As member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, I voted NO on certification of the 2020 General Election. I was joined by my colleague Supervisor Steve Christy, in perhaps the first time there wasn’t a unanimous vote for certification of an election in Pima County.
My vote against certification came long before there were loud rumblings from every corner about the election. Since then, we have learned so much about the outside manipulation through information by Big Tech, shoddy signature verification and the like, that there is little doubt as to why voters have so much doubt about the outcome and prospects going forward.
Although so much more has come to light, there were several reasons for my vote against certification. Those reasons include: improper distribution of federal only ballots at polling locations for Republican voters, conflicting instructions between the Pima County Recorder’s Office and the County’s elections director regarding the use of sharpie pens, as well as a special vote by the Pima Board of Supervisors approving the addition of ballot drop boxes on Pascua Yaqui Indian reservation despite the fact that the Democrat Pima County Recorder, F. Ann Rodriguez said could not be secured for the 2020 General Election.
In an unprecedented move, the Democrat majority of the Pima County Board of Supervisors accepted a $950 thousand grant from the Chan Zuckerberg foundation for purposes of executing our elections. This grant approval came before the board of supervisors after the election was over on November 10, 2020 and was approved on a party line 3-2 vote.
We now know the Zuckerberg foundation specifically targeted democrat counties in the battleground states for these monies for execution of elections during the pandemic. One of the uses outlined in this grant was the recruitment of poll workers for the election as well as other elections activities.
Mollie Hemingway has it right. In her book “Rigged,” she delves into why Trump lost and has concluded there were numerous contributing factors including media manipulation, big tech censorship as well as the coordination with the Democratic Party to ensure Trump wouldn’t win again in 2020.
In addition, the pandemic created the perfect storm for exploiting existing vulnerabilities in our elections process as well as introducing new vulnerabilities such as massive mail in voting, adding more drop boxes, extending voter registration dates and ballot acceptance dates. The recipe for chaos was created and we saw it play out in 2020.
We have all seen the results of the Maricopa audit which, I believe, was an important and necessary exercise but we need to move forward quickly with the lessons we gleaned from that audit. 2022 is fast approaching and vulnerabilities in the elections process must be identified and remedied.
Hemingway points out the difficulty in proving election fraud after the election is over. There are lawsuits and partisan finger pointing and not a lot is accomplished beyond eroding voter faith in our elections. When voters feel the elections have been cheated they will stay home. We witnessed what happened in the runoff elections in Georgia that gave the Democrats 2 additional senate seats. Republicans stayed home.
It is time to look forward instead of backward. The audit is complete and those lessons must be utilized to make our electoral process as robust as possible. Hemingway has sounded the alarm that few legislatures around the country have passed legislation to deter the same things from happening again in future elections.
It is imperative that we focus on restoring and maintaining faith in the electoral process by fixing the issues that have been identified. We don’t want to end up right back here in 2022 wringing our hands over the same vulnerabilities that should have been fixed.
I have identified vulnerabilities and proposals to fix them which I will forward to the legislators and the Republican Party for consideration including the establishment of an elections review/debrief process after each election by the Republican Party. I believe this is the least we can do. The clock is ticking.