Jennifer Morrell of the Washington Post gave us a view into the Arizona election recount, and it was bizarre to say the least. Morrell shares that she was asked by the Arizona Senate to serve as an observer. While she expected “unusual things,” what she witnessed went beyond unusual. The Senate hired an outside contractor to handle the recount—a contractor with no elections experience—called Cyber Ninjas, which in and of itself sounds bogus. While Morrell said that she “expected it to be unconventional,” in the end, she said it was “so much worse than that.”
According to Morrell, this election recount was completely mismanaged. She was followed by random Cyber Ninjas, who frequently reported her for things they thought “suspicious,” like her foot crossing the tape perimeter and repeated requests to test her pen to ensure that it had red ink. These issues alone tell you just how effective this group must have been in recounting votes while keeping their eyes open for “suspicious activity.” Morrell described “spinning conveyor wheels,” which sent ballots to “counters” who displayed incredible difficulty in keeping up. She saw ballots getting past the counters, who would then stop the wheel from processing new ballots.
In the real world, ballots are carefully reviewed, inspected, and verified, all of which takes time. In Arizona, the processes used made everything run at warp speed, setting up room for error, especially when those who are counting have no experience in elections. This sounds completely crazy and cannot be even remotely accurate. Making matters worse, tallying tables were composed of three volunteers who considered their work complete if two of the three matched and the third was off by no more than two ballots. Morrell shared that volunteers recounted their tallies only if they found three or more errors, regardless of how many ballots they had tallied. This created a situation ripe for error. They thought the original count was bad. This is beyond bad; it is ridiculous. They had no idea who had counted how many ballots, and no types of checks and balances systems were in place. They simply took the words of people who had never done this type of work before.
In addition to the counting, the group had a “forensic paper audit” to flag “suspicious” ballots. Some ballots were chosen for audit if they were “missing security markers,” which Morrell said is impossible because voting machines reject ballots that contain no security markers. They also marked ballots that had been folded because they decided that “only absentee ballots would be folded” and further marked ballots that had stains. The worst part of this ridiculous undertaking was the use of equipment that had not been federally tested or approved. They were basically making this up as they went along. This is not good and has absolutely nothing to do with verifying the election in Arizona. It was more like a dog and pony show, and any reports that come out of it are to be eyed with suspicion. Once again, Republicans show that they have lost their minds.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years