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Officials in Maricopa County announced they will replace the voting machines that were subpoenaed during the forensic audit of the 2020 election, alleging concerns about “security and integrity.”
“The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the County will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections. The County recognizes Secretary Hobbs’ authority under A.R.S. § 16-442 to certify equipment for use in Arizona’s elections. As a result, the County will not use the subpoenaed equipment in any future elections,” the county said in a statement on Monday.
County officials, who have always opposed the audit, have long alleged, without any evidence, that subpoenaed machines could be compromised by the auditors and, in fact, acquired new machines for local elections held this year. The county also reportedly refused to provide subpoenaed routers
In May, it was reported that “significant discrepancies” had been uncovered during the audit, though a full report on the findings isn’t expected until late July or August.
Other states have sent delegations to Maricopa County as they consider conducting their own forensic audits. An audit is currently underway in Fulton County, Georgia, and it is expected that a forensic audit could be coming to Pennsylvania. Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania are all battleground states where multiple allegations of election irregularities and fraud were made.
But claims that machines can be hacked were deemed “false” by fact-checkers in the wake of the Trump campaign’s allegations. For example, USA Today‘s fact check in January about Dominion voting machines (which were used in Maricopa County) concluded that “assertions that machines can be hacked, votes were dumped and test ballots can be counted are false.”
But wait? If they can’t be hacked, why would Maricopa County officials claim that they have to replace their machines after the audit?
Were the fact checks false? Instead of proving that voting machines were not hackable—something we were simply supposed to believe without any forensic examination—did they just admit the opposite is true? They are basically saying, “Trust the liberal county officials not to hack the machines, but don’t trust the Republican-hired auditors not to hack them.”
Of course, we’ve known for a while that voting machines could be hacked. In 2019, Democrats warned about voting machines “switching votes.” Joe Biden even said he was concerned about manipulated voting machines before the election, and perhaps most revealing of all, a computer scientist literally demonstrated how easy it is to hack voting machines.
So, have Maricopa County officials simply proven what we already know: that voting machines can be hacked? It all comes down to trusting those with custody of the machines not to hack them. They essentially just proved why the audit was absolutely necessary.
If voting machines were truly unhackable, as fact-checkers have claimed, Maricopa County officials wouldn’t have to grandstand with baseless claims that the auditors might have compromised the machines. Quite frankly, I trust the auditors more than I trust Maricopa County officials—who have always acted like they’ve had something to hide.