By DL White
Arizona became the 48th State to join the Union in 1912 it is regarded as the Grand Canyon state because it is home to the magnificent, meandering wonder of the world carved by time and the natural elements, it is without question, a wonder of the world. Another “wonder” not so much of the world, but of growing interest to many Arizona residents as well as a national audience is the recount 2.1 million ballots cast in Arizona’s largest county and the funding to support the process.
The Veterans Memorial Coliseum was built in the mid-sixes to host exhibitions for the Arizona State Fair, concerts, 4-H competitions and various large scale exhibits. In 1968 the NBA expanded and the Phoenix Suns became one of the leagues newest franchises playing their home games at the Coliseum.
The upstart Suns were a scrappy bunch that played hard and thrilled the local populous. The Coliseum became affectionately referred to as the “Mad House” on McDowell, for just cause. Roll the clock forward and the Coliseum was again referred to as the “Madhouse on McDowell” as a result of the scrappy and even shady manner in which the Republican-led ballot recount drug out over several months before staggering to the finish line months past the expected due date.
All eyes are on Phoenix in anticipation of the recount results, as former President Donald Trump and his supporters are hoping to use the Arizona recount to further their false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. The false narrative and claims that the election was stolen and filled with corruption have been refuted by State and Federal Courts across the country. Actually the former President’s own administration’s legal team dismissed the false claims as well.
Cyber security experts and state governments across the country have affirmed the 2020 Presidential election in which 155 million Americans cast ballots has been verified as one of the most secure in American history. A record 81.2 million Americans voted for President elect Joe Biden and 74.2 voted for Trump.
The Arizona recount took place despite two previous audits conducted by Maricopa County Elections confirming the validity of the election and dispelling any claims of fraud or tampering with election equipment.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (a Republican) certified the election results as well and affirmed the results per the prior audits ……Again, no fraud or any form of tampering was discovered.
“It there is fraud are foul play, it is a direct result of this ill-fated third recount, which is very unnecessary and only being done to appease Trump and his supporters,” offered one long time member of the GOP who announce he is now an Independent.
The GOP majority Senate hired the Florida-based Cyber Ninjas to conduct “a hand recount” of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, as well as the voting tabulators and computer software utilized during the 2020 presidential election. The Cyber Ninjas for the record were founded in October, 2013, as a software security consulting service never having conducted a recount of the magnitude they were hired to do in this instance in Maricopa County. Questions quickly rose as to why this particular company was selected for such a project?
Current members of the Arizona Legislature as well as former GOP Governor Jan Brewer weighed in on the process…….”It’s time to call this audit (recount) quits,” Brewer stated on a local news program early on in the process. State Senator Rebecca Rios shared, “The GOP legislators need to come to their senses and call off this senseless recount. It is doing more harm for our state than good.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors long opposed the recount and the process by which the recount has taken place from its lack of transparency to the workers handling of ballots – e.g., holding ballots up to a light looking for “bamboo fibers” or “watermarks” on ballots that might reference the ballots had been tampered with………
Fifty-five percent of Arizonans oppose the recount and viewed it as being harmful for Arizona’s image overall, according to polling by several news sources.
It was discovered the Ninjas founder Doug Logan, had promoted and also bought into the “Big Lie” (that the election was stolen) and had gone as far to post conspiracy theories on his twitter account, which he later deleted. The process lacked neutrality from the onset. Funding sources also came into play as to who was paying for and supporting the recount?
The GOP Senate posted $150,000 however, the bulk of the funding has come from private donors to the tune of $5.7 million dollars, thus begging the question – “Who are the auditors working for – and will the funds ‘Influence the outcome?”
An often repeated and well known dictum suggest, “In life you often get what you pay for” those monitoring the process is hoping that is not case in this instance. From the onset the recount has received sharp criticism from those more familiar with recounts of this magnitude. The process utilized by the Cyber Ninjas has been referenced as “incompetent and sloppy.”The ballots have had to be moved twice due to scheduled events in the Coliseum resulting in more concern and questions about the ballots security.
With the actual process of counting being completed, Maricopa County residents, as well as voters across the state and nation await the result and wonder in part…..”What will the Cyber – Ninjas present to the Arizona Senate and to the public at large?
As high as the anticipation is across the state, there is one person who is hoping that the Cyber Ninjas discover something that three (3) previous recounts/audits did not…..that person is of course one Donald J. Trump.
Trump is hoping something conspicuous will be unveiled by the Cyber Ninjas that he can hang his hat on and encourage other Cities and States to conduct similar recounts in areas that he lost.
Can the Cyber Ninjas identify a company that has never conducted an audit or recount of ballots of the magnitude they were hired to do in this case, correctly and truthfully identify what (3) other recounts and audits did not?
Contributing writer, Danny L. White currently lives in Phoenix, AZ. He is the author and creative lead for the Sensational letter “S”, a children’s book focused on early reading comprehension and word development. He is also a Adjunct faculty member at Maricopa College, and staff reporter for the Arizona Informant. He is an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, in Phoenix. D.L.White, can be reached via email at [email protected]