Maricopa County Whistleblower Reveals Problems Found on Ballots During Curing: ‘How Did This Happen?’
The whistleblower, who testified at the Arizona Republican Kari Lake’s election challenge court about Maricopa County officials’ problematic practices during the mail-in voter verification process, was a witness in Wednesday’s trial.
According to the official count, Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs won the contest with approximately 17,000 ballots, or 0.7% of the over 2.5 million ballots that were cast in the state. But Lake questions the validity of tens and thousands of these ballots.
In Maricopa County, ballots that are rejected by the Level 1 reviewers are sent to the Level 2 reviewers who decide whether the signatures match or not and either send the ballots to be counted or if they do not match determine if the signatures don’t match and contact the voter for confirmation. This process is known as curing.
The whistleblower stated that county officials refused to correct ballots with mismatched signatures after the election.
We didn’t know why we left early, when there were ballots in the bins. We asked the manager if he was sure he wanted us to leave. “Would you like us, you know to keep calling these voters in order to cure these ballots?’ They said no,” she remembered.
The whistleblower also testified that, despite the large number of ballots needed by the county to count and verify, she and her colleagues were sent home too early.
The county recorder’s offices were apparently counting ballots after hours, without any observers present.
She said: “We thought that it was strange because we had constant observers watching our actions, but I assume there were no observers present.” Who was watching them?
As reviewers did their jobs, the whistleblower noted, “We caught signatures that didn’t belong in history. Meaning, say, it’s John Smith and it’s not a married pair. It was completely different names.”
She claimed that the reviewers had been instructed to inform their supervisors of any major differences.
The whistleblower claimed that they had asked their supervisors “How could these possibly have made it into history?” The names are different, and they were not related. How did this happen? How did this happen? Everything.”
Lake attorney Kurt Olsen informed Maricopa Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson on Wednesday that an analysis of county data showed that at least 334,000 ballots sent by mail were not in fact verified.
Olsen stated that “Maricopa’s own log data” shows that more than 264,000 ballots [for match of signatures] were reviewed at a pace less than 3 second [and] 70,000 in less than 2 second.
The lawyer said that the Level 2 reviewers had been so overwhelmed by their workload that they didn’t even look at all of the signatures piling up in front of them. The lawyer stated that they simply tossed them back to the Level 1 reviewers for a second look.
VoteBeat journalist Jen Fifield reported, in March, on the basis of numbers she received from county officials, that for the general election in 2022, “workers had marked 18,510 signatures ‘non matching’, and 15,411 voters either confirmed or cured their ballot. This resulted in 3,099 ballots being rejected due to bad or missing signatures. “Of those, 1,299 had missing signatures while 1,800 were bad”.
In Maricopa County, approximately 1,5 million votes were cast during the November elections.