Time now for the Journalists’ Roundtable and for a look at some of this week’s top stories, we welcome Luige del Puerto of the Arizona Capitol Times and Hank Stephenson, the co-founder of Arizona Agenda.
This week’s Journalists’ Roundtable covered:
- Election Audit
- Chucri Resignation
What was your reaction to the ballot audit report?
Luige del Puerto: “The results that were released are pretty much the same as the final results of this audit. The big takeaway is that the canvas match pretty accurately the results of the hand count audit. Biden won by a couple more votes in this hand count audit compared to the official tally. There were other findings of the results putting into question certain practices by Maricopa County. The fact that there might have been certain anomalies, there were some questions about certain ballot discrepancies and they went through this wide array of anomalies that will show up in legislation in the next year’s legislative session.
Hank Stephenson: “You didn’t hear the word ‘fraud,’ you didn’t hear the word ‘rigged,’ you didn’t hear ‘Trump won,’ and you didn’t hear that the election was stolen. What we heard instead was a whole lot of these anomalies. What was immediately apparent about this audit is the so called auditors are neither auditors or elections officials. They do not have the necessary background to understand the elections procedures we use here in Arizona.
Does this vindicate Cyber Ninjas in the sense that the numbers that they came up with were not far off?
Luige del Puerto: “You can certainly look at it that way. You can look at it as Cyber Ninjas doing their job like they’re supposed to do. I think many elections officials especially are very skeptical with the premise of this audit that the election was rigged. I think it would’ve been difficult to get credible auditors to come in and do this because the process is politically toxic.”
Hank Stephenson: “There is no perfect system. We see a handful of cases of voter fraud every two years and those cases are prosecuted usually at the fullest extent of the law. This whole thing was premised on the idea that there was widespread, massive fraud that changed the outcome of the election. That did not happen.”