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Arizona Senate study estimates 200k ballots counted in 2020 with mismatched signatures

Estimate is more than eight times the number of mismatches acknowledged by the county.

Published: February 24, 2022 8:02pm

Updated: February 28, 2022 1:28pm

A study of Maricopa County's mail ballots in Arizona's 2020 presidential election estimates that more than 200,000 ballots with mismatched signatures were counted without being reviewed, or "cured" — more than eight times the 25,000 signature mismatches requiring curing acknowledged by the county.

Commissioned by the Arizona State Senate, the signature verification pilot study was conducted by Shiva Ayyadurai's Election Systems Integrity Institute, which released its final report to the public on Tuesday. Ayyadurai is an engineer and entrpreneur with four degrees from MIT who bills himself as the inventor of email, a claim which critics have alleged is exaggerated.

Of the 1,911,918 early voting mail ballots that Maricopa County received and counted in the 2020 presidential election, the county reported that 25,000, or 1.3%, had signature mismatches that required curing, but only 587 (2.3%) of those were confirmed mismatched signatures.

Under Maricopa County election rules, a reviewer first compares a signature on an envelope with the signature on file for the voter, which takes about 4-30 seconds. If the signature does not appear to match, the ballot is cured, which takes three or more minutes and includes attempts to contact the voter to determine whether or not the signature is a match.

In the signature verification study, three expert forensic document examiners and three novices reviewed 499 images of early voting mail ballot envelopes to determine if the signatures on them matched with the signatures on file. All the reviewers agreed that 60 of the 499 envelopes, or 12% were signature mismatches.

The pilot study extrapolated from the sample that more than 204,430 ballots should have been cured, and 5,277 should have been rejected. 

"We want to be humble about this," Ayyadurai said in a virtual presentation of the study. "While the study is compelling, an expanded study is warranted to confirm the findings of this study."

Meanwhile, at CPAC on Saturday, an unbridled Donald Trump demanded Congressional investigation of alleged collusion between Big Tech and the Democrats to effectively rig the outcome of the 2020 election. Addressing an audience of zealous supporters in sometimes raw language, the former president decried social media censorship of news harmful to Joe Biden during the 2020 campaign and vast private donations to effectively convert public election offices into Democrat voter turnout engines in carefully targeted swing state districts.

"A Republican Congress should launch a select committee ... to get to the bottom of Big Tech’s 2020 interference," said Trump. "Let's find out who made the decision to censor the Joe and Hunter Biden corruption bombshell, which the pollsters said amounted to about 15 points, the largest illegal campaign contribution in American history.

"And let's do a full forensic audit of the $417 million given by [Facebook cofounder] Mark Zuckerberg, who used to come to the White House and kiss my ass, that they spend to take over local election offices in key Democrat counties. And I believe you're going to be hearing a lot of it.

"You know, if you're a person that wants to make a [campaign] contribution, you’re allowed to give less than $6,000. Otherwise, they put you in jail. He gave $417 million. What the hell is going on? What are we doing? $6,000 and you go to jail, $417 million spread all over the place. It's something that obviously is going to have to be looked at. It is so horrible what's happening to our country.

"We need a full accounting of all of the illegitimate turnout efforts, illegal drop boxes, and ballot harvesting that's taken place. You know, we had drop boxes 97% for Joe Biden. Because he campaigned so hard from his basement ...

"We need fair elections. You need those borders, you need those elections. The world is already waiting to see the explosive information out of Georgia where True The Vote, incredible people, has uncovered a massive illegal ballot harvesting scheme with over 2,000 ballot stuffers or, as they call them, mules. They call them mules. These are ballot stuffers ... Ballots in Georgia and other swing states were trafficked and sold on an unprecedented scale ... It was just incredible what took place that we have it on tape, it's all on tape, and it's coming out over the next three weeks."

Authorities, including some in GOP-run states, have reported not finding evidence of widespread election-altering voter fraud in the November 2020 election. However, several states have acknowledged serious irregularities or unlawful changes to election rules did occur in 2020.

For instance, Wisconsin's Supreme Court has ruled election regulators unlawfully allowed tens of thousands of absentee voters to skip voter ID checks by claiming they were "indefinitely confined" by the pandemic without suffering from a disability. And Wisconsin's legislative audit bureau found numerous other rule changes were made that were not approved by the state legislature.

In Arizona, an audit called into question more than 50,000 ballots cast in the November 2020 election, while in Georgia, state election officials have uncovered such widespread mismanagement in vote counting in Fulton County that they have begun a process to have the state run future elections in the locality that includes the city of Atlanta.

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