An attempt to create doubt about the legitimacy of over 74,000 ballots cast in Maricopa County in the 2020 presidential election was slapped aside by CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale in a column published on Sunday morning.
In an appearance before the Republican-dominated state Senate in Arizona, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan -- who has been trying to prove voter fraud robbed Donald Trump of the state's 11 Electoral College votes -- advocated going door-to-door to prove the legitimacy of a batch of mail-in ballots.
"For example, we have 74,243 mail-in ballots where there is no clear record of them being sent," he claimed before adding the caveat that a "clerical error" may be to blame.
That claim was immediately amplified by Trump and his spokesperson Liz Harrington as proof of fraud which led Dale to investigate.
According to Dale, "There is no evidence of either fraud or any significant error with these ballots, and certainly not 'magically appearing ballots.' Both Maricopa County and outside experts say there is a simple explanation for the gap Logan claimed had not been explained: the existence of in-person early voting. Contrary to Logan's claims, the ballot lists he was talking about include not only mail-in ballots but also ballots cast early in person."
He went on to add, "Here's why it's entirely normal for Maricopa County's submitted-ballots list to include a significant number of votes that do not match up with entries on the requested-ballots list. After the deadline to request a mail-in ballot, which was October 23 in 2020, the requested-ballot list doesn't get updated by the county. But the submitted-ballots list does get updated after that October 23 deadline -- with the votes of in-person early voters."
To back up his push-back to Logan's suggestion of fraud, Dale cited Garrett Archer, an election analyst at ABC15 in Phoenix.
According to the CNN contributor, "Archer explained that the county stops updating the requested-ballots list, known as 'EV32,' after the last day people can request a mail ballot, October 23. So ballots cast in person after October 23, Archer said, were included on the submitted-ballots list, known as 'EV33,' but did not have a corresponding item on the 'EV32' requested-ballots list. Archer analyzed the files and found that there were 74,241 ballots on the submitted-ballots list without a corresponding entry on the requested-ballots list -- nearly identical to the figure Logan cited, '74,243.' But Archer found that more than 99.9% of the ballots in question were recorded in the submitted-ballots list on October 26 or later."
Summing up the confusion, Dale wrote, "That is in line with the October 23 cut-off date Archer had previously noted for the requested-ballots list. The explanation: October 24 and 25 were weekend days when county clerks didn't update the submitted-ballot list, Archer said, so they added the ballots cast by in-person voters on those weekend days to the submitted-ballot totals starting on October 26."
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