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Former President Donald Trump on Friday reiterated allegations of widespread fraud in the Arizona general election last November, saying news outlets are "lying" about preliminary reports suggesting the long-anticipated Maricopa County audit will confirm President Joe Biden's victory in the county last year.
Trump said he had reviewed the "huge findings in Arizona" detailing "undeniable evidence of FRAUD" in the county's general election, adding that the final report "is far different than that being reported by the Fake News Media" and calling on Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to promptly investigate the matter.
"Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to 'call it' again for Biden before actually looking at the facts — just like they did in November," Trump claimed in a statement via his Save America PAC newsletter. "The audit has uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD! Until we know how and why this happened, our Elections will never be secure."
Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America pic.twitter.com/5z4GRDDrQF
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) September 24, 2021
Trump released a second statement Friday morning alleging that election data from Maricopa County "appears to have been intentionally deleted, and ballot images were 'corrupt or missing.'" The former president also cited figures he claimed demonstrated that there were "enough fraudulent votes, mystery votes, and fake votes to change the outcome of the election 4 or 5 times over."
Leaked draft reports from the hand count of 2.1 million ballots, which was commissioned by the majority-Republican Senate earlier this year, indicated that Trump had 261 fewer votes than the county's canvass gave him, while Biden evidently earned 99 more, according to preliminary report documents obtained by the Arizona Republic. Altogether, the election audit report suggested Biden gained 360 votes, scoring him a victory of 45,469 votes in Maricopa County, the report added.
According to the preliminary summary report, which audit spokesman Randy Pullen contended is "not the final report, but it's close," to KJZZ Phoenix, auditors had several concerns after performing the monthslong election review, claiming that files were missing from the Election Management System server, data in the database related to the 2020 election had been fully cleared, and many people who had moved prior to the election cast ballots.
Trump's chief spokeswoman Liz Harrington, who reviewed a copy of the draft report, pointed to a line saying there was "a total ballot delta of 11,592 between the official canvass and the VM55 file when considering both the counted and uncounted ballots" as evidence the results should not have been certified.
"The 'official results' vs. Maricopa County's final records of who voted are off by 11,592, which is MORE than the election margin," she wrote. "How can you certify results that the County can't even back up!"
I would remind Liz and everyone else there there is a thing called secured voters. They are federal judges law enforcement officers and domestic violence victims that do not show up on th vm55 voted file. https://t.co/CsXXyOlTJy
— The AZ - abc15 - Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) September 24, 2021
Harrington's remark prompted pushback from election experts who also review the preliminary audit report, such as Garrett Archer, a former senior elections analyst for the Arizona Secretary of State's Office who presently works as a political and data analyst for a local outlet ABC15.
"I would remind Liz and everyone else there there is a thing called secured voters," Archer tweeted. "They are federal judges law enforcement officers and domestic violence victims that do not show up on th vm55 voted file."
Republican Senate President Karen Fann hired the Florida-based contractor Cyber Ninjas to lead the audit. The firm is operated by CEO Doug Logan, who has notoriously dodged media inquiries regarding the audit process since the recount began in late April.
State Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Republican with connections to the audit effort, said she spoke with Logan on the phone and tweeted the preliminary report was only a "partial draft."
"Tomorrow's hearing will render findings of great consequence," she added, implying that the preliminary report that was released to multiple media outlets is missing key details about the election review.
Brnovich's office previously ordered the county to comply with a subpoena for router images the auditors claimed they needed to complete the report, or lose its state funding, which provides nearly a third of the county's budget. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors reached a deal with the Senate on Sept. 18 to establish a "special master" to take questions from Cyber Ninjas and another firm on the audit team, CyFIR, providing them with the information contained on the routers they say they needed to finish the report.
Maricopa County officials, who largely opposed the Arizona Senate's audit in court until a judge ruled its subpoenas were "legal and enforceable," previously authorized two election machine audits that found no irregularities in the county's 2020 election. There was also a recount of a sample of ballots that did not turn up any problems.
County Chairman Jack Sellers released a statement to the Washington Examiner on Thursday after media articles came out over the preliminary audit report, saying that he suspects the Senate will accuse the county on Friday "of not cooperating, failing to fill holes in the knowledge of the Senate's chosen contractor."
Sellers accused the audit team of having "no idea how to run any election," adding that the county on Friday "will correct their errors and misrepresentations about the processes they don’t understand."
"I hope those holding on to their anger for the past 10 months will see the truth and put their energy into supporting the democratic process instead of trying to tear it down," Sellers said.
Biden defeated Trump in Arizona by more than 10,000 votes in 2020. Biden edged out Trump by 45,000 votes in Maricopa County, where the former president and other Republicans in the state have alleged fraud despite denials from election officials.
The Senate is set to debut its complete audit report on Friday at 1 p.m. local time, and it will be livestreamed online.
The Washington Examiner contacted the office of Brnovich but did not immediately receive a response.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese