The Arizona Republican Party announced Wednesday it discovered two ballots among a small sample which were altered and removed from President Donald Trump’s total.
The shocking find suggests as much as 2% of the ballots could have errors, which means if the entire state’s ballots were examined, Trump could potentially overturn Joe Biden’s declared victory in Arizona.
The Trump campaign has mounted a legal challenge to the state’s election results which were certified on Monday, showing Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Dec. 14.
Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward filed a lawsuit questioning the signature verification process used to authenticate mail-in ballots, as well as the duplication process election officials use to count ballots that tabulation machines couldn’t read.
She asked Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner on Monday to allow attorneys for the state GOP to inspect a sample of 100 early ballot envelopes, as well as 100 duplicate ballots to check for any potential errors. The judge granted the request arguing the limited sample would be “enough to let us know if there’s a red flag.”
Ballots are duplicated in cases where original early ballots may not be read by tabulation machines. The process is used for ballots that arrive damaged, are printed in braille or use large print for voters with special circumstances. They must be duplicated in all cases for military and overseas voters who send their votes via a secure portal.
Ward and her team asked a judge on Wednesday to expand the scope of their inspection, but the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voluntarily provided up to 2,500 more ballots for inspection “to ensure confidence in the election results.”
Arizona GOP lawyer Jack Wilenchik wrote: “Prima facie [first impression] error rate of two percent against Trump alone is obviously of serious concern,” in a motion filed Wednesday.
The motion read:
“Of the one hundred (100) duplicate ballots that were inspected and compared to their “originals,” a ballot was identified where the original was clearly a vote for Trump, and the duplicate ballot switched the vote to Biden’s.
A second ballot was also identified on which the original ballot was clearly a vote only for Trump, but the duplicate ballot had a vote for both Trump and a “blank” write-in candidate, causing the “Trump” vote to be cancelled (due to an “over-vote”)
There were no errors observed in the sample which granted a vote to Trump, or which cancelled out a Biden vote.”
According to Maricopa County, a total of 27,859 ballots were duplicated for the 2020 election. The case is set to go to trial Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
A new election challenge was also filed Wednesday by Trump’s electors in Arizona alleging that there were more than 400,000 illegal ballots counted in the state. It also criticized the voting equipment used in metro Phoenix. The lawsuit was filed by attorney Sidney Powell.
“The multifaceted schemes and artifices implemented by Defendants and their collaborators to defraud resulted in the unlawful counting, or fabrication, of hundreds of thousands of illegal, ineligible, duplicate or purely fictitious ballots in the State of Arizona, that collectively add up to multiples of Biden’s purported lead in the State of 10,457 votes,” the complaint read.