If you were reading my blog back around the election you know I’m a big fan of audits. They keep things honest. Auditing internal systems and looking for fraud and getting companies through 3rd party and government audits was a big part of my old career.
So like most of you I was really interested in seeing how this Arizona audit shook out. Leading up to it the democrats fought this audit every step of the way, in court, logistically, and by just being noncompliant pains in the asses (as companies which have nothing to hide often do!) My favorite part was when the democrats were freaking out about how the auditors weren’t certified by the governing body which doesn’t provide certifications to do this process there’s no certifications for. Good times.
When I googled the results on Friday, there were literally hundreds of news articles all sharing the same exact message. “Biden won. Cope losers. The audit was a sham put on by grifters, but simultaneously its recount proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Biden totally won. If you ever thought there was any fraud in the election you are a stupid gullible idiot who believes conspiracy theories, and now shut up forever. Also it cost 6 million whole dollars and for the first time ever democrats care about fiscal responsibility. Orange Man Bad. etc.”
As I scrolled through dozens of these, I realized that none of them actually said what was in the audit report. Nor were there any links to the actual audit report. As a guy who used to write audit reports I’d rather read the actual document than take some journalism major’s take on it.
And sure enough, as usual, the narrative was designed for maximum spin.
It turns out the audit findings are a lot more complicated that portrayed by the narrative. Shocker. Basically the headlines are all coming off of the executive summary, section 2. And note, they’re only taking the very first part, and then quit reporting as soon as they get to “based on our other findings, however” –
To break this down, the first part, the recount/canvass matches what was there before, and the only differences are statistically insignificant. News media goes Yay! Biden won by even more votes! Cope! Cope! Cope!
Except, the second part they aren’t talking about is… are those votes all actual legal votes? And the answer is possibly not (why possibly? I’ll get to that). Then see all those bullet points of problems, weirdness, and fuckery. Which comes down to there being about five times as many questionable votes as Biden’s margin of victory (for the state, in this one county).
This is where it gets sticky. Here is the breakdown of the findings.
Section 4 is the tally results. That’s what the media is talking about. Section 5 is the problems. That’s what they are studiously avoiding talking about.
They are divided into 13 types of problems, ranging from critical to inconsequential. Statistically, it’s the first few that are the big ones, and each of those gets their own breakdown in 5.3 and 5.4. Go read through those.
On some of these types you’ll be thinking, why didn’t the auditors take these problematic ballots and track them back even further to see if the signatures match the actual human being who supposedly cast the vote? Sorry. I believe the democrats blocked them from doing that in court. (which is totally not suspicious at all from people who have absolutely nothing to hide!)
Auditors go through the available data looking for problems. They can only take it as far as they are allowed by the system they are working in. In this kind of case, to go beyond these steps would require the law to step in. Will that happen? Beats me. I don’t know jack about Arizona politics.
Auditors aren’t cops (usually, unless you’re getting audited by certain government agencies, but you get my drift). They simply investigate and then provide a report to the body which makes actual decisions based upon their recommendations.
The rest of the report is about the systems and controls, and how they should be improved. This part is really telling. Basically the Arizona election system is easily manipulated trash, with crap controls, and if any private company I ever worked at got caught with this many holes in it, they’d fire all the accountants and half the managers.
Now, for the idiot brigade that is crowing about how this proves whatever they want it to prove about the election and how everybody else should shut up forever, here’s some stuff that’s not in this report to think about.
This was the audit of one county, in one of the questionable states. Back in the aftermath of the election, I found Arizona to be the least interesting of those questionable states. Other counties had way more fuckery afoot. Atlanta and Detroit were way crazier than Phoenix on election night. No audits there.
And even in Arizona, this is one county. I don’t know the area that well so I’m just going off of what friends of mine who live there say, but Maricopa is usually the red county. Pima (2nd biggest) is the blue county. And they still found 5x the margin of victory in questionable votes in the red county. I’m sure next door was totally clean.
So basically, of the handful of problematic places, we took a sample of one of the least problematic ones, and still found a bunch of problems… ergo, the narrative is that everything everywhere is fine, and you are stupid if you question it.
The media is just as smart and honest about how audits work as they are about how to ride horses.
Both sides are claiming victory based on what the report says. Only one side owns the media and big tech, so that’s going to be the prevailing narrative (and interestingly enough, that narrative was determined before the final report was given). What it says is what it actually says. So I’d recommend reading it for yourself to draw your own conclusions, rather than letting some pundit decide for you.