The Washington Examiner reported Thursday that Republicans in Arizona had discovered 2% of the duplicate ballots they were allowed to inspect had been altered to take votes away from President Donald Trump, leading to questions about the validity of the vote count in that state.
“We got to examine 100 of them,” Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward said last week, according to the Examiner. “Guess what? We found two ballots that were changed: One was changed from Trump to [Joe] Biden; one was just taken away from Trump — for no reason that we can find an explanation for.”
Duplicate ballots occur when ballots are damaged or can’t be read by the voting machine, so an election worker has to “recreate” the ballot, in Ward’s words. “They ‘duplicate’ it for the voter,” she said. These duplicate ballots are vulnerable to fraud, because the election worker could change the votes on the ballot when they duplicate it.
“This is good news because those media propagandists who say there’s no evidence of fraud can now shut up,” Ward said, as the Examiner reported. “The bad news is this looks like this election has been attempted to be stolen from President Trump.”
Is it enough?
Judge Randall Warner made the ruling that allowed Arizona GOP to inspect the ballots. “I’m inclined to err on the side of transparency and air these things out,” Warner said in late November, according to NBC affiliate 12 News in Phoenix.
The problem is, only 27,869 ballots were duplicated in the 2020 election, according to KAWC, so even if 2% of those votes turned out to be fraudulent, it would still only add 557 votes to Trump’s total.
Arizona GOP officials were also allowed to inspect 100 mail-in ballots for signature matching, and their handwriting experts found eight to 10 ballots with inconclusive signatures, the Arizona Republic reported. An inconclusive signature does not mean that the signature is not a match, however.
If up to 10% of all signatures on mail-in ballots were declared a mismatch, that would be much more significant than the 2% of duplicate ballot errors. This does not seem likely to happen, however.
In fact, the case brought by Ward and other Georgia GOP members was dismissed on Friday after Warner determined that they could not find enough vote errors or fraudulent votes to overturn the election results, KAWC reported.
Warner did allow the GOP to inspect 2,500 more ballots to see if more errors could be found, but further errors were not significant enough to negate Trump’s nearly 11,000 vote deficit in the state.
Other election challenges have also been filed in Arizona courts, as reports noted, and Trump has refused to concede the election to Joe Biden while challenges are pending there and in other states.
The state certified its results for Biden last week, claiming that no significant instances of voter fraud had been discovered, according to the Associated Press.