Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward told Newsmax in an interview on Tuesday that the GOP would push for a thorough investigation of allegations of voter fraud and other election irregularities.
“We are going to turn over every rock looking for slime that is infecting our election integrity,” Ward told the outlet.
The issues she noted include questions about out-of-state voters casting ballots, deceased people voting, and concerns that some people’s votes were not being counted.
“We have questions whether ballots that were pushed through the machine by the poll workers pushing the green button to override protections have actually been counted,” she said.
“We have evidence and complaints of people that do not live in Arizona, but they’re being notified by the elections department ‘Thank you for voting,’” she said, adding, “We have evidence of people who have passed away casting ballots.”
Ballots are counted at the Maricopa County Election Department after the U.S. presidential election in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 5, 2020. (Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden held his lead in Arizona after all precincts reported in on Saturday, showing the challenger 10,377 votes ahead of President Donald Trump, a difference of 0.3 percentage points. An automatic recount is triggered in Arizona if the margin is within 0.1 percent or 200 votes, whichever is the smaller number. State law does not allow recounts to be requested.
Ward, in her remarks to Newsmax, insisted the presidential election is “far from over,” adding, “Arizona is in this fight.”
“It isn’t about giving the election to President Donald J. Trump,” she said. “It’s about assuring the people of Arizona and the people of America that our elections are valid and that we can move forward from 2020 into the future without reservation,” she added.
Ward called for an enhanced audit of results in Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest, echoing calls made by several Republican members of Congress, who have urged the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to audit 100 percent of ballots cast in the county, citing “issues raised about the integrity of some of our election systems within the state.”
Officials in Maricopa County have carried out a mandatory hand count audit on the basis of Election Day ballots from two percent of vote centers and one percent of early ballots. Following the audit, they said no evidence was found of voter fraud, misconduct, or equipment malfunction and gave assurances the voting system is accurate and the election reliable.
Clint Hickman, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said in a Nov. 17 letter that “proper steps have been taken to ensure a full and accurate count of all votes,” including functionality and accuracy testing of tabulation equipment and a hand count audit of a representative sampling of votes that “yielded a 100 percent match to the results” produced by vote counting machines.
“There is no evidence of fraud or misconduct or malfunction,” Hickman said, adding that there is no evidence of inaccuracy or malfunction in the Dominion Voting Systems tabulation equipment, which has been cast into the spotlight after Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell claimed it was rigged to switch votes from Trump to Biden.
Trump and his campaign have claimed widespread election fraud, filing a raft of legal challenges that are at various stages of settlement.
Powell has said the president’s legal team has been receiving a flood of evidence concerning voter fraud and other irregularities. While she has not detailed the evidence, she claims to have enough proof to launch a widespread criminal investigation and that, “we’re getting ready to overturn election results in multiple states.”
Dominion Voting Systems has denied several times to media outlets that its software and devices are not secure or that they were used to switch votes.
“Dominion Voting Systems categorically denies false assertions about vote switching issues with our voting systems,” the company said in a statement. “Vote deletion/switching assertions are completely false.”
Votes are counted by staff at the Maricopa County Elections Department office in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 5, 2020. (Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)
Hickman said election officials in Maricopa County considered “many theories” about the election results, adding that “none of these theories have proven true or raised the possibility the outcome of the election would be different.”
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Nov. 12 issued a joint statement by the executive committees of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council, saying there is a lack of evidence supporting the claim that voting software deleted or switched votes in the election.
“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the coalition said in the statement, and called the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”
Dominion Voting Systems is listed as a member of CISA’s Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council, although no Dominion representative was noted among the council’s executive committee that co-authored the statement put out by the agency.
The agency did not respond to an earlier request for comment on whether Dominion had input or was otherwise involved in CISA’s Nov. 12 statement.
Jeff Carlson contributed to this report.