The following is a statement from Verified Voting condemning the partisan sham review conducted in Maricopa County, Arizona and advocating for nonpartisan, transparent audits. For additional media inquiries, please contact email@example.com
PHILADELPHIA (September 24, 2021) — In April, Verified Voting joined with experts in election law and administration, national security and voting rights to write a letter outlining serious concerns about the upcoming audit in Maricopa County, Arizona. Throughout the process, it has been clear that what took place in Maricopa County was not an audit but a sham review designed to mislead the public about the trustworthiness of the 2020 election, in which record numbers of voters turned out and had their voices heard. While the review ultimately found no significant differences from the certified election results, the process posed a threat to election security, undermined the work of election officials and spread dangerous disinformation.
Audits, when done correctly, are a critical part of election infrastructure. Verified Voting strongly advocates for routine, nonpartisan, transparent audits with a clear chain of custody of ballots and other artifacts of the election. True audits do not have a political agenda — they are nonpartisan, objective and scientifically sound. True audits are usually specified in law as routine checks on election results before the results are certified. True audits are designed to protect the integrity of the voted ballots and the election system(s). Overall, true audits help voters have justified confidence that their ballots were counted as casted and contribute to a secure, trusted election system.
“The travesty in Maricopa County fails to meet any standard of a true audit. It was conducted by an unqualified, politically motivated firm at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons and using the wrong methods. The spinning-wheel hand counts, the arbitrary restrictions on observers, the reckless claims of fraud (and the quiet walkbacks), the madcap search for bamboo ballots and the endless fundraising on extremist ‘media’ outlets are just part of the humiliating legacy,” said Mark Lindeman, a national expert in post-election audits and a Director at Verified Voting.
The 2020 elections were the most secure in recent American history. Election officials worked hard in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances to make sure that voters had their voices heard and their votes counted accurately. Partisan sham reviews are an insult to voters and undermine Americans’ rights to free and fair elections. True audits have an important role to play in election security — but the sham review in Maricopa County was not an audit.