AP FACT CHECK: Trump makes false claims about Arizona audit


PHOENIX (AP) — Former President Donald Trump issued three statements in two days falsely claiming that voting fraud and irregularities…

PHOENIX (AP) — Former President Donald Trump issued three statements in two days falsely claiming that voting fraud and irregularities cost him Arizona’s electoral votes.

Trump relied on comments made Thursday by contractors hired by state Senate Republicans to oversee a partisan review of the 2020 vote count in Maricopa County, which includes metro Phoenix.

The “forensic audit,” as Senate GOP leaders are calling their review, is overseen by Cyber Ninjas, a small computer security firm with no election experience before Trump began questioning the 2020 results. Its CEO, Doug Logan, spread false conspiracy theories about the election before he was hired to lead the Arizona review.

Logan and Ben Cotton, a digital forensics analyst working on the audit, described issues they say need further review. Trump has parroted them as evidence the election results are tainted.

County officials and elections experts say the claims are false and based on a misunderstanding of election materials, which they say creates an appearance of irregularities where none exists.

Trump laid out his claims most specifically in a statement Friday night. A look at the irregularities he alleges in that statement:

TRUMP: “168,000 fraudulent ballots printed on illegal paper (unofficial ballots)”

THE FACTS: All of that is false. The ballots were not unofficial or printed on illegal paper, and even Logan never alleged they were fraudulent.

Logan pointed to ballots with the printing slightly offset between the front and back. He claimed this could cause votes to be counted for the wrong candidate if ink from one side bleeds through to another. He said the alignment issues were mostly from polling-place ballots, which are printed onsite, and said about 168,000 ballots were cast that way. The overwhelming majority of Arizona voters cast ballots by mail.

“We are seeing a lot of very thin paper stock being used especially on Election Day,” Logan added.

The allegation harkens back to…

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