- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 7, 2021

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs said Thursday the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County, Arizona, are still up in the air after a highly touted audit that showed President Biden won by a slightly bigger margin than was originally certified.

In a House Oversight Committee hearing examining the Arizona audit and the “threats to American Democracy” posed by similar reviews that Democrats say “undermine public confidence,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrat, asked Mr. Biggs directly who won the Arizona election.

“We don’t know, because [the] audit demonstrates very clearly, Mr. Raskin, there are a lot of issues with this election that took place. We’re going to go through those today,” said Mr. Biggs, Arizona Republican.

Mr. Biggs’ continued dismissal of the election results, even after the audit, infuriated Democrats on the panel. They say those calling the results into question continue to stoke conspiratorial claims that undermine the democratic process.”

“The barrage of lies about the 2020 election has inflicted grave damage already,” said Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, New York Democrat. “These lies are undermining public confidence in our elections. They are fostering efforts across the country to hold more partisan audits and pass anti-democratic laws to suppress votes and allow elected officials to overturn elections when their preferred candidates lose.”

Republican Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann confirmed the Maricopa County results soon after the audit by the firm Cyber Ninjas was published, showing Mr. Biden won the county by 45,469 votes, or 360 more votes than were certified last year.

The Republican-appointed witness at Thursday’s hearing, Ken Bennett, who served as the Arizona State Senate liaison to Cyber Ninjas during the audit, also testified that the review confirmed Mr. Biden‘s victory.

“We reviewed each of the almost 2.1 million ballots, and despite months of warnings from the county, our Secretary of State, election experts and most of the media that the auditors’ procedures were imprecise and unreliable, the most significant finding of the audit is that the hand count of the physical ballots very closely matches the county’s official results in the president and U.S. Senate races,” Mr. Bennett said.

But Mr. Biggs and other Republicans on the panel continued to question the results. Mr. Biggs accused Mr. Raskin of “cherry-picking” conclusions from the audit report.

“Looking from the outside, the election process in Maricopa County was fraught with problems,” he said. “If your claim is that the audit wasn’t in order, you must acknowledge several broad observations of the auditors that they made with regard to this audit — everything from procedure and conduct or misconduct on the part of the board and specific elected officials.”

Democrats have blasted the Cyber Ninjas audit as a partisan sham used to keep baseless claims over the election afloat.

“It was designed to find fraud,” Ms. Maloney said Thursday. “But it didn’t find any fraud. It was backed by millions of dollars, $6.7 million from partisan dark money groups, and it spent a year studying the election. But in the end, Cyber Ninjas came up with absolutely nothing. No fraud. No missing votes from Trump. No change in the election outcome.”

Mr. Bennett testified that while the audit did confirm a ballot count in favor of Mr. Biden, he noted several “areas where election laws were and may have been violated.” He pointed to issues with signatures and serial numbers on ballots, and common passwords being used by election officials to log into the county’s election management system.

“Some of these are findings, and some are observations and questions to which the county say they have answers and explanations,” Mr. Bennett said. “We welcome those answers.”

Despite claims, there has been no proof of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. More than 60 court cases of alleged fraud have been dismissed across the country, including some by Trump-appointed judges.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide