By C. Douglas Golden | The Western Journal
How secure was the voting apparatus in Maricopa County, Arizona? So secure that, according to Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann, the election audit there found the password to the elections system hadn’t been changed in two years and was shared among county employees.
In an exclusive interview with The Western Journal, Fann told editor-in-chief George Upper that was on top of other trouble for auditors looking into the results of the 2020 election in the state.
“So not only have the auditors had problems in us getting the information we can from Maricopa County, they have purposely withheld the blue tally sheets, we have not gotten the chain of custody, we have not gotten the routers, the passcodes, the fobs,” Fann said.
However, a Senate hearing revealed there were deeper problems with how Maricopa County was running its elections.
“What we did find out, [at] Thursday’s hearing, is that they don’t have the passwords. The only people that have the passwords is Dominion [Voting Systems],” Fann said, referencing the company which supplies Maricopa’s voting machines.
“So Maricopa County doesn’t even have control over their own election system — only Dominion has those passwords, and they have 24-hour a day access to those computers, come and go as you want,” Fann continued.
“Not saying that they’ve done anything wrong, and I’m certainly not picking on them — we have no reason to believe they did something — but the mere fact is at this point what we do know is Maricopa County didn’t have control over their own election system.”
“What we have found also is that the password hasn’t been changed in two years and multiple people are sharing the password,” she continued.
“I had somebody that worked at the election place down there and said, oh yeah, it was not unusual for somebody to yell across the room and say, ‘Hey, Joe, what was that password again?’ and he’d yell it back.”
“That’s not secure. That’s not secure,” Fann said.
The examination of Maricopa County’s election apparatus has been widely derided in the media.
According to NBC News, it’s a “conspiracy-soaked Republican audit of last year’s ballots.”
An opinion piece in the Arizona Republic said last week’s Arizona Senate hearing “was like one of MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell’s infomercials or Rudy Giuliani’s legislative briefings. Or a Donald Trump press release.”
Salon.com said it was “confusing, idiotic, and endless — which means it’s working as intended.”
Democrats in the U.S. House have said the audit is part of the so-called “big lie” and have launched an investigation into it.
And yet, look at the purported problems the audit has uncovered.
Fann said earlier this month the vote totals the auditors came up with and the official vote totals from Maricopa County didn’t match. “They haven’t released a number yet, if you will. However, we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point,” she told KTAR-FM last week.
Fann explained she didn’t know how far off the number was: “I do not know. They have not told me the number,” she said.
The state Senate liaison to the audit, meanwhile, alleged signature verification procedures were altered and then ultimately thrown out during the vote-counting process.
“We’ve literally been told by people who worked in that process for Maricopa County that the standard at the beginning was quite reasonable and high,” audit liaison Ken Bennett told The Western Journal, noting Maricopa had a 20-point signature check system.
Then “they got so far behind, we’ve been told that they went to the people on that team, 40-some people, and said, ‘OK, reduce it to 10’ and then to five and then one,” he said.
This isn’t about a “big lie.” It’s not even about the former president.
“The important thing that we wanted to make sure that everybody knew, which we told you, as well, at the beginning, is this is not about Trump,” Fann said at the hearing last week, according to KTAR. “This is not about overturning the election. This has never been about anything other than election integrity.”
And yes, the fact that there was a password for the election system that allegedly hadn’t been changed for two years and was being screamed across rooms is a massive election integrity issue. Did it mean the system was compromised and a bad actor managed to log in and do damage? Probably not, but we don’t know, all thanks to Maricopa County’s slipshod recklessness.
When federal election officials tell us that the 2020 election was the “most secure in American history,” and we hear the password to the election system for the most populous county in one of the most critical swing states in the nation was compromised like this, there’s a bit of cognitive dissonance involved.
There’s one way to solve that, of course: a thorough audit of our election systems, and not just in Maricopa County.