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the Arizona comedy show


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    We've had plenty of discussions so far about the "audit" being conducted in Arizona. However, it continues to get crazier every day.

    Cyber Ninjas actually wanted to review the servers and the password of Maricopa County. Sheriff Paul Perzone told them they were crazy, due to the inevitable security breaches.

    The audit was supposed to end yesterday, but less than 25% of the ballots have been counted, so it will likely continue into August. Temporarily, the company is moving out of the coliseum to accommodate high school graduations, but will move back in after that.

    One good development is that a former state lawmaker who was at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection is no longer being allowed to count and inspect ballots at the Arizona election audit.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2021/05/14/former-arizona-lawmaker-anthony-kern-removed-maricopa-county-audit-recount/5096538001/

    The bad news, though, is that the senateis now talking about expanding the "audit" to include ALL races in Maricopa County, not just the presidential race.

    The examination would not involve a physical recount like the one underway at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Rather, it would be a separate audit using digital images of each ballot, Bennett said.

    The effort would, however, require a reexamination of the nearly 500,000 ballots that auditors have gone through since the audit began April 23.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2021/05/14/arizona-senate-considers-expanding-audit-maricopa-county-ballots-all-races/5100735001/

    Regardless of how this fiasco ends, half the state won't accept its results anyway, so its really pointless

    What is WILL do is remind the general public how stupid the Republicans are.

    For Republicans, and especially those familiar with Arizona elections, the audit and its associations with right-wing conspiracies are doing serious damage.

    “I just want it over. I think Arizona needs to move on and not be the center of more of this political gossip,” said Betsey Bayless, the former Republican secretary of state for five years beginning in 1997.

    Jan Brewer, the former Republican governor and Trump surrogate who served as the state’s election czar before her ascent to the governor’s office, typically speaks her mind. She didn’t want to talk about the audit. Neither did former GOP Secretary of State Michele Reagan, who cited her role as a justice of the peace.

    For his part, Ducey avoided the subject in questions from reporters.

    “Let this be completed, and then we can talk about what the findings are,” Ducey said Thursday. Later, he added that he was “focused on my day job."

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2021/05/09/arizona-republicans-worry-about-consequences-from-election-audit/4993888001/

    A recount of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona’s largest county is becoming “dangerous,” the Republican chairman of the county board of supervisors declared in a fiery statement late Thursday, a sign of escalating tensions over the controversial election review commissioned by the GOP-led state Senate.

    In a statement issued after a lengthy closed-door meeting of the Maricopa County board, whose five members include four Republicans, Chairman Jack Sellers blasted allegations made this week by a private contractor hired to reexamine the election that the audit has already identified problems with the vote.

    Sellers said those claims, described in a letter by state Senate President Karen Fann (R), were “false and ill-informed.”

    On Wednesday, Fann wrote a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors asking members to attend a meeting with the state Senate on Tuesday to answer questions about “serious problems” that she said Cyber Ninjas had found at the start of its review.

    Fann’s letter alleged that county officials had deleted files from a server and also complained that the county has not turned over forensic images of routers used for the election.

    Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone (D) has said that the routers, which are used for all county business, would give the Senate and its contractors access to sensitive law enforcement information and that it would be “mind-numbingly reckless and irresponsible” for the county to turn them over.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/arizona-recount-gop/2021/05/14/330bc808-b4c7-11eb-a980-a60af976ed44_story.html

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    Tim Stellar, a columnist for the Tucson Daily Star, was recently allowed to view the "audit" at the Coliseum for about 5 hours the other day.

    His column confirmed a lot of the craziness that we already know about, but this paragraph made my ears wiggle:

    "After the data has been collected , Ken Bennett (the official liaison to the Arizona senate), told him that it will be taken to a lab, either in Phoenix or at the vendor's secure facility IN MONTANA "to be analyzed", probably by one of the shepherds watching their flock in Billings."

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    I'm glad I don't live in Arizona. I hope that they have there enough budgets to built "nut" houses for treatment.

    How long does it take that before someone comes in there with an huge broom to clean up the place.

    But yeah here in FL they are getting just about as "nutty" as over there.

    I guess in Montana they will have goats check the stuff. May be Gaetz can help by smoking some weed, that will "clear up" his brain for sure, so he can count again until 10.

    No wonder "booze" and "guns" are sold out in this country. At least the Dutch are making money on exporting their "booze"

    Have a great day!

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    The private contractors hired by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann to audit Maricopa County's general election don't know what they are doing, and the county didn't delete any election files, county officials fired back on Monday.

    Jack Sellers, county Board of Supervisors chairman, accused Fann of attempting to legitimize "a grift disguised as an audit."

    He said the contractors, led by a Florida-based cybersecurity firm called Cyber Ninjas that was hired to lead the audit despite no experience, thought files were missing because "they don’t know what they’re doing. And we wouldn’t be asked to do this on-the-job training if qualified auditors had been hired to do this work."

    Along with sending a technical response to the state Senate president's questions, the supervisors unanimously approved a letter to Fann that calls on her to put an end to the audit.

    "You, Senate President Fann, are the only one with the power to immediately end it," they wrote in the letter. "We implore you to recognize the obvious truth: Your auditors are in way over their heads ... It is time to end this. For the good of the Senate, for the good of the Country, and for the good for the Democratic institutions that define us as Americans."

    https://www.democratichub.com/posts/18204/default?em=rp&rplid=124114

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    that guy in AZ Wrote:

    The private contractors hired by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann to audit Maricopa County's general election don't know what they are doing, and the county didn't delete any election files, county officials fired back on Monday.

    Jack Sellers, county Board of Supervisors chairman, accused Fann of attempting to legitimize "a grift disguised as an audit."

    He said the contractors, led by a Florida-based cybersecurity firm called Cyber Ninjas that was hired to lead the audit despite no experience, thought files were missing because "they don’t know what they’re doing. And we wouldn’t be asked to do this on-the-job training if qualified auditors had been hired to do this work."

    Along with sending a technical response to the state Senate president's questions, the supervisors unanimously approved a letter to Fann that calls on her to put an end to the audit.

    "You, Senate President Fann, are the only one with the power to immediately end it," they wrote in the letter. "We implore you to recognize the obvious truth: Your auditors are in way over their heads ... It is time to end this. For the good of the Senate, for the good of the Country, and for the good for the Democratic institutions that define us as Americans."

    https://www.democratichub.com/posts/18204/default?em=rp&rplid=124114

    The Daily Kos released an extended version of the story above this morning, and it is worth reading in its entirety:

    Arizona’s election “audit” is turning into all-out war between Republicans in the state Senate and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which is itself majority-Republican. The conspiracy theory-driven count of Maricopa County’s votes is a “sham,” a “con,” and “a spectacle that is harming all of us,” the board wrote in a purely amazing letter to state Senate President Karen Fann, responding to a letter from Fann and social media posts from a related Twitter account. They also said they would refuse to attend a meeting called by Fann, with one Republican supervisor describing it during a public meeting of the board as “political theater broadcast on live stream by OAN.

    They’re not wrong, and their letter offers even more excruciating details to add to what we know about the effort to undermine Maricopa County’s election result to bolster Donald Trump’s Big Lie.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2021 · 5:06:12 AM MST · Laura Clawson

    Ha ha ha, whoops: The “auditors” now admit that the county didn’t delete that data, they were just looking in the wrong way all along.

    To recap, we knew that state Senate Republicans had retained Cyber Ninjas, a firm that has no election experience but is headed by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist, to “audit” the Maricopa County ballots—which have already been reviewed and audited by professional auditing firms. We knew that Cyber Ninjas was prepared to have its workers use blue ink pens, which could permanently spoil ballots since ballot scanners can read blue ink. Only when a reporter caught that did Cyber Ninjas replace the blue pens with red and green ones. We knew that security around the ballots was at one point so lax that a news team repeatedly gained access to the areas where they were stored. We knew that the counting was haphazard at best, so that it’s possible some ballots were counted twice and others not at all. We knew that they were, bizarrely, looking for bamboo fibers in ballots because that would have supposedly proven a conspiracy theory that had ballots being flown in, post-election, from South Korea. (And if you’re thinking, “Isn’t it kinda racist to assume that South Korean efforts to fake ballots would involve bamboo?” You’re not wrong.)

    But there’s more. The board of supervisors’ letter details a series of accusations and demands from Fann and Cyber Ninjas that show more and more ignorance of the elections and vote-counting process—and a couple of things that are downright dangerous. In her letter, Fann accused Maricopa County of refusing to provide all the passwords needed to conduct an audit. Their answer is twofold: They have provided every password they have, but some of the needed passwords for voting machines are proprietary and belong to Dominion. (Yes, the Dominion that is suing a series of members of Team Trump and right-wing news outlets for their election conspiracy theories.) Maricopa County’s contract with Dominion does not allow it to access those passwords, and Fann, they write, could have easily taken a look at that contract. “Instead you call us liars and insult us, when a simple public records request would have helped you avoid such indecent conduct.”

    But! Yes, the previous audits of Maricopa County votes did have access to those passwords. Why? Because the county retained firms accredited by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission as voting system testing laboratories. So why can’t the state Senate Republican effort get that access? “Your chosen ‘auditors,’ the Cyber Ninjas, are certainly many things. But ‘accredited by the EAC’ is not one of them. Regardless, we cannot give you a password that we do not possess any more than we can give you the formula for Coca Cola. We do not have it; we have no legal right to acquire it; and so, we cannot give it to you.”

    Are you getting the feeling the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is a little bit angry? Well, get a load of this: Fann and Cyber Ninjas are also demanding access to the county’s routers, which, the board writes, would be a serious security risk, because: “The County’s routers provide a blueprint to the County’s network. Were that blueprint to fall into the wrong hands, the results could be catastrophic.”

    That anger—at the insult of an enforced “audit” to check the work they carefully did conducting an election, at the accusations that they’re lying, at the threats to the security of their own systems—comes through in virtually every paragraph of the letter. And the letter is 13 pages.

    Some more samples: A tweet from an official account had accused Maricopa County of deleting data, but, the supervisors responded, the screenshot offered as evidence of deleted files not only didn’t prove deleted data, but suggested a series of possible errors the “auditors” might have made.

    ”Regardless, the failure of your so called ‘auditors’ to locate data files on the copy they made of the County’s server speaks more to their ineptitude than it does to the integrity and actions of our dedicated public employees who effectively and accurately run the elections in the fourth largest county in the United States,” the board wrote.

    A demand by Fann for chain of custody documentation on the ballots left the board “stunned,” they wrote, at her “spectacular lack of understanding” of how these things work. Because yes, they already supplied full chain of custody documentation. A series of questions from Fann about how ballot bags and boxes were sealed and how ballot transmittal slips work drew technical and simultaneously contemptuous explanations of how she was yet again showing that she and the “auditors” she had hired didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

    They conclude the letter by calling on Fann and her fellow state Senate Republicans to call off the “audit,” which is nowhere near finishing—about 500,000 ballots have been counted so far in a county where 2.1 million ballots were cast.

    “We express our united view that your ‘audit’, no matter what your intentions were in the beginning, has become a spectacle that is harming all of us. Our state has become a laughingstock. Worse, this ‘audit’ is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic,” they write, going on to cite the blue pens and the bamboo and other signs of incompetence or malicious intent.

    “Unfortunately, this has become a partisan issue, and it should not be one,” the board—which, again, is majority Republican—writes. “It is time to make a choice to defend the Constitution and the Republic. As County elected officials, we come from different political parties, but we stand united together to defend the Constitution and the Republic in our opposition to the Big Lie. We ask everyone to join us in standing for the truth. The November 3, 2020 general election was free and fair and conducted by the Elections Department with integrity and honor.”

    But of course, all this is the point. If Republicans like those in the Arizona Senate and at Cyber Ninjas and on Team Trump can’t actually overturn the 2020 election—as they tried to do, including through violence on Jan. 6—they will do their best to undermine public faith in elections while passing restrictive voting laws that will help rig 2022 and 2024 in their favor. It’s striking how some Republicans—like the ones in the Maricopa County government, and elections officials in Georgia, and Rep. Liz Cheney—have tried to stand up to this with so little success. It’s not that there aren’t some Republicans out there who think the truth matters and democracy matters. It’s the there are far more Republicans dedicated to driving those people out of their party.

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    I just wonder what is wrong with this country. I never seen anything like this over in Europe . But yeah the whole world is watching this and realizes now, how "weird" this country actually is. The whole Trump experiment has shown that this is an REAL banana republic, who still thinks that they can dictate the world.

    Biden's weak reaction related to Israel's war on the Palestinians shows clearly that the US has nothing to say anymore in this world. China and Russia are laughing out loud about the circus here. The stock market is dropping like a stone and no one gets the corruption out of it, which shows that the rich won't accept any higher taxes, since Trump gave them just about "zero" taxes. The deficit just keeps growing as we speak ; but yeah the "bitcoin" will save our ass, don't you believe it!

    Shaking my old head about this banana republic.

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    One of the reporters for the Arizona Republic published a lengthy article this morning about the "audit".

    The short version is that the voting machines being examined may now be unusable for future elections.

    The Arizona Senate gave contractors unfettered and unmonitored access to Maricopa County's vote-counting machines for an audit of the county's general election results, raising the question of whether the equipment is safe to use for future elections.

    The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the federal agency that certifies all voting systems used in U.S. elections, recommends that any time the rules or procedures for maintaining and securing voting systems — known as the chain of custody — are broken or could have been broken, that the equipment is completely retested under state and county rules, said Mona Harrington, executive director of the commission.

    Matt Masterson, a former leader of election security at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told The Arizona Republic that this kind of review can take weeks to months and cost $100,000 or more, depending on what processes are used.

    Considering this, Masterson said it might not be worth it for the county to use the machines again.

    The precinct-based tabulators are stored in the county's warehouse, Gilbertson said, which also requires a badge to access. The tabulators themselves won't work unless they are programmed by the election management system in the tabulation center, using two new memory cards tied to the machines.

    The machines are stored under plastic, Gilbertson said, to help keep them clean.

    The central count tabulators are so sensitive that the county vacuumed the ceiling tiles in the election center before hosting the Goodyear election in March, she said, and the county cleans the microfilm in the machines before elections.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2021/05/19/arizona-audit-dominion-machines-maricopa-county-unusable-now/5063300001/


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    The latest developments are that the idiot Trumpers want to play the same games in other States. Such as Georgia where they also want to start an recount, while they already had three. Chaos is the name of the game, so no one will trust the next election. Of course we know who's stoking this fire. As I said before it is time that this country stops being an"banana republic" and make "solid" laws what an President or ex-President is allowed to do. As long as an President thinks he is "above the law" until he dies, then forget "justice" or an smooth transfer of "power". Again an self inflicted wound, by allowing "lone wolfs" to start recounting again without proper oversight or Federal approval. Just letting States do whatever they want, means that this country is not "uniform" at all . You may as well throw the Federal government under the bus and let Jesus pick up the pieces.
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    The Republican party is a mess. Cowards who have no backbone because an old man who screams, pouts and whines knows how to use social media and can humiliate others publicly. Wow, what a super power.

    Hey Mitch, you heard him yell jump. The minimum standards are 10+ inches off the ground. You did maybe 8 inches. Try harder.

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    I just heard on the news that the idiots in Georgia are now allowed by an "judge" (must be an Trumper) that Georgia is allowed to start an 4th counting of the votes. Sorry to say , this country has become the laughing stock of the world. How crazy can you get! unbelievable! Why don't people here protest about this? La la land for sure!!
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Dutch Wrote: I just heard on the news that the idiots in Georgia are now allowed by an "judge" (must be an Trumper) that Georgia is allowed to start an 4th counting of the votes. Sorry to say , this country has become the laughing stock of the world. How crazy can you get! unbelievable! Why don't people here protest about this? La la land for sure!!

    Howard Stern summarized it well. Don't blame Donald Trump, he is doing what he has been doing for 50+ years, scamming and ripping off people. Blame the voters and Republican leaders that to continue to make him CEO of the Republican party knowing exactly who he is and how he operates. Trump has always been about Trump as the first priority, and all other priorities must accomplish the first priority. All Republican priorities must serve what is in the best interest of Donald Trump. He sets the agenda, he makes the rules, and rule #1 is Trump has the final say on everything. Laws, ethics, and morality do not ever supersede Donald Trump and his agenda (to enrich, and empower himself).

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    Recall that the RNC decided to not have Republican Platform for 2020, instead opting for a policy resolution stating:

    “RESOLVED, That the Republican party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.”

    We discussed this before, but the Republican Party and Trump are one and the same. Whatever Trump dictates, the members oblige.

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    My heart skipped a beat this morning when I read the headlines in the Arizona Republic:

    "Tech firm bails out of recount".

    Unfortunately, the "rest of the story" is not good news.

    Wake Technology, a Pennsylvania-based company that was in charge of running the hand count of ballots is no longer involved in the "audit". Wake was the subcontractor that developed the procedures for recounting the ballots for Cyber Ninjas, the the state senate's main contractor.

    Scottsdale-based StratTech will take over Wake's role. StratTech was started in 2013, and has never before been involved in an audit. Ken Bennett, the state liaison, does not think that is important.

    He said, "nobody should be precluded from doing something the first time".

    Using that logic, nobody should be concerned about the the fact that their heart surgery will be performed by a "nice kid" who just graduated from high school with good science grades.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Dutch Wrote: The latest developments are that the idiot Trumpers want to play the same games in other States. Such as Georgia where they also want to start an recount, while they already had three. Chaos is the name of the game, so no one will trust the next election. Of course we know who's stoking this fire. As I said before it is time that this country stops being an"banana republic" and make "solid" laws what an President or ex-President is allowed to do. As long as an President thinks he is "above the law" until he dies, then forget "justice" or an smooth transfer of "power". Again an self inflicted wound, by allowing "lone wolfs" to start recounting again without proper oversight or Federal approval. Just letting States do whatever they want, means that this country is not "uniform" at all . You may as well throw the Federal government under the bus and let Jesus pick up the pieces.

    Michigan’s top election official and the company whose voting equipment has been the subject of baseless claims of fraud are cautioning local governments in the state that outside audits of the 2020 election results like the one underway in Maricopa County, Ariz., would be illegal and would void the machines’ security warranties.

    In letters sent to the Cheboygan and Antrim county clerks last week, the office of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the county boards have “no authority” to order audits — and instructed election clerks not to provide access to unaccredited outside parties to conduct them.

    Last week, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs advised Maricopa County officials that it should replace all voting machines that were turned over to a private contractor for the ongoing audit there, citing “grave concerns regarding the security and integrity” of the machines that make them unusable for future elections.

    (Replacing all the machines will will cost $6.1 million).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/michigan-election-audit-warnings/2021/05/25/d00b8802-bd62-11eb-b26e-53663e6be6ff_story.html

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    Montini's column this morning did a great job of analyzing the "audit".

    Here's a few key points:

    When the sham audit resumed on Monday the county posted a series of tweets, saying:

    The Senate Cyber Ninja audit resumed today. Maricopa County is not a part of this audit and does not support it. To ensure election integrity, Maricopa County relies on best practices in auditing and the expertise of experienced professionals.

    We hired nonpartisan, accredited firms to conduct two forensic audits. We would never work with an unaccredited, partisan firm like the Cyber Ninjas.

    After each election, our hand count audit is done with bipartisan teams appointed by county political party chairs. They are trained to review each vote. The Cyber Ninjas are not requiring unanimous counts.

    We only allow ballots to be handled by bipartisan teams, which is what the law requires. Observers are invited to watch every step of the process. The Senate Cyber Ninja audit isn’t insisting on that.

    Richer tried to describe things metaphorically in a way truth-deniers might appreciate.

    I wonder if they’ll get it.

    He tweeted:

    You probably just did ur taxes. You did them properly, and there is nothing to hide. Would you want them looked at by an auditor who: 1) Is incompetent 2) Has done barely any work in taxes 3) Believes in conspiracy theories 4) Stated before examining that u committed tax fraud ?

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2021/05/25/maricopa-county-refute-cyber-ninjas-because-truth/7425878002/?itm_medium=recirc&itm_source=taboola&itm_campaign=internal&itm_content=BelowHomepageFeed-FeedRedesign