Brian Parsons

Brian Parsons

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”

— Joseph Stalin

Joe Biden didn’t win. That is the opinion of this author and will continue to be the opinion of a majority of Republicans indefinitely. The numbers don’t add up. Voter registration and enthusiasm data gave the advantage to Republicans. Video evidence in other contested markets supported hundreds of affidavits by witnesses to fraud. Joe Biden spent little effort campaigning. He underperformed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in every major market except for those where malfeasance is alleged. A problem arises when sifting through the weeds to get to the heart of the matter and figure out exactly what happened. In Arizona, the Senate hoped to do just that and thus they initiated a full forensic audit of Maricopa County. Maricopa is their largest county and accounts for approximately 60 percent of the entire state’s vote total.

On election night, Fox News famously called Arizona for Biden with only 3 percent of the vote reporting. By the next day, Fox News heir James Murdoch and his wife were posting celebratory tweets stating “We did it!” in getting Joe Biden elected. A bizarre proclamation from a supposedly conservative news source. For a state that was determined by about 11k votes out of over 3.3 million votes cast, the call seemed egregiously premature. The state would not officially be called for Joe Biden for eight more days as ballot counting continued. Residents immediately called foul and for good reason. Joe Biden was only the second Democrat to win Maricopa County in 70 years and had a poor showing in campaigning in the region.

Because we have a secretive ballot process it makes a post-mortem on elections challenging. There is a separate process for in-person votes than there is for mail-in votes. Because of this, a forensic audit must look at both the ballots as well as the mailed-in ballot envelopes and attempt to piece together a puzzle. This is what the Arizona state Senate attempted when they brought in audit organization Cyber Ninjas from Florida to perform an exhaustive review of Maricopa County. Things that were looked at included ballot paper type, and kinematic artifacts like whether or not a ballot is folded or bubbled in by a human hand. They looked at whether or not a ballot was a unique ballot image or a copy of a ballot. They went through voter rolls to determine if those recorded as voting were eligible voters. Finally, they performed forensic audits of the Election Management Systems (EMS) equipment itself.

If you weren’t tuned in and only read the press headlines, you would be led to believe that the forensic audit confirmed Joe Biden’s historic victory. It did no such thing. The audit confirmed that the county’s vote tally was mostly accurate. That would be the equivalent of a vote recount and not an audit. Yet the press around the country has disingenuously referred to recounts with similar findings as audits. This is a separate conversation from whether or not votes were legitimate, and it was never the Arizona Senate’s intent to take a position on this. They did not. Their goal was to initiate an audit, and if discrepancies were found in ballots and procedures to submit them to the Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for further legal investigation. It has been their contention that this forensic audit will be used to refine their electoral processes and instill confidence in the voters of Arizona.

So what were some of the reported findings? The official total of ballot discrepancies was over 57,000 and included ballots attached to invalid addresses, ballots voted in multiple counties, ballots returned that were never sent out, and ballots voted outside of their designated precincts. Some had moved out of the county or state more than 30 days before the election. In addition to these numbers, it was found there were over 17,000 duplicate ballot envelopes returned and some had even been pre-printed with a stamp of receipt. In a state with a margin for victory under 11,000 votes, these numbers raise eyebrows.

Some of the most concerning findings of the audit were of the EMS equipment itself. It was found that EMS equipment had wireless connectivity, though EMS companies claim that they do not. Some machines even had multiple bootable hard drives in them that contained voter data from states outside of Arizona. Perhaps most damning, was that election records had been wiped on three separate occasions before the machines were turned over to the Senate for audit. Federal law requires these records to be kept untouched for a period of 22 months after an election.

The county for their part provided their defense of discrepancies, including that the machines were imaged before they were wiped. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Imagine you have a crime scene in an apartment to be investigated and the apartment management takes a photo of the crime scene, scrubs it clean, and then claims they took a picture before the investigation happens. The crime scene is now irreparably tainted, and plausible deniability of guilt goes out the window. This is not only not best practice in auditing, it was illegal. This will likely be a starting point for any investigation should Attorney General Mark Brnovich move forward. Since Brnovich is running for U.S. Senate, it is doubtful he will not take the opportunity to keep his name in the headlines.

So why does the EMS audit matter if the recounts show Joe Biden with consistently more votes on paper? Where electronic voting is concerned, the paper ballot is the byproduct of the vote and not the origin of the vote. The contention of critics lies in the ability of the machines themselves to change votes in a process called adjudication. When an electronic ballot’s intent is in question, it is kicked out to a separate bucket to be manually read and interpreted in the computer. Only this process allows for ballots to be interpreted in bulk and not just on a one-off basis. This process was demonstrated in Coffee County Georgia, where an elections official walked news crews through the adjudication process.

The end result of adjudication is that after the ballot is interpreted or voted to a designated candidate by the elections worker, that ballot is then printed as voted by the adjudicator and cemented into history. The initial digital ballot image is overwritten. The software suite allows this to happen in bulk processes where ballots are merely dragged and dropped into vote folders in batches. If the machines have remote connectivity as alleged, the concern is that users are accessing the ballots in real-time and adjudicating them in bulk, thus erasing the initial intent of the voter. Elections workers reported that one in eight ballots were adjudicated in Arizona.

EMS machines keep a record of each time a machine is logged into and by whom. This is why EMS logs being erased is of concern. In addition to the EMS logs, one must also compare them to the county’s network equipment logs. Just like in your home, a network router transfers packets of data from within your network to external networks like the internet. By comparing router logs to the EMS logs, they should in theory be able to see if anyone accessed the EMS machines and from when and where. For their part, Maricopa County refused to turn over county routers for audit until after the full audit reports were released. This will be a separate but ongoing process.

It is my own contention that there is no one way of cheating that was employed and that a general lack of legitimate rules and processes will account for the results of the 2020 election. So long as Democrat markets continue to institute ballot harvesting, no-ID voting, universal mail-in balloting, and print-from-home balloting, conservatives can never win elections in these markets again. They’re too nice to play by Democrat rules. Under the guise of equality or fairness, they bend the margins of legitimacy to win at any cost. The cost will be this country. So long as this is the case, the only solution is for Republicans to bastardize their own elections in the same manner. They should stuff the ballot box with all of these illegitimate measures, and then issue blanket denials and accuse the opposition of racism in the post-mortem. I see no other way.

Brian Parsons has been a resident of Pocatello for the past seven years. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in digital media from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science degree in information systems from the University of Utah. He’s a digital marketing consultant, a proud husband and father, and an unabashed paleoconservative. You can follow him on his blog at WithdrawConsent.org.