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WHAT IF ARIZONA HAD COMPREHENSIVE AUDIT RECOUNTS?

The forensic election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, has cost more than 100,000 hours in effort and millions of dollars in monetary cost. The process took more than five months of reviewing ballots, voting machines, and data patterns. There must be a faster, less-expensive method--and, hopefully, one that is not as easily affected by uncooperative government officials or employees. The good news is that such a strategy for auditing elections can be implemented.

The Comprehensive Audit Recount (CAR) is a strategy for auditing elections. It is designed to let the candidates, especially the losing candidates in a medium-to-large contest, pick a limited number of precincts and audit them thoroughly. By limiting the number of precincts to be audited, the CAR, at least for the first round, can be completed quickly--in about 10 days to two weeks--and can be done at a much lower cost.

The results of such an audit can be known before the official certification date of the election in most states, and such results could be used to decide whether or not the election should be certified. If no major inaccuracies or fraud are found, that should indicate trustworthiness of the election results. If, however, major inaccuracies or inconsistencies are found, that would lead to auditing additional precincts, again chosen by the candidates. If the additional precincts show more problems, the certification of that contest should be delayed pending a full investigation. All audit activities should be done in public and the audit results should become part of the official record of the election results.

Here's how the CAR might have worked if it had been in use in Arizona in November of 2020 if every presidential candidate with at least 10 percent of the vote were able to select a number of precincts for a comprehensive audit recount. Let's say the Arizona Legislature decided that five precincts would be an appropriate number for state-wide contests, such as Presidential Elector. In that case, both Joe Biden and Donald Trump would each get to choose five precincts anywhere in the state of Arizona. Here is a timeline that can be achieved:

Tuesday (day one): Election Day.

Wednesday and Thursday (days two and three): Both candidates would be supplied by the end of the day with the election results down to the precinct level. They would also get the voter-registration lists, updated to include which voters voted in the current election and the manner in which they voted, i.e., in-person, absentee, or early. Because all this information is currently computerized, it could easily be sent to the candidates electronically at no charge. The candidates would then have until Thursday afternoon to review the precinct-level results and select their five precincts.

Friday through the following Thursday (days four through 10): The ballots in all five precincts chosen by the candidates would be recounted in public places. This could be done easily before noon. The optional canvassing of voters, at candidates' expense, could also begin Friday, if it hadn't already started the day before. Canvassing could take the form of block-walking in a manner similar to how it's done during the campaigns. The canvass can also be done via mailings or any other reliable form of contacting people. If the candidates had enough volunteers or paid door-to-door canvassers, in-person canvassing could be done in a few days. If either candidate decided to use USPS mail to contact voters, the letters would be mailed by noon Friday from the post office closest to the precinct being audited in order to have the shortest delays in the process.

Friday (day 11): By then the canvassing should be done. If the canvass by mail wasn't done yet, the preliminary findings could be completed and posted within another week. The canvass totals, as well as the ballot recount totals, should be grouped by the method of voting, that is, in-person, absentee, and early voting. The canvass totals should be published showing how many were contacted and how many responded, and, for those responding, how many voted and had valid addresses, how many "voted" but had non-existent addresses such as vacant lots or non-existent apartments, how many had not voted (meaning that someone else voted using their name), etc.

Finally, the results of the CAR would be submitted to election authorities to be made part of the official record of the election.

Caption: Protest at Arizona State Capitol AP Images
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:POLITICS
Author:Hyde, Kurt
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Cover story
Geographic Code:1U8AZ
Date:Nov 8, 2021
Words:734
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