Someone who spent several days inside the nerve center of Maricopa County’s general election operation says officials need to address apparent vulnerabilities with its Dominion Corp. voting system and provide voters with facts, not rhetoric, to show that nothing went wrong this year.
The whistleblower also wants to make sure those vulnerabilities are addressed by IT professionals and not politicians before the Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5-B system is used again, so no candidate or party has to wonder if tabulations are truly accurate.
The Arizona Daily Independent spoke at length with the whistleblower Tuesday. The person’s identity and credentials have been confirmed but the person’s observations are being put forth anonymously for now due to security concerns.
It is the second person to come forward to push back on Maricopa County officials who seemed reluctant since Election Day to acknowledge any mistakes, no matter the nature. The first was poll worker Joshua Banko who testified at two evidentiary hearings this month about his observations that tabulation machines rejected the majority of ballots cast in one of the county’s 175 voting centers.
But the whistleblower’s comments involve what happened inside the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) over several days before Nov. 3. The problem, according to the whistleblower, is that the voting system “was not intrinsically secure” and instead was clearly vulnerable in ways any computer user could understand.
“It was striking to me that so much was open to interpretation,” the whistleblower said. “I think I was surprised by the amount of manipulation that could have occurred after voters cast their ballots.”
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One example put forth was the routine step of backing-up the main tabulation computer after early voting began in October. The back-up, the whistleblower says, appeared to be done by a Dominion representative with external hard drives which were obtained from an unsecured area in the MCTEC.
That was a glaring security breach, the whistleblower said, which any computer user would know to avoid because the hard drive could have contained malware that would be difficult to detect. And then once the data was copied to the hard drive, there was no apparent chain of custody process utilized by Dominion personnel to preserve the integrity of the data.
The whistleblower has been in contact with at least two out-of-state attorneys who are interested how the general election was conducted in Maricopa County, where President Donald Trump lost by 45,109 votes out of more than 2 million cast. The decision to come forward with details of the voting system vulnerabilities was difficult, Arizona Daily Independent was told, because the person’s employment could be impacted.
However, it is “not good enough” for voters to simply accept the word of elected official who “clearly do not understand” the issues being raised, the whistleblower said. Especially given that public statements put forth by some county officials have contradicted earlier statements or have not been accurate.
Several officials have publicly chastised voters for expressing concern with the Sharpie ink bled-through on ballots. At first some officials denied bleed-through occurred, then others said the ballots were specifically designed to ensure bleed-through was not problematic.
But last week it was revealed during an evidentiary trial in one election lawsuit that an assistant director in Maricopa County’s election department knew as early as Oct. 22 of concerns with using Sharpies to fill out ballots during early in-person voting. Ball point pens were then given to voters doing early in-person voting, but on Election Day county officials provided Sharpies to nearly 168,000 voters.
There were other inconsistencies coming from Maricopa County officials, such as Supervisor Steve Chucri (District 2) who released a statement at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 20 indicating all election challenges had been dismissed. But at that time, Judge Margaret Mahoney was in a Maricopa County courthouse conducting an evidentiary trial for one of those legal challenges.
“If you have nothing to hide, be transparent,” the whistleblower advises county officials.
EDITOR NOTE: Part Two of this article will appear later in the week.