Arizona Sec State seeks to blackmail the state senate?


“Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Thursday that the voting machines Republicans turned over to private companies as part of their audit of the 2020 election are no longer safe for use in future elections.

In a letter sent to Maricopa County officials and shared with NBC News, Hobbs, a Democrat, cited security concerns about losing the chain of custody over the equipment when it was handed over to the auditors and urged the county to get new machines. If it does not, her office would consider decertifying the equipment involved in the audit, she wrote. That would remove the machines from service.

State Senate Republicans subpoenaed nearly 400 of Maricopa County’s election machines, along with ballots cast by voters in November’s election, to facilitate an unusual audit of the election results. The GOP hired private firms, led by the Florida-based cybersecurity company Cyber Ninjas, to do the work.

“I have grave concerns regarding the security and integrity of these machines, given that the chain of custody, a critical security tenet, has been compromised and election officials do not know what was done to the machines while under Cyber Ninjas’ control,” Hobbs wrote in the letter to the county’s mostly Republican Board of Supervisors, which oversees the county elections.

In Arizona, the secretary of state can decertify machinery in consultation with the state’s Election Equipment Certification Committee, a three-person panel appointed by Hobbs.

Comment: There must have been some really exquisite examples of ballot box stuffing that occurred in Maricopa County (Phoenix). Why do I say that? Surely Hobbs would not not wish to appear to blackmail the state senate in such a crude way if the ballot box stuffers were not desperately afraid of being exposed.

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25 Responses to Arizona Sec State seeks to blackmail the state senate?

  1. Deap says:

    If you can’t audit the voting machines, you don’t want to use them anyway. What is your point, Hobbs?

    • exiled off mainstreet says:

      That is the big issue. The machines should all be dispensed with and eliminate the inference of fraud, a stench which will permanently attach to such machines from here on out as a result of their successful employment in the fraud of 2020.

  2. strateshooter says:

    as a Brit…I cannot for the life of me understand how ANYONE would allow known hackable corrupt machines to participate in a Democratic election ?
    Just do a universal ban.

    • Deap says:

      I had the privilege of being an election observor in a Bristol city election – we observed the hand counting of simple cast 3×5 cards with the chosen candidates name on them – that were counted, checked, recounted and re-checked by multiple poll workers.

      There was definitely a strong sense of civic volunteerism to protect that process. Simplistic process, but I was very impressed with the spirit and attitude of all concerned. There was general agreement with the process when it was all said and done – and recounted the next day due to a very close margin.

      My candidate friend lost, but she never left questioning the vote counting process. By written ballot and counted by hand. Bristol is a large city. They could do it.

  3. Deap says:

    Georgia Fulton County judge also allows further election ballot investigations – amazing considering any election questions have been deemed baseless by the media and claim Trump lost “all court cases”. Finally, the courts are getting involved and we shall see what we see…at last.

    Note to Democrats – this can just as easily blow up in the GOP’s face as it can in your own. Sit back and let regular legal process continue. Support the laws requiring the retention of all election ballots for further review, even long after the election is over and results “certified.

    State legislators must have felt there was a need for long-term ballot retention. Why was that? Why not burn them the day after the electoral college meets and votes?

  4. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Col. Lang,

    I totally agree with your expressed sentiments concerning the Democrat mania to stop the audit.

    But, ya know, I’d be cool with ditching voting machines of all kinds, including also any hinky ideas for the enablement of online voting, toss out “motor/voter” registrations for the scam that it is, and also eliminate mail-in ballots for all but the most justifiable reasons for limited classes of people. Oh, and also terminate – with extreme prejudice – the pox of “early voting” entirely.

    Hand marked, personally submitted ballots, marked at a local polling station, only permitted upon sybmission of some generally agreed upon personal identification, and checked against the voter logs for that voting district, and only submitted on election day are the way to go. Forward to the past!

    And then, after careful and secure aggregation of these hand marked ballots, a hand tabulation of votes, under human supervision, with clear and unambiguous guidelines for acceptance of whether a ballot has been marked correctly so it can be immediately adjudicated so as to eliminate the ever popular “provisional ballots”. Then, and only then should the limited classes of mail-in ballots be accepted, and even then only with the best possible security measures in place to establish the valid identity of the submitting, district-registered voter.

    Is this so difficult? No, although the idiots of the media will have their noses put out of joint in being deprived of their breathless recountation of the incoming vote totals. Screw them, and the horses they rode in on; this is the citizenry’s election, and not some ratings bonanza structured for the benefit of these shifty parasites.

    Steady as she goes; take the time and trouble to attain maximally incorruptible balloting. Only con men try to rush their marks, and we all know why that is, and whose interests this serves.

    • Deap says:

      EU no longer allows any electronic voting in their federal elections. The saw how easily they could be hacked and felt their use undermined trust in election integrity. Short and sweet. We should do no less.

  5. scott s. says:

    Years ago I tried to find a history of voting mechanics in the US but could never find anything. I could find a few things when relatively big changes were made (adoption of single-day Presidential voting after the 1844 election, single-day Congressional elections for 1872, and adoption of the “Australian ballot” in the early 1890s) but nothing that really looked at the whole process across jurisdictions.

  6. Leith says:

    Hand counted paper ballots is the only way to go. Screw the machines. Especially after the cyber spooks got done monkeying with them.

  7. Bill H. says:

    Dip a finger in purple ink.

  8. Deap says:

    Windham County NH auditors now confirm there was a machine miscount – shorted the GOP votes while giving more votes to Democrats, after two hand counts compared to machine counts on election night:

    No explanation why this happened, but now confirmed that it did. Value of saving paper ballots for necessary review. Even after the vote count gets “certified”.

  9. The Twisted Genius says:

    Calling for new machines to replace the ones now held by uncertified, inexperienced and clearly partisan Cyber Ninjas is not blackmail. It is the only logical call to make. I have no faith that those machines and their software will not be tampered with. I believe most of those doing the recount truly believe the machines have already been tampered with and are examining the machines and ballots in good faith. However, I also believe there are some involved who are not above tampering with the machines in order to attempt to guarantee a victory for Trump Republicans in future elections.

    In 2020, 12% of voters in eight states still used some form of paperless voting. Those states were Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky and New Jersey. That’s down from 20% of voters in 14 states in 2016. Thank God Pennsylvania and Georgia switched before the 2020 election to all paper ballots. I don’t know if all states will go to paper ballots by 2022 or not or if they even plan to do so. The machines should be nothing more than optical scanners and vote tabulators. All the extra functions beyond that will continue to lead to real legitimate doubts and grist for conspiracy theories. We just have to get comfortable with national vote tallies not being available for several days or even weeks. That wait may be a worthwhile sacrifice.

    • Pat Lang says:

      I am done with you.

    • rho says:

      “We just have to get comfortable with national vote tallies not being available for several days or even weeks.”


      Do Americans have so much trouble with counting that you expect that task to take so long?

      Votes are counted all manually in Germany, provisional results get released during the night after the poll stations are closed (which is sufficient to tell who the winner is in all but the most exceptionally tight races) and final results get certified about 2 or 3 weeks after election day. You can do it, too.

      If you really want to.

      • TonyL says:

        “Do Americans have so much trouble with counting that you expect that task to take so long?”

        Yes, we do have a slow process counting the paper ballots. We practically have more than 3,000 elections at the same time. That’s the number of counties in the US. Each county follows State guidelines, but free to set their own rules.

        “Elections in the United States are administered in a highly decentralized process through which each state shapes its own election laws, which in turn shape the roles counties play in the months and weeks leading up to Election Day Elections in the United States are administered in a highly decentralized process through which each state shapes its own election laws, which in turn shape the roles counties play in the months and weeks leading up to Election Day”

        “… Counties are responsible for overseeing the allocation of voting machines, managing polling locations, ensuring the accessibility, integrity and efficiency of the polling process, and many other tasks to ensure elections run smoothly.”

        • Deap says:

          All jurisdictions have exactly the same goal: count all legally cast votes, with zero tolerance for error.

          Start with that goal, and then work backwards to establish process that accomplishes that goal.

          In today’s world why is this simple goal, complicated or hard to accomplish?

  10. Alves says:

    I would not be surprised if the audit can`t point to a noteworthy difference between the hand counted paper ballots and the eletronic counted totals. Chances are that it will point to some poorly written software code and/or procedures, though.

    Why do I say that? Because there should be leaks by now. Anyway, time will tell.

    • Deap says:

      Windham County, NH did find material differences between hand and machine counts after their official audit. I believe part of the CyberNinja AZ contract was no preliminary ongoing reports and no leaks. Some private operations still honor that commitment.

      “Leaks” tend to come from government operations and the only reason there were no leaks from the Mueller Russia-Gate operation was because the partisan participants did not like their findings – no Russia -Trump connection.

      I would say the Durham investigation is not suffering from leaks either – but it may just as easily dropped off the face of the earth and into the unending cosmos for all value coming out of that tax payer expenditure. No pulse detected, even though our astronomical capacities can detect distant pulsars.

  11. PRC90 says:

    “are no longer safe for use in future elections.”
    In her attempts to gild a Trumpian lily, she appears to be unwittingly saying that should the machines come under the control of some malfeasant, the machines must then be regarded as unreliable in a way not detectable by the manufacturer or the State of Arizona.
    How interesting !

  12. Bobo says:

    Ms Hobbs is onto something but has not thought it through fully. The voting machine is ancient in the technology world and needs to go. Do we go with modern (less than 10 years of age) voting systems, nope, or back to the hand count, yes, as we humans are a contrarian bunch who trust nothing or no one. It has nothing to do with who was on the ballot, when one goes to bed late at night seeing one individual well ahead and waking the next morning seeing that individual well behind, that human knows something odd happened and chicanery is the first thing that comes to mind.
    Now Optical Scan voting systems and its vote tabulators have proven technical problems but are inexpensive in the grand scheme of vote counting. Biden and Congress need to provide a few hundred billion out to the counties so they can hire and train vote counters as that is the only way out of this for the time being. The States need to set manual vote counting procedures and insure that the vote counters equal the electorate demographics and are representative of the local political parties.
    We will still have that human problem though. Continue the audits as that is how we learn.

    • Deap says:

      Reminds me how the great fortress of Golcanda in Hyderabad India with its layers and layers of highly engineered and for the times highly sophisticated security measures was finally breached, …….. someone bribed the guard to leave a back door open.

      The massive , sprawling fort complex remains a wonder to be seen and appreciated, especially its acoustic detection capacities. No mention how large the bribe was.

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