Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has published an interim report he sent to AZ Senate President Karen Fann with the findings from the Maricopa County forensic election audit for the November 2020 election, and in his report, he’s calling for criminal prosecutions.
In his letter to Senator Fann, AG Brnovich writes: “Six months ago, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office received reports sent from the Arizona State Senate concerning its Maricopa County Forensic Election Audit. In addition, the Attorney General’s Election Integrity Unit (EIU) has received and is reviewing additional complaints alleging election failures and potential misconduct that occurred in 2020.
“Our team of EIU investigators and attorneys has now collectively spent thousands of hours reviewing the Senate’s audit reports and other complaints, conducting interviews, and analyzing Maricopa County’s election system and processes,” Brnovich explained. He states that they have concluded that there were “serious vulnerabilities” that “must be addressed” in Maricopa County.
In his letter to Sen. Fann, Arizona’s chief law enforcement officer, AG Brnovich officer revealed that the EIU has found individuals that committed voter fraud, saying “they have been or will be prosecuted” for “various election crimes.” Because the investigation is ongoing, Brnovich cannot disclose the specific criminal and civil investigations.
Here is a small portion of the report that talks about the broken signature verification process. In Maricopa Co, there were 206,648 early ballot affidavit signatures (an ave. of 4.6 seconds per signature), leaving the system vulnerable to error fraud and oversight issues.
Given the issues the EIU faced in obtaining election records in a timely matter, the report is recommending that laws be changed to allow immediate production of election records when requested by the AZ attorney general.
The report recommends that the law be amended to include individuals who vote early and provide an ID when voting. They are also asking for more specific requirements for signature verification.
The report also found serious issues with the transportation of ballots from dropbox locations to election headquarters. The report estimates between 100,000 and 200,000 ballots were transported without a proper chain of custody. Additionally, the report claims no election protection measures exist for the chain of custody in the upcoming 2022 elections.
Liz Harrington tweeted about the lack of chain of custody for 100K – 200K ballots in Arizona where Trump lost the state by only 10,457 votes in 2020.
AG Brnovich says 100,000 to 200,000 ballots in Maricopa County broke chain of custody in an election called by 10,457 votes pic.twitter.com/b4oiFk0KNK
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) April 7, 2022
Brnovich wants to ensure the current law that went into effect on Sept 29, 2021, which makes it unlawful to use private or non-governmental grant money to prepare, administer or conduct elections in AZ, is being enforced. The report found that almost $8 million in private, non-governmental grand money was given to targeted counties (Democrat strongholds) under the direction of Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the 2020 election. The AZ AG promised to continue their investigation into where that money was spent in the 2020 election, saying their initial review “raises serious questions about where that money was spent.”
The Auditor-General should be given the ability to conduct future audits of elections and supply reports to the AZ legislature.
AG Brnovich’s interim report asks for an increase in penalties for election crimes, specifically for widespread ballot harvesting and for tampering with ballot drop boxes, and to strengthen protections for whistleblowers.
Finally, the interim report points out that the ultimate goal of the interim report is to restore confidence in Arizona’s elections irrespective of party affiliation. The Bush v. Gore election is used as an example of how Democrats spent “years in an uproar” over the results of the 2000 election.