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Raising Eyebrows in Maricopa County: Uncovering Irregularities in the Ballot Verification Process


In what has turned into an escalating situation in Arizona, an insider has recently shared some concerning details regarding the practices employed by Maricopa County officials during the mail-in ballot verification process. The insight casts a shadow over the recent gubernatorial race, stirring up questions about the validity of tens of thousands of ballots.

On record, Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs emerged as the winner with a slender victory margin of approximately 17,000 votes. This accounted for only 0.7 percent of the over 2.5 million ballots cast statewide. Now, however, Kari Lake, an Arizona Republican, is shining a light on potential discrepancies in the election process.

The ballot verification routine in Maricopa County operates on two levels. Level 1 reviewers inspect ballots first, and if they reject any, these go to Level 2 reviewers. These Level 2 inspectors then verify the signatures and decide whether to count the ballots or reach out to the voters to validate their identities, a process known as ‘curing.’

Yet, according to the insider, county officials seemingly dismissed opportunities to ‘cure’ ballots identified as having signature mismatches in the days following the election. This has triggered questions about why the process was not thoroughly followed.

The whistleblower reported: “We didn’t understand why we were leaving early when there were ballots left in the bins. We asked the manager if they wanted us to keep trying to call these voters to get these ballots cured, and they said no.”

Moreover, the whistleblower revealed that despite the significant number of ballots needing verification and counting, she and her fellow Level 1 reviewers were dismissed early. This left ballots being processed in the county recorder’s office without proper observation.

The whistleblower found this situation peculiar: “We thought it was odd. We had observers constantly watching what we were doing, but there were no observers there. Who was watching what they were doing?”

Furthermore, she recounted that they came across signatures that didn’t match the voting records. For instance, a ballot might bear the name “John Smith,” but the signature matched a woman’s name and not a spouse’s. This raised further concerns about how such major discrepancies could occur and go unaddressed.

During the trial, Lake’s attorney, Kurt Olsen, reported to the Maricopa County Superior Court that their analysis of the county’s data showed that at least 334,000 mail-in ballots were effectively not verified. According to Olsen, the county’s own log data shows that over 264,000 ballots were reviewed for vote signature matches at a rate less than 3 seconds, with another 70,000 at a rate of less than 2 seconds. This rapid review rate raises questions about the thoroughness and integrity of the verification process.

In addition, there were claims that the overwhelming workload led Level 2 reviewers to neglect the growing pile of ballots on their desks, sending them back to the Level 1 reviewers for another check.

According to VoteBeat Arizona journalist Jen Fifield’s report in March, workers marked 18,510 signatures as ‘non-matching’ in the 2022 general election. Of these, 15,411 voters confirmed it was their ballot or ‘cured’ their ballot, resulting in 3,099 being rejected due to bad or missing signatures.

In conclusion, the revelations from the whistleblower and the ensuing legal challenges present a compelling case for a thorough and transparent review of the election process. The implications are significant, not just for Arizona, but for the integrity of democratic processes nationwide. As citizens, we need to ensure our systems work in a fair and accountable manner. It’s clear that the situation in Maricopa County warrants further scrutiny.

Alexandra Russel
Alexandra Russel
Highly respected journalist and political commentator with over a decade of experience in the industry. Alex was born and raised in Florida, where she developed a passion for writing at a young age, leading her to pursue a degree in journalism from the University of Florida. After graduation, she worked as a political reporter for several local and national publications before being appointed as the chief editor at Conservative Fix.

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