a day of reckoning. And this has been happening all over the country, Your Honor, and it’s gotta stop, and it’s gotta stop right now, and the place to stop it is right here in your courtroom, Your Honor, right here in Mesa, Arizona. This has gotta stop.

We’ve gotta get back to respecting elections, because that’s all we have, Your Honor. Different religions, different creeds, different ethnicities, different backgrounds, there’s only one thing that makes us Americans, and that’s, we believe in choosing our own election — our own rulers, our own governors, our own mayors, our own presidents, and we do that through elections.

He’s got a slightly warped understanding of what makes us Americans, and an even more warped view of what we’re voting for when we cast our ballots, but we’ll set all that aside for a moment.

What exactly does counsel mean by “without evidence”? Simply because he doesn’t agree with the evidence doesn’t mean that there is no evidence…..

*****

Continue reading this article at Red State.

 

 

Read more…

The Dismissal of Kari Lake’s Election Lawsuit Shows Voter Disenfranchisement No Longer Matters

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The trial court judge in Kari Lake’s election lawsuit predictably threw out her case on Saturday, putting on a sham trial that on the surface looked fair to the general public that doesn’t know any better, but to legal minds was a travesty of justice. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson only gave her two days for a trial and issued his ruling immediately afterwards, even though he could have taken several days, and it was one of the biggest, most important cases in the country. Legal experts believe his decision was ghostwritten, they suspect top left-wing attorneys like Marc Elias emailed him what to say.

The standard should have been whether voters were disenfranchised, not all the additional hoops Thompson added. If inner city blacks had been disenfranchised, Thompson would not have added all those extra requirements, he would have made the law fit. Robert Gouveia, a rare attorney who isn’t afraid to speak up and who describes himself as watching prosecutors, judges and politicians, said the standard should have been whether there was voter suppression.

Instead, Thompson said Lake had to show an extremely vague, high bar in order to prevail, that an election official intentionally caused the printer changes in order to change the results of the election, and that it did affect the outcome. He explained away many of the disturbing election anomalies as accidents or mere coincidences. He ignored the vast majority of them; in a show of arrogance, his opinion was less than eight pages long.

Thompson completely ignored all the voters who saw the long lines and gave up trying to vote, as if they didn’t count. Considering probably well over half of the voting locations in Maricopa County were affected, not to mention they were almost all in heavily Republican areas, this was no small disenfranchisement. Many voters have come forward and told how they were unable to vote for this reason or similar, such as a man who couldn’t find parking in time due to the overcrowded parking lot…..

*****

Continue reading this article at Townhall.

Judge Dismisses Kari Lake’s Election Lawsuit

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

An Arizona judge on Saturday ruled against Kari Lake in her challenge of Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs’s (D) victory, dismissing the highest-profile case challenging the midterm election results.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson following a two-day trial found that Lake had not proven that election officials committed intentional misconduct sufficient to change the race’s outcome.

Lake, who lost to Hobbs by about 17,000 votes, had alleged election officials in Maricopa County intentionally sabotaged her victory by causing Election Day printer malfunctions and violating chain of custody procedures.

Lake asked the judge to declare her the rightful winner or order a new election in Maricopa County. Hobbs will be inaugurated on Jan. 2.

Thompson previously dismissed eight other counts alleged in Lake’s lawsuit prior to trial, ruling that they did not constitute proper grounds for an election contest under Arizona law, even if true, but the judge permitted Lake an attempt to prove the two remaining counts in trial.

The ruling marks a major defeat for Lake, a vocal supporter of former President Trump’s unfounded 2020 election claims who has railed against the conduct of last month’s midterm elections, calling it “botched” and a “sham.” Lake sat in the courtroom during the trial but did not testify.

Her allegations largely focused on Maricopa County, which spans the Phoenix area and about 60 percent of Arizona’s population, the epicenter of voter disenfranchisement allegations in the midterms.

Election officials acknowledged that some of the county’s Election Day vote centers experienced printer malfunctions that prevented tabulators from reading ballots, but they insisted voters could utilize backup options to ultimately have their ballot counted…..

*****

Continue reading this article at The Hill.

Game-changer? Huge Revelation in Kari Lake’s Election Challenge Trial

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

It was, perhaps, a small miracle that Kari Lake’s election challenge was allowed to go to trial, but the tough part still lies ahead: proving beyond a reasonable doubt (Count II) that ballot printer problems on Election Day were intentional, designed to affect the results of the election—and that they, in fact, did—and (Count IV) that additional votes were allowed to be counted in violation of the County Election Manual.

On Wednesday, Lake’s team took a huge step toward doing that.

When asked by Lake’s attorney Bryan Blehm if the county knew on Election Day how many ballots had been submitted by the voters, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer testified that they did not. According to Richer, individual polling places did not tally the number of votes cast — an apparent violation of state law.

This is significant because Lake’s lawsuit claims, among other things, that between Nov. 9 (the day after Election Day) and Nov. 11, the number of votes the county reported having counted in the election increased by nearly 25,000 — which exceeds Katie Hobbs’ alleged 17,000-vote victory.

“Highlighting the chain of custody failures … is the fact that two days after Election Day was completed, Maricopa County found more than 25,000 additional ballots, whereas properly followed chain of custody procedures would require Maricopa County election officials to know the exact number of ballots submitted by the day after Election, November 9, 2022,” Kari Lake’s attorney explained in their legal brief…..

*****

Continue reading this article at PJ Media.

Kari Lake Trial: Election Day Chaos in Maricopa County Was Enough to Change the Results, Pollster Testifies

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The widespread voting machine issues that caused long lines and delays in Maricopa County on Election Day “definitely impacted the outcome” of Arizona’s gubernatorial midterm election and was “substantial enough” to change the result, pollster Richard Baris testified on day 2 of the Kari Lake trial.

Republican candidate Kari Lake and her legal team claim that she would have beaten Democrat Katie Hobbs had the voting equipment failures not disenfranchised her voters on Election Day.

Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson previously dismissed eight out of the ten claims Republican candidate Kari Lake made in her lawsuit, allowing only her claims that a Maricopa County employee interfered with ballot-on-demand printers, and the county didn’t follow proper chain-of-custody procedures, to go forward.

Thompson said that she would have to prove that “the printer malfunctions caused by this individual directly resulted in identifiable lost votes,” and that those lost votes impacted the results of the election.

On Wednesday, Lake’s lawyers revealed that a review of random ballots found that 48 out of 113 (42.5 percent) were “19-inch ballots produced on 20-inch paper,” causing them to be rejected.

Clay Parikh, a witness who examined the defective ballots on behalf of the Lake campaign, testified that the discrepancy looked deliberate because someone had to have changed the printer configurations.

Baris, the director of Big Data Poll, testified under oath on Thursday that the Election Day chaos caused by the tabulator issues, disproportionately affected Republican Voters and probably affected the outcome of the election.

The pollster said that people heard about the long lines in the news and on social media, and that deterred many of them from voting.

Baris explained that it may be hard for hardcore politicos to understand, but Average Joe voters have a life, and don’t have hours to spend waiting in line to vote.

“We can conclude with a degree of mathematical certainty that this affected this chunk of voters,” he said. “Is that enough to have changed the outcome? And I am offering the opinion that that range is enough to put the outcome in doubt.”

“In my professional opinion,” he added, “this definitely impacted the outcome. The only question for me is whether it had the potential to change the result, and in my professional opinion, it did—it was substantial enough change the leader board.”

*****
This article was published by American Greatness and is reproduced with permission.

BREAKING: Kari Lake Trial Reveals 42.5% of Randomly Examined Ballots Were Improper

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

According to Republican governor candidate Kari Lake’s legal team, 42.5% of examined ballots in Maricopa County for the 2022 governor’s race were illegitimate. Lake’s trial began on Wednesday were she is attempting to prove that wide scale fraud took place in Maricopa County on election day.

The Lake War Room tweeted on Wednesday that 48 of the 113 ballots that were reviewed during examination were “19-inch ballots produced on 20-inch paper.”

This one-inch discrepancy caused chaos on Election day causing the mass rejection of these votes as they were attempted to be read through the tabulators,” the Kari Lake War Room tweeted.

In a separate tweet, the Lake War Room wrote, “This is how they disenfranchised Maricopa County voters on Election Day. The ballots were designed to be unable to be read through the machines. This wasn’t an error. It was malice. The process worked exactly as they intended it to.”

One commenter on Twitter noted that there was no way the improper ballot size could have been because of “error.”

“The expert testified there are only 2 ways for the 19 inch image to have been projected onto the 20 inch ballot which would cause tabulator errors. Both methods require an administrator to change. This could not have happened by chance or error. It was fraud.”…..

*****

Continue reading this article at Trending Politics.

In One Arizona County, Child Protective Services Will Eventually Investigate Two-Thirds of Black Children

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

A staggeringly high number of families are subject to child abuse and neglect investigations in Maricopa County, Arizona.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, 63 percent of black children are investigated by the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) by the time they turn 18, according to a joint report published this month by ProPublica and NBC News. For white children, the number is only 33 percent.

One black mother was investigated by the Arizona DCS after she sought medical care when her daughter fell off a couch. Another woman had her children taken for over a year after she left them home alone for 20 minutes. Another was investigated after facing an unfounded accusation that she left her autistic child in the car while she went inside a store.

Of the dozens of parents ProPublica and NBC News interviewed, “almost all described a system so omnipresent among Black families that it has created a kind of community-wide dread… Many expressed disbelief that it was so easy for the state government to enter their family realm and potentially remove their kids from them.”…..

*****

Continue reading this article at Reason.