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tv   Arizona Election Officials Testify on 2020 Election Audit - Part 1  CSPAN  October 7, 2021 9:00pm-12:02am EDT

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>> saturday night, former president trump speaks of the rally held at the iowa state fairgrounds in the state capital of des moines. he won the state of iowa in 2020 and is considered a top contender for the 2024 gop presidential nomination. live coverage beginning at 8:00
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p.m. eastern on c-span, online at or on our new video app c-span now. >> next, a house hearing on arizona's audit on the 2020 presidential election. it included maricopa county election officials as well as experts. the firm hired to provide the review was asked to testify but declined. this is three hours and 45 minutes.
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app. see you tomorrow. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] chairwoman maloney: welcome, everyone to today's hybrid hearing. pursuant to house rules, some will appear in person and others will appear by zoom. before i run through the normal reminders, i want to highlight something new we are trying out today the first time.
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then times when members are participating on zoom, they are not looking at the clock which is on a separate screen and they lose track of how much time they have left. that means i am forced to gamble people down more often than i would like. today, when the clock hits zero and your five minutes are up, you will hear an automatic ding that will let you know your time has expired. when you hear that, i would ask that you please wrap up your actions as probably as you can so we can move to the next questioner and run an efficient hearing. i thank all members for their cooperation on this issue. i will remind everyone of the normal voice. first, the house rules require that we see you, so please have your cam is turned on at all times. members appear remotely who are not recognized should remain muted to minimize background noise and back. i will recognize members verbally but members retain the
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right to seek recognition verbally. in regular order, members will be recognized in seniority order or questions. lastly, if you want to be recognized outside regular order, you may identify that in several ways. you may use the chat option to send a request, you may send an emailed to the majority staff, and on your mind to seek recognition we will begin the hearing in a moment when they tell me they are ready to begin the livestream. are we ready? ok. the committee will come to order . without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess of the committee at any time. i now recognize myself or five
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minutes. on november 3, 2020, joe biden beat donald trump clearly and decisively in the presidential election. president biden won 306 electoral votes to trump's 232, and he beat trump in the popular vote by more than 7 million votes. but rather than accept his loss, donald trump tried everything he could to overturn the will of american voters. he and his allies filed more than 60 lawsuits with false claims of election fraud, and lost all 60 of them. he waged a pressure campaign at every level of government, from county election officials to secretaries of state, to the department of justice, to his own vice president, to try and prevent the certification of the election results. at each stage, donald trump and
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his allies were asked to bring forward evidence that the election was tainted by widespread voter fraud. but weather in michigan or pennsylvania, or as we will hear today, arizona, the purveyors of the big lie repeatedly failed to adduce one scintilla of credible evidence of widespread fraud. yet, today, more than 11 months after the election, the attacks on our election system have only intensified. and the latest weapon of choice is the partisan audit. let me be clear. the hyper-partisan audits pushed by president and his allies are not about fairness, election security, or the truth. they are instead designed to promote conspiracy theories and to raise doubts about our elections. and the ultimate aim of these audits is even worse, to lay the groundwork for new laws that make it harder for americans to
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cast their ballots, but easier for dishonest officials to overturn the results of elections they don't like. today's hearing will focus on the five month-long hyper-partisan audit in maricopa county arizona. it was clear from the beginning that this so-called audit led by the republican state senate was really a fishing expedition in search of evidence of election fraud, no matter how flimsy. the state senate rejected a bid from a qualified and certified auditor, choosing instead to hire cyber ninjas, and unaccredited firm with no experience auditing elections. what the company did have was a ceo who had publicly supported trump and promoted the so-called big lie. during the audit, cyber ninjas'
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sloppy and insecure practices jeopardize the integrity of ballots and voting machines, forcing arizona taxpayers to spend millions to replace the compromised machines. the audit itself was funded with at least $6.7 million from right wing dark money groups headed by trump allies and supporters of stop the steal movement. documents show trump himself they have funneled funds to the audit effort in arizona. yet, all of that partisan dark and he failed to overcome the truth. last month, cyber ninjas finally was forced to admit that it found no evidence of widespread fraud in -- maricopa county election results. in its final report, cyber ninjas wrote they were "no substantial differences" between
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the official count and audit results and that there is "no reliable evidence that the paper ballots were altered to any material degree." this should have been the end of the story, but rather than admit they were wrong about voter fraud, cyber ninjas and republican leaders in arizona are now pushing a host of necessary legislative changes to make it harder to vote and easier to overturn election results. hyper-partisan audits are now spreading to more states. we are holding today's hearing so we can hear the facts about the cyber ninjas audits in arizona. we invited the company's ceo, doug logan, to testify today so that we could hear firsthand about the audit findings. unfortunately, mr. logan refused
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our invitation and also refused to produce documents that the committee requested back in july. mr. logan's refusal to answer questions under oath is just one more sign that the dark money fueled audit he led never should have happened in the first place. today, we will hear from the chairman and vice chairman of the maricopa county board of supervisors. both republicans. who, unlike mr. logan, were not afraid to tell the committee the truth about this audit. i am honored that they both agreed to put country over party by testifying today, despite threats to their personal safety. we will also hear from election and democracy experts who will tell us how partisan audits are spreading to other states including pennsylvania, wisconsin, and texas, and the threat this poses to our democracy.
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the attempts by former president trump and his allies to undermine america's elections are failing to win the last one fair and square. it represents the biggest threat to our constitutional republic since the civil war. this committee will not be silent in the face of this threat. we will continue to conduct oversight to ensure the american people know the truth about sham dates and to protect our election from further interference. but it should not just be democrats who stick up for america's elections. i urge my republican colleagues to follow the lead of our brave witnesses from maricopa county by putting country over party, and finally renouncing trump's decline. -- big lie. i want to thank the panel is for being here today. thank you for the testimony. i now recognize the distinguished ranking member,
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mr. cromer, for his opening statement. >> thank you, madam chairwoman for holding today's hearing. half of america has questions about the integrity of our elections. democrats changing the rules in the middle of those elections, like what happened last summer, and does nothing to answer the questions that americans have with respect to the integrity of last year's elections. it is important the american public has confidence in election results, so states and counties should be transparent and open to outside audit. i hope today's hearing helps to answer some outstanding concerns regarding election integrity. unfortunately, today's hearing is a continuation of two troubling trends from this committee. the first trend is the democrats obsession with avoiding any actual oversight of the biden administration. if you don't believe me, just look at the actions.
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this committee has found less than half the number of hearing they did when president trump was in office. this committee has had less than half as many witnesses from the administration. this committee has not held a single hearing on the border crisis or on the disasters withdraw from afghanistan or on the illegal leaks to the irs or the origins of covid 19 or other important topics like the border security crisis. the second trend is democrats current obsession with investigating anything coming out of the states. recently we had hearings on voting rights and abortion, both solely because of laws passed in a single state. today we are having a hearing about election integrity based on an audit that occurred in a sing state. each of these in -- issues, abortion rights, election rights, voting integrity, have long been handled at the state level.
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yet, this committee cannot resist wading into state issues, attempting to travel all over the 10th amendment. with that, i will yield the balance of my time to mr. biggs, who has been on the front lines in arizona on this issue from the very beginning. >> i think the gentleman for yielding. i think the chair today for having this hearing. the democrats really cannot have it both ways, can they? you cannot say that the audit showed the integrity of the election while at the same time claiming that the mere fact of an audit in and of itself is a threat existentially to our democracy. you cannot do that. it is a fallacious, logical inconsistency. if you claim that the election was fair and properly conducted, and a forensic audit ought to demonstrate that which is what you assert. that is what you are asserting today.
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at the same time, you say, the audit confirms what we think it did, when you cherry pick some of the statements from the report. you are also saying that an audit undermines the election integrity. do you see the inconsistency of your position? if there are questions as to the accuracy of the election, a forensic audit will reveal the problems that need to be cured going forward and the legitimacy of the election may be compromised. dems and leftists have been highly critical of this audit even before it again. they had an agenda. the chairwoman mentioned this agenda today, so that all of you participating here, you can support this agenda. she said they don't think legislative changes should be made. that is what she said.
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that is why we are doing this today. because they think any legislative changes are not appropriate. well, in 2018, in maricopa county, most of you may not know this, there was such problems with the maricopa county election, the democrat county recorder who is the elections official for the county, adrian fontes, got to go under scrutiny by this board of supervisors, the 2018 board of supervisors, who took everything back from him that they possibly could legally and statutorily. that is the history of problems in maricopa county in our building. -- voting. looking from the outside, the election process was fraught with problems. if your claim was that the audit was not in order, you must
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acknowledge several observations by the auditors they made with regard to this audit. everything from procedure and conduct on the part of the board and specific elected officials. you cannot argue the question regarding election integrity from the right is an attack on our democracy, constitutional republic, especially after four years of the democrats claiming that the 2016 presidential election was stolen because of russian interference. here is when a member of this committee said, mr. raskin of maryland said, i would love to challenge the electoral college vote because our boat was tainted by everything from cyber sabotage from vladimir putin to voter suppression in numerous swing states. we went through literally four and a half years, right up until the start of the november voting
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, early balloting in arizona, hillary clinton and her supporters in the media saying that the 2016 election was stolen by republicans. it is no secret that if you look at polling data, everything from the bush v gore era, the party whose candidate was not successful asserted that the election was not fair and impartial. no secret. every polling outlet from that point, 2001 up until 2020, claimed that. i advocated for a full forensic audit because i felt like election integrity should be restored. one of the biggest things that i find problematic here is that two statutory minimum audits committed to by the county board of supervisors that were done could have been easily expanded
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in a timely fashion to a full forensic audit and chose not to do it. spent $18,000 for those audits. spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, multiple lawsuits to prevent the audit that we are discussing today. ultimately, the bottom line is, we are here because this chairwoman and the democrats do not want to see any kind of legislative change. i believe there used to be legislative change probably in arizona. i don't know what is going on in other states. folks tell me there need to be legislative change, too. that is why we are here, because the chairwoman would like to see legislative change scuttled. for the life of me, i don't understand why this committee thinks it has the constant obligation to interfere in what
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is patently a state issue. with that, i yield back. host: the gentleman yields back. i recognize mr. raskin, chairman of the subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties, for an opening statement. >> madam chair, i thank you for calling this important hearing, and thank you for making our committee the leader in defending democracy and the voting rights of the people against this escalating onslaught by donald trump and his supporters against american constitutional democracy. we know that mr. trump never accepted the results of the 2020 presidential elections despite the fact that joe biden beat him by more than 7 million votes, 306 to 232 in the electoral college. donald trump moved quickly to try to write out the state
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election officials, and they were the first line of defense to democracy. people like sec. of state brad raffensperger in georgia who refused to participate in donald trump's election fraud, refusing to find 11,000 votes that donald trump said was all he needed in order to overturn the salt in the state. there were election officials across the country who repudiated donald trump's claims of corruption and fraud. in fact, his own homeland security department to clear the 2020 election the most secure in american history. then he went to court, and 61 federal and state courts in the land, from the lowest courts in the land, county district courts, federal district courts, all the way to the supreme court, definitively, meticulously, and comprehensively refuted and
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rejected every claim that donald trump supporters made, that there was election fraud or electoral corruption. even the claim that some of our colleagues have decided to float again today, which has been rejected all the way up to the supreme court was one that was thoroughly vetted. the idea that when state election administrators or state supreme court's under state constitutions, under state legislative command act in the electoral process, that is somehow unconstitutional. there is no basis for that. it has been made up. it was rejected in all of these courts. it was floated by the attorney general of texas who sued. it was rejected. then it was floated again on the house floor on january 6, as the violent insurrection mob attacked us. it was rejected again.
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yet, the big lie lives now in the sodi audits around the country. it was amazing to hear the gentleman from arizona essentially -- i think he is trying to ally the fact that this audit rejected the claim that donald trump won in arizona. i never really understood members from arizona challenging the result by which they themselves were elected in the exact same election where they were elected, yet, still -- mr. biggs can correct me if i am wrong -- i hear him not even accepting the results of this audit who say that joe biden got more votes that were lawfully reported by the states. >> will determine yield? i am happy to respond. >> do you accept this audit which shows joe biden won and won by more votes? >> that is not what the audit
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included. you know better than that. have you read the whole audit or have you cherry picked a line that talks about the recap versus the tabulation machines? that we would have expected to be similar. anything that may have endured -- >> i am happy to yield to you. who won the election in arizona? >> we don't know. as the audit demonstrates, there are a lot of issues with this election that took place. we will go through those today. you can continue speaking of the big lie. you can perpetuate it as long as you want. >> madam chair, there is the problem we have. donald trump refuses to accept the results. unfortunately, we have one of the great political parties which has followed him off of the ledge of this electoral lunacy. it is dangerous for democracy. i am glad we are having this hearing today. i yield back to you, madam chair. chairwoman maloney: i would like
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to respond to my dear friend from the great state of kentucky who said we had not conducted oversight with the administration. i want to remind him, two days ago, we held a hearing on ida with the administrator with fema on the response of the federal government to that disaster. in terms of afghanistan, last month, at the rest of republicans, we held a bipartisan classified briefing with the defense department, state department, dhs, and intelligence community, to examine the ongoing efforts to help u.s. citizens and afghan allies who are still at risk in afghanistan. i will note, just yesterday, our national security subcommittee chair mr. lynch, sent invitations for a counterterrorism hearing later this month on afghanistan. but we do not want to be
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focusing on areas -- we are focusing on this election audit. i would now like to introduce the witnesses. >> point of order. host: who is calling for a point of order -- chairwoman maloney: who is calling for a point of order, who is speaking? >> i just want to clarify. we called for a hearing about the debacle in afghanistan. what you provided us was a closed-door classified briefing. he american people want transparency and accountability with what went wrong with afghanistan. when we are asking for is not a behind the closed door smoke-filled room briefing by a bunch of bureaucrats in the biden administration. we want a transparent hearing so that the american people can see what went wrong.
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i yield back. chairwoman maloney: again, i repeat, i held that classified briefing at the request of republicans who asked for it. let's return to the subject before us today. i want to introduce our witnesses. our first witness is jack sellers, the chairman of the board of supervisors of maricopa county, arizona. then we will hear from bill gates, who is the vice chairman of the board of supervisors of maricopa county. next, we will hear from david becker, who is executive director and founder of the center for election innovation and research. next, we will hear from gowri ramachandran, a senior counsel at the brennan center for justice. finally, we will hear from ken bennett, the senate audit liaison and the former secretary of state in arizona.
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the witnesses will be unmuted so that we can swear them in. please raise your right hands. do you swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and the thing but the truth, so help you god? let the record show the witnesses answered in the affirmative. thank you. without objection, your written statements are made a part of the record. . with that, mr. sellers, you are recognized for your testimony. thank you for traveling here from arizona, and former public service. >> thank you, madam chair, members of the committee. thank you for inviting me here today. i want to start by saying the election of november 3, 2020 in maricopa county was free, fair, and accurate. maricopa county is the second-largest largest voting district in the united states of america. i sit before you today as a
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republican who was voted into office in november of 2020. there is a member of this distinguished committee who was also successful in the november 2020 election held in maricopa county. but the most important people involved in the november election where the men and women of the maricopa county elections department. they executed a secure, accurate, and efficient election of over 1.8 million voters in the nations fourth most populous county during a worldwide pandemic. our election department was praised by election experts throughout the country, and we received an award from the national association of counties. maricopa county began planning for the 2020 election immediately after the november 2018 election results were canvassed and submitted to the arizona secretary of state.
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the county began to assess staff , processes, and agreement needs in anticipation of the 2020 election cycle, and taking appropriate action to complete that preparation, because we also knew that the election results in maricopa county would play a pivotal role in both the outcome of the presidential race and the u.s. senate chamber political makeup. i am very proud of the efforts we put forth to prepare. we work closely with the arizona secretary of state, legislative leaders in both the house and senate, the attorney general, and the governor's office. we were also very inclusive of all political parties who participated fully in not only observing election day administration and tabulation, but also in pre-and postelection logic and accuracy testing. if you were in arizona politics
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in november 2020 and did not understand how maricopa county was running elections, then you just were not paying attention. the county authored an election bill regarding electronic adjudication at the legislature which passed both chambers unanimously and was signed by our governor. the county invested in a very robust voter education campaign, so if you watch tv, tweeted, or instagram, or used youtube, you saw our media campaign. we implemented the technology to educate our residents on when and how to register, how you can vote, where you can vote, and the wait times at the polling locations, all by pushing a button on your phone. we ran a presidential preference election in february. all participants agreed it was well-run and accurate. we ran the primary election in august of 2020.
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again, the public, candidates, and political parties agreed that counties election execution was excellent. we ran the 2020 general election in november and suddenly, what to that point had been a great process, was deemed fatally flawed by a small yet loud minority. i daresay if you are a student of maricopa county republican election history, you are not surprised by the results. it was not a flawed election process. not a lack of security. it was a candidate that many maricopa county republicans completed support. if that lesson is not clear to our state and looking county leaders, i'm afraid 2022 will not be favorable to my party. during these last 10 months, i have learned a lot about people,
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and frankly, i was naive in thinking that i could sit down with our state senate leadership and explain the answers to their questions and accusations and we could put this uncertainty behind us and move on with securing a fruitful future for our residents. it has become clear that there are those who do not care what the facts are. they just want to gain political power and raise money by fostering mistrust of the greatest power and individual can exercise in the united states, their vote. i am an elected official. some say i signed up for this, and that is true. but i ran because economic development and maintaining our quality of life is very important to me. making sure the valley of the son has the proper investment in infrastructure, technology, and education is what drives me. relitigating a failed campaign is not what drives me.
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so it is time to move on. it is time to put our efforts into securing a greater future for our country, and that is exactly what i plan to do. thank you. chairwoman maloney: thank you. the gentleman yields back. mr. gates, you are now recognized for your testimony. >> thank you very much, madam chair, ranking members of the committee. thank you so much for having me here today to discuss a very important issue in our country, and that is the future of fair and free elections. the 2020 election in maricopa county, the general election, was the best election we have run in maricopa county. the way i know that, it was the most scrutinized election in the history of maricopa county. election experts said that. machine counts confirmed it. hand counts confirmed it.
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the court system reconfirmed it. and our residents were happy, too. we did a poll of 80,000 voters, and 90% of them said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the election. really by any measure, this election in 2020 was secure, and everyone who wanted to vote was able to do so. unfortunately, some in our party see it differently. they have attacked the work that was done by our elections workers in maricopa county, and they have fanned the flames of conspiracy. this willingness to do so, unfortunately, is what led to the first non-peaceful transfer of power in our country's history. unfortunately, arizona has been at the center of this attack on our american ideals. even though joe biden won
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arizona by 45,000 votes, 20 members of the arizona legislature signed a resolution asking congress to disregard those results, and seat and elector seat of trump electors. that was without doubt, a staggering refusal to follow the will of the voters. next, republican state senators went to court and try to get from maricopa county the people's ballots and the election machines "sufficiently in advance of the congressional review of the electoral college returns on january 6, 2021." when they failed, senators carried on. they threatened to jail me and my colleagues on the board of supervisors. then they cast doubt on two additional audits that we
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authorized at the board of supervisors. by the way, both of these audits found there was no hacking, there was no manipulation with our machines, or with our software. it should have ended there, but it didn't. the senate then hired cyber ninjas to head up a group of firms with no or little election experience to conduct an extralegal review, essentially an extralegal recount of maricopa county's ballots. really, that can only be described as an amateurish review of maricopa county's election technical infrastructure. the cyber ninjas changed the policies and procedures, they chased conspiracy theories, they threw out false claims, and worst of all, they accused our good election workers of committing crimes. they said they deleted files.
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but these were files that the cyber ninjas just could not find. this was either an out and out lie, or a level of incompetence by the cyber ninjas that was staggering. elections integrity is not a new thing for me. as a former republican election lawyer for the arizona republican party, it is a passion of mine. that is why i am here today, to speak out against those that are passing up this disinformation, and those that would call on legitimate elections to be decertified. this is without doubt the biggest threat to our democracy in my lifetime. if elected officials continue to choose party over truth, then these procedures will continue on, these privately funded government-backed attacks on
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legitimate elections. and losers of elections will just go out and find financial backers who will continue to drag these procedures on. unfortunately, that is going to negatively impact our democracy. as a republican who believes in democracy, i dreamed of one day going to a nation that was trying to build a democracy and help them out. perhaps a former soviet republic like belarus or toshiko stan -- tajikistan. i never imagined i would be doing that work here in the united states of america. thank you. chairwoman maloney: thank you. mr. becker, you are now recognized. >> thank you, madam chair, members of the committee.
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i have nearly 25 years of experience working in elections, and i come here today, concerned like i have never been before about the ongoing threats to american democracy. first, the good news. in every state, including arizona, we saw the most to cure, verified, and most transparent election in american history. almost 95% of all ballots were cast on auditable paper, up from 80% in 2016, including all ballots in every swing state. there were more legitimate audits of those ballots than ever before in states like arizona, michigan, and notably in georgia, where they counted every presidential ballot three times, including once entirely by hand. we saw more pre-election litigation clarifying the rules that ever before, with each side waiting some cases and looting others. and there was more post litigation confirm the results. this was largely due to the
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heroic efforts of election officials around the country of both parties who managed record turnout while severely underfunded during a global pandemic. but the bad news is that tens of millions of americans sincerely disappointed that their candidate lost, have been targeted in a scam to keep them angry, divided, and donating. they have been fed a constant diet of lies, telling them that millions of fellow citizens, half of the members of their own party, engaged in a massive conspiracy to deliver the presidency and that none of them are talking. this big lie is leading to laws in those states that is making elections less secure and leading to threats to public servants. it has led to the effort recently concluded by the cyber ninjas in maricopa county. the effort was flawed from the start. they spread lies about the election months before they got the contract, and despite having no experience in elections, they raised millions of dollars from outside sources to fund their
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effort. the arizona senate and their contractors had to be taken to court to get basic documents about the process and the backroom discussion that drove it. meanwhile, the ninjas seized ballots from election officials who were required by law to maintain them, and in so doing likely violate federal law, and broke the chain of custody of these ballots. one of the great ironies is that even if the ninjas had discovered an actual election problem, which they did not, they had so tainted the evidence it would have been found it admissible in any legal proceeding to address the problem. the ninjas conclusion suffered from the same flaws that afflicted the entire process. they made wild claims about voters who had allegedly moved based on a discredited methodology and that incomplete commercial database. experience election auditors confirmed the ninjas and their allies got half of their numbers wrong, including failing to account for one third of the hand counted ballots. despite the fact that arizona
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was the best hope for those to defy the election, the ninjas found nothing. it demonstrated that even in a state with a small margin of victory, highly biased and motivated individuals bolted by millions of dollars from unclear sources and eight months to work could not manufacture enough fake fraud to overturn the will of arizona voters. before the ninjas even started, the election had been confirmed, consistent with arizona law. this were confirmed and maintained accurately thanks to arizona's membership in the electronic information center, the gold standard of lists that states utilize. audits conducted after the election pursuant to arizona law compare the paper ballot to machine counts and confirmed the outcomes. nevertheless, the ninjas efforts has continued in threats to public servants and their families.
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notwithstanding, lawyers, lawmakers in pennsylvania, texas, and wisconsin have pushed similar efforts, now 11 months after the election. in each of these states, there is still zero evidence of significant fraud, even after a year of looking for it. these efforts continue to have a disastrous effect on our democracy. we are at risk of losing a generation of professional expertise and administration due to the threats. laws are being passed that make elections less secure and inject more chaos into vote counting and certification of results. elected leaders are finding their elections delegitimize and their ability to govern question. ironically, many of the same lawmakers in these states are calling into question their own elections, as members of the arizona senate have done. real postelection audits conducted transparency by professionals under law are a very good thing. we had more stronger audits than ever before in 2020. if states want to pass laws
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requiring better audits immediately after an election, i will be helping them. i have already done so with republicans and democrats in states like georgia and michigan, but that is not what happened in arizona and other states. the legislature didn't see any problems with their existing laws pre-election, it was only after they became unhappy with the results and the losing candidate refused to concede. chairwoman maloney: thank you. gowri ramachandran, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> chairwoman maloney, ranking members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss this critical issue. in the last year, we have seen a number of techniques employed to undermine the will of the voters . the flagrant violence of january 6, the behind-the-scenes phone calls to state and local officials, alleged secret memo advocating for a coup.
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none of these techniques succeeded in overturning the 2020 election but willfully ignorant sham partisan reviews are serving up innuendo and baseless this mission, ready for the point by super-spreader's of lies. the impact of these lies is twofold, attacks on election officials and their families now , and the fostering of systematic efforts at election sabotage the future. i hope to victory point in my testimony. first, after more than nine months and millions of dollars spent, the sham partisan review in arizona has given us the same insinuation that purveyors of voter fraud have been pushing and that real election results have been debunking for years. it is no surprise. contractors of the arizona senate shows were biased from the start. second, we cannot dismiss these foolish exploits out of hand because they are spreading and providing seed material that common actors leverage in their disinformation campaigns to keep the big lie alive.
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third, all of society must do its part to protect our democracy. congress can help by providing resources to help election officials defend against these attacks and by passing legislation to protect election officials, workers, and voters. the partisan review was conceived and executed by people who were the subject of pressure from former president trump and his supporters to propagate fraud claims, from a state senate meeting with giuliani, to a call with trump to president sam, voicemails left with the maricopa county supervisor, who stood firm and did not call back. the pressure campaign did not let up. it is in this context, instead of choosing transparent and competent contractors, the senate chose cyber ninjas. seth logan, the ceo of cyber ninjas third and still stand by a memo to legislators chock of debunked stop the steal conspiracy theories, including a viral claim against a former dominion employee had to go into
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hiding after a flood of harassment and threats. in addition to being biased, the cyber ninjas resisted transparency about their procedures at every turn. there is also very little transparency about who is spending the review, and what little information that has been disclosed is troubling. finally, cyber ninjas were incompetent to perform any review. the current top three findings are textbook examples of how purveyors of voter fraud misunderstand data. first, they ignore the problem of the basic concept of probability. they look for arizona voters who shared a first come middle, last name with another voter and found about 10,000 matches. they then gave the finding the alarming title, voters that potentially voted in multiple counties. but within groups of people that have a common name, such as robert smith, it's expected that some of them will share a birthday, and it's even more common for people to share a birth year, which is all the
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cyber ninjas found. in another example of their willingness to cast aspersions on their fellow citizens, they labeled one finding critical, supposedly impacting over 23,000 ballots. this is the number of people who cyber ninjas found through matching voter tracking files to a commercial address verification list. the temporary moves do not change a voter's eligibility to vote from their permanent residence. this is an obscure election law fact. it appeared in mainstream news story before november since many had questions about it during the pandemic. cyber ninjas is not the only biased contractor that was chosen. another was chosen to look at ballot envelope images. he has a history of conflating ballots to alleged election fraud in his home state of massachusetts. he did this again with envelope images and ballots in arizona. these errors and misleading innuendo would be said if they were not so dangerous. most election officials do not have the staff and resources to run year-round staff check
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operations. congress should assist with these resources. many of the provisions in the freedom to vote act would also be helpful, such as one providing for voters to bring a lawsuit if their right to vote has been infringed in a federal election. this provision would provide a remedy in the worst case scenario where an official gives into pressure to overturn an outcome. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i look forward to answering your questions. chairwoman maloney: mr. bennet, you are now recognized. >> thank you, chairwoman maloney, ranking member cromer, members of the committee. auditing elections is not a threat to our democratic republic. anything we can do to make sure our elections are transparent, trackable, and publicly verified only strengthens our country. elections are we, the people, how we give our consent to the government as stated in the declaration of independence. every citizen deserves to know
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that they are treated equally under the law as guaranteed in the constitution. every lawful vote must be counted accurately and not canceled out by unlawful ones. even the election system used by maricopa county, known as dominion, points out in their marketing materials that the four steps in an election is to audit an election. they even trademarked that module, saying "this ballot level audit trail allows election officials and other stakeholders to review not only the ballot images but also the tabulator's interpretation of each ballot. and why does each ballot matter? in 2020, arizona had the closest contest for president in our state's history. to use numbers we can all easily relate to, if arizona was 1000 people, we had 80%, or 800 people vote. the official results were president biden, 397, president
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trump, 395. yet, a two out of every 800 vote margin, .3%, the exact percentage of about 10,000 in the actual election. you notice 300 97 and 395 do not add up to 800 either. that is because on 1% of the ballots, eight out of 800, the machine did not record any vote in the presidential race. in the actual election, it was almost 34,000 ballots out of 3.4 million statewide. maybe that is what those voters intended, or maybe that is what voters did, circled or checked to the oval, not giving any mark inside the oval. in either case, no vote was counted by the election management system, and those under votes would not have been sent to adjudication teams to determine voter intent. this fact alone warrants auditing election that was this close by reviewing each ballot.
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which is exactly what we did in the audit. we reviewed each of the almost 2.1 million ballots, and despite months of warning from the county, secretary of state, election experts, and most of the media that the auditor procedures were imprecise and unreliable, the most significant finding of the audit is at the hand count of the physical ballots very closely matches the county's official results in the president and senate races. that finding is frustrating to many who expected the audit to prove a different election result. but as arizona senate president karen phan stated numerous times, the audit has never been about trying to overturn the 2020 election. it is about verifying that arizona laws and procedures were followed and identifying how loss can be improved and better enforced going forward to maximize integrity in our elections. to that end, we did find several areas where election laws and procedures were or may have been violated.
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these include missing or unmatched signatures on ballot envelope affidavits, missing serial numbers matching duplicate balance to their originals, common usernames and passwords used could log into the election management system, insufficient security protocols and procedures, deleted files and turned logs from the data delivered to the senate, and numerous voter registration anomalies. some of these are findings and some are observations or questions to which the county says they have answers and explanations. we welcome those answers. one of the most disturbing aspects of the audit was the county's lack of cooperation, especially their unwillingness to answer any questions once the audit began. not many people like to have their work checked, but audits are much better with the cooperation of the oddity -- auditee. to find those answers and accountability.
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election integrity is so important. we must find ways to work amongst different levels and branches of government to achieve it. no election or election audit can be conducted perfectly, as they are administered by imperfect human beings. i believe the majority of election officials throughout our fine state are honorable, well-intentioned people trying to do the best job they can. i believe the same about the audit. we should not fear auditing elections. we should embrace it and welcome it. chairwoman maloney: thank you. thank all the panelists for your testimony. i now recognize myself. chairman sellars, supervisor gaetz, thank you for being here today -- gates, thank you for being here today. you are both lifelong republicans. mr. gates, i understand even founded a teenage republican party while in high school, and
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i don't think anyone would question you for either of your long-held allegiance to the republican party. yet, you have both been outspoken messengers that the 2020 election was safe, secure, and fair. even when that message has brought you into conflict with members of your own party. nearly every republican in the arizona state senate voted to hold both of you in contempt for standing up against the cyber ninjas audit. one republican state senator called for the entire maricopa board to be arrested and put in solitary confinement. my question for you, supervisor gates, why have you chosen to speak out so forcefully on this issue, even against some members of your own party? >> thank you, madam chair.
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it has not been easy to do this. i have been a lifelong republican, and i am proud to be a republican. but i am also a member of the board of supervisors. as was mentioned earlier, the board of supervisors took more authority in running elections in 2020 because we wanted to run an xml election. we believe that is what has happened. but the problem is, as people have been distorting what happened in this election -- i have no problem with people raising questions. what i have a problem with is people going to the length, as you mentioned. we had gone to court to get direction from a superior court judge on whether we had the legal authority to turn the ballots over. we had asked for an expedited hearing. despite that, the arizona state senate was one vote away from holding us in contempt, and most likely detaining us. that was wrong. it was also wrong, once they had
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the ballots, in my opinion, to conduct an audit with auditors who had no elections experience, and also auditors who clearly had a preconceived notion. i don't have a problem with audits. i had a concern with this particular audit. that is why i am speaking out. chairwoman maloney: chairman sellars, why are you speaking out today? >> when i first got on the board of supervisors, we were in the process of taking parts of the election process back that we could because we had had some issues with elections in the past couple of elections. people waiting in line for four, five hours, those kinds of things. the interesting thing to me was, every step of the way, we ensured we were staying within
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the u.s. and arizona constitution on everything that we did. when we were faced with a pandemic and had to change the way that we were going to run the election from a precinct-based model to a vote center model, we again went back to the political parties, secretary of state, governor, attorney general, and got their agreement on everything we were doing, that it was legal and going to provide us with a safe, secure election going forward. chairwoman maloney: thank you. >> you face pressure to support president trump's big lie even before the audit started. on christmas eve last year, former president trump's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani
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called mr. sellers and mr. gates as part of the pressure campaign to try to overturn the election results in arizona. neither of you picked up, so he left a voicemail. i would like to play one of those voicemails now that mr. giuliani left for chairman sellers. may we hear the audio please? >> it's giuliani president trump's attorney calling. i hope we have a chance to have a conversation. i would like to see if there is a way we can resolve this for everyone. i think we all have the same goal. let's see if we can get this done outside of the court. call me anytime. >> mr. giuliani said we are all republicans. i think we all have the same goal. i would like to ask you mr.
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gates, what do you think that goal was? you got a similar call where he asked you to quote get this thing fixed up and saying i think there might be a nice way to resolve this. >> point of order, i hope i will be extended the same courtesy to go beyond the five minutes. >> absolutely. mr. gates: that voicemail was left at a time we were in litigation with the state senate overturning over the ballots in the election machines. i think he was trying to get us to settle that lawsuit so we could get the ballots in advance of the january 6 certification of the electoral college. >> why was this so important? what was his ultimate goal? mr. gates: i can't speculate on that. i think that he wanted to look
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at the evidence to see if there was evidence not certifying the election. >> want to thank you both. my time is up. and the state and local officials that stood up to his campaign and turn back his efforts to overturn a free and fair election. the late senator from arizona, john mccain once said and i quote we are americans first, americans last, americans always. i agree, we are americans for members of any political party. i hope other republicans including my colleagues in congress follow the example that you set today. i want to thank you for your testimony. thank you so much. i now recognize the gentleman from arizona. >> can you hear me?
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i want to thank all of the witnesses, especially mr. bennet from my district. thank you for attending. the majority is shortsighted. this hearing today reminds me of 2017, maybe 2018 when one of our own members from the other side introduced legislation for the vendor security act. part of that was due to election security vendor infrastructure subcommittee hearing. which basically said that the equipment, the machines were potentially 100% corrupt. interesting.
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now i want to bring back entry point a film. i am not usually complimentary of films. this one is very interesting released march 2020. it is called kyl chain by hbo. they go in with a man who is very good at what he does. what he talks about, he goes systematically through an election. in these machines. in the old days, when my hair was still around and not so gray , they were adding machines with a light. today, they are controlled by computers. all computers can be hacked. what he does is he goes through a number of scenarios and people and experts to show how these machines can be corrupt.
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the results we see here supposedly don't change the outcome. there is more to the story. it is how this can be manipulated by the machines. then the calibration or the certification of those ballots is covered up by the machines. don't take my word for. i want you to go back to watch this. i think it's a wonderful documentary. it doesn't take a partisan look either way. at least for most of it. but it highlights a series of problems that exist. undeniably. hackers can make this case. we have problems with -- from the 2018 election. the board of supervisors admirably took back some of their power and oversight of that election. mr. fontes kept custody of the
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voter registration rules. very important. we start dissecting with the cyber ninjas did. first of all, they want the scrutiny from private entity like cyber ninjas because the certification is not exactly what you really want. i don't think it's what mr. rasping or anybody wants either. you don't want them -- you want somebody independent. from the standpoint that we see this, their problems. how about me? where does it come from a? the day after the election, i was contacted by two individuals. with jobs in the banking world. from fraud to the department of defense. they were monitoring the
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election. providing information to the media. they were watching secretary of state at the same time. what they saw from arizona drew their attention quickly based on numbers of 90,000, 60 thousand, 40,000 ballots in trump's category then came out verbatim. there may be a reason for that, we don't know. then they started looking to the dumps. what i mean by that is, there is multiple dumps maybe nine or 10 throughout the night. if they are random, which they should be. if the first one was 61% for joe biden, you would expect the rest of the time, the rest of the dumps to be very similar. 58, 62, 55 and so forth. not 40, 38, 35.
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that drew a big? for them. there were four anomalies in our state. maricopa county, tucson, flagstaff, and southeast phoenix. the top two election officials in one county resigned the next morning. that doesn't draw any attention, does? it gets even worse. the maricopa election committee takes 100 random duplicate ballots. these are ballots that can't go through the machines. when you run the machine, you should have 0% error. they had 3% error rate. in maricopa county, that
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represents 90,000 ballots. we have a problem. the margin of loss is under 11,000. that they take other random look at ballots. they never finished, they locked them out. we were told there were double-digit error rates. these two guys, the estimated between 450000 and 700,000 ballots had some electronic or some kind of issue. still empty ballot that had an issue. if you take three times three at 90,000, you are talking about over 270,000 ballots. this should because for an audit. it shouldn't be suing the state who has jurisdiction over you and we had to go to court for that aspect and yet the state
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one. but we saw county supervisors lock them up. the judge said they don't have to answer to the state senate but they do. they didn't provide different mechanisms. they didn't allow full canvas. they didn't have access to the routers, they didn't have full access for voter signature. and documentation and accuracy. >> the gentleman's time -- >> hopefully i will be able to get some time yielded to me so i can explain more. should have been an audit ace on this information. >> the gentleman has received equal time and we were both over time. i now recognize the gentleman from the district of columbia. she is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you and i will try to stay within my time. this oversight hearing is the
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appropriate response to claims that the election was stolen. let's look into it, let's call as we have those who were in charge of collecting the selection. i know for the record, the ones who did the audit is not here i thought they would be the first want to step up to speak to the issue of the audit. they were invited, they are not here. the other side mentioned problems in all of our elections, there has never been problems such as the problem we have seen here. this is unprecedented. he mentioned wish versus gore. -- bush versus gore. i remember that gore stepped up to concede the election. that is the american way. this is the first time that has been broken in the history of the united states of america.
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i have questions for the chairman and supervisor who i think or appearing for us today. i understand that since the election, you have been the targets of horrific threats of violence. something else unprecedented in american life. i would like to ask each of you about the threats you've received. chairman sellers, how many threats have you and your family received since november 2020 and how have these threats affected you and your family? >> i have not reacted as much to the threats as some of my colleagues because i am widowed. i live alone. even my staff and our law
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enforcement agencies have admonished me for not being concerned enough about the threats. to that point, i have had the police department vehicles parked in front of my house on many nights because specific threats against me. the maricopa county sheriff told me if you don't have a ring doorbell, i will buy you one and i now have one to enhance security where i live. >> that kind of threat after an election is unprecedented in american life. mr. gates, can you describe threats you would your family have received and is it your understanding that people making these threats support the notion
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that the election was stolen? mr. gates: thank you for that question. i have three daughters and we have been subjected to many threats over the past few months. one of our colleagues had 90 people outside of his house one evening. we have had phone calls into the board of supervisors saying that people were going to come and slaughter us and our families. sadly, we had a state senator who sent out a fundraising e may in which she told us that she is a veteran and she told us to check our six which i believe means that we better watch our back. this is clearly an attempt by people and we see it on both sides of the aisle sadly, people all across the spectrum. it generally has been people who are unhappy with the election
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results. there has been an attempt to intimidate us and intimidating others who are doing election work. that's what i am most concerned about, is that this would deter good people who want to be involved in running elections in the future from getting involved and making a difference. >> that's an important point. these are volunteers and we need them every election. mr. sellers, have other supervisors and employees of the county been targeted by similar credit -- threats of the kind you have mentioned? mr. sellers: yes absolutely. we had a fence put up around our building in phoenix. a fence put up around election headquarters. just to protect the employees. the important thing to me is that the elections department people are nonpartisan people
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who have worked through all of the elections without any political involvement at all. they are experts at what they do. yet they as well were getting threats. >> madam chair, it's important to put on the record, this kind of conduct you would expect in an autocratic republic not a democracy like the united states of america. that's what this is so important and i thank you. >> i now recognize the gentleman from arizona for as much time as he needs. >> thank you i will try to stays close to the five-minute is like an. -- as i can. there is a terrible thing the threats. i spent two years receiving threats from the hard left. i couldn't even hold town halls because i had to have massive amounts of protection for me and anyone who would come because we had no idea what would happen.
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the threats were real. the president of the arizona senate has received threats from the other side as well. this is a problem we face in a divided nation right now. i wanted to point out something about mr. gates testimony because you mentioned in your written testimony i read that and you stated that the senate was trying to put you in jail. that is in the full context. the full context was this. the senate in december after their hearing issued subpoenas. you guys were negotiating trying to figure out how to respond to those. it didn't happen. in january and february, there was an attempt to issue second subpoenas. though subpoenas are not responded to. the court hearing was held.
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timothy thomason said this subpoenas -- the subpoenas were valid. you didn't go to court to say we want to participate, we just want to know what we cannick cannot get. you went to quash the subpoenas. that is a huge difference. to be held in contempt it takes a majority. they didn't get the majority, because the senate is evenly split. that is something quite different than saying they were trench put us in jail. they were trying to cite you for contempt of something the constitutionally and statutorily the legislature was allowed to do. on to make sure that was clear as we go. >> may respond to that? >> no, it is my time. i'm going to turn to mr. bennet. i want to ask you a question with regard to this notion of
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let make it to my question, mr. becker yes. he was critical of the chain of custody. you talk to us about the chain of custody? i don't want to be rude mr. gates i have a limited amount of time. >> i think mr. becker's testimony was that the ninjas seized the ballots and machines. nothing could be further from the truth. i personally along with mr. scott gerrit supervised the transition of the ballots and the machines from the county to the audit over time of two days. we processed 46 pallets, hundreds of boxes. that process went very smoothly. i have been very complementary privately and publicly of mr. gerrit and the county transition of the ballots.
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we did find 26 mismarked boxes. we found eight boxes that were not listed on the manifest. the chain of custody documents that maricopa county was supposed to have since the election until they turned them over to us on april 22, 2021. we found two boxes on the manifest but not present on the pallets. then we found three boxes on different pallets than they were listed. out of 1691 boxes, there were 40 something boxes of errors. the transition was not one of the auditors seizing the ballots, we had a smooth transition. once they were in our custody for the audit, we never had a break or lack of chain of custody until we returned them to the county. >> why is the chain of custody so important here where the
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folks who didn't want to see an audit take place claim there was a chain of custody problem but the actual chain of custody problem was in transferring from the county do you? why's it important? mr. bennett: the chain of custody that has never been provided is required by law that should be created when the ballots are delivered to the county by their vendors than are processed in the election through the election. it chain of custody should have started then and that chain of custody should have been part of the documentation delivered to us when the ballots and the machines were given to us in april. we never received that chain of custody. but we do have a full chain of custody. the reason that is during the audit is the same as during the election. to be able to account to the people that you have accounted for all the ballots and the ones that you used, the ones you didn't use, spoiled, duplicated, and all of that chain of custody is important in the election as it is in the audit which is why
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we maintain full chain of custody in the audit. >> i now recognize the gentleman from massachusetts mr. lynch. >> thank you, madam chair. mr. gates, i will give you an opportunity to respond to the fact pattern that was resented in your question first, how shameful, i how absolutely shameful the conduct of some of my colleagues have been in perpetuating this light. -- this big lie. i chair the subcommittee on national security and we regularly visit failed states. i spent a lot of time in afghanistan as well as other countries where there is one common denominator in these failed states and that is there is no trust in the election
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process. for decades, and afghanistan the losing candidate always says it was stolen. they undermine the ability of the winning party to govern. while that has been a characteristic in other failed states, it is having the same impact on our country. it is undermining the faith and whoever wins whether it is a democratic republic or republican candidate. that is shameful. the so many of my colleagues have followed the trump light. this is all about trump. mr. trump has had other occasions where he is questioned elections. he tweeted out when romney lost to obama, he tweeted that the election was stolen. check the machines he said.
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when ted cruz beat him in iowa, said he stole it. i have attended several caucuses in iowa. you had to physically be there, you have to raise your hand for your candidate. trump said it was stolen. then months before the selection , this past election when president biden one -- when president biden won, he said the only way is if he could steal it. that is absolutely shameful. what is more shameful is that he has taken so many good people down with him. history will remember the people like mr. gates and chairman sellers who stood up for democracy. in the face of threats, physical
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threats to themselves and their families. history will also remember the quibbling's who backed trump and his -- that the election was stolen. is reputational he something that is going to be visited on your family. that you attack this country, you attack a legitimate election in favor of that man. president trump. it is disgraceful. 62 cases were brought in court. none of them. before trump appointed federal judges the trump appointed a lot of state judges that were republicans. they never ever substantiated.
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most of those cases were dismissed for lack of evidence. they never got to the merits. yet you continue to support the big lie. it is disgraceful. mr. gates, i yield my last-minute to you to address the custodial issues that the gentleman from arizona raised. mr. gates: thank you, congressman. i didn't want to leave any lack of clarity on what happened. we did receive a subpoena and we didn't attempt to quash the subpoena for the record. we went to court to get direction. we believed it was a violation of arizona law to produce the ballots and the machines. we were looking for direction. i would point out as well, we did not appeal that decision to the court of appeals which a lot of people have said was a mistake on our part. i did not want to give -- i wanted to make that clear for the record. the vote that took place, we
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were in the office and we said we asked for an expedited hearing. you don't have to do that. she said going up on the board. i said my daughter called me and said are you going to get thrown in jail? she said we are going to throw you in jail. i said this resolution gives you the authority up to and including throwing us in jail and there will be a lot of people pressing for us to be in jail if we weren't by the end of that day. >> the representative from georgia is now recognized. >> this committee continues to ignore its responsibility as we have so many issues facing our country at the border, inflation, we have so many issues and here we are meddling with what states are doing in their election laws with state and the audit which the
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constitution clearly grants the states to oversee all of this. nonetheless, i hear about the big lie. let's remember the big lie was the russian hoax that we had to live with for years. going through the hoax impeachment process over and over. i don't recall a single hearing that we had on that, madam chair. here, it is somehow wrong for publicans to raise legitimate questions when we had an election that was fraught with irregularities and potential fraud where rules and laws for the election process were changed immediately prior to the election and it created all sorts of problems. i think all of us recognize this. our republic is based on the foundation that the people, the voters of this country must have faith and confidence in our election process.
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yet tens of millions of people from this last election have serious concerns as to what happened and serious concerns with potential fraud. there are thousands and thousands of affidavits people expressing that. many of those affidavits i have personally looked at. when the people of this country lose faith in their elections, when they lose the belief that they can enact change at the ballot box, then we are in serious trouble. we must have an attitude -- to have an attitude we can sweep these under the rug is a major disservice to our constitution and the people of this land. wherever if ever there is fraudulent vote, that vote in itself by nature of what it is suppresses the vote of illegal voter. desha legal voter.
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-- a legal voter. if there is a fraudulent, then the legal vote suppressed. we cannot sweep these under the rug. the only way to deal with this type of crisis, potential crisis is to expose it. and to express -- expose the problems strata. my home state of georgia has become a center, the georgia general assembly has addressed the problems. they enacted 202 which is a great step forward to making sure that we have fair accessible secure and transparent elections in our state regardless of what democrats try to portray with the election law. i would ask unanimous consent to
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submit 202 to the record summary of that bill. >> without objection. >> thank you. in spite of it all, georgia has not been able to have a full audit which i believe we should have. in all that context is what i believe arizona audit is extremely important and something we have to continue to look at. ethic it's unfortunate that maricopa county in many ways resisted this and only through subpoenas and court order got through with all of this. there are still problems. there are inconsistencies. there remain? 's -- there remain questions with the results. for example, there appears to be many ballots from individuals who had moved project election. -- who had moved prior to the election.
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we have a host of other issues where the numbers don't add up. that is a serious problem. there are ballot batches that were not clearly delineated. we have serial numbers that were missing, originals that were duplicated more than once. the question is, we have to take this whole election issue of integrity seriously regardless of whether you are pleased with the outcome of the current administration and the disastrous results happening in our country. election integrity is of utmost importance to our country. we had to look at this in a serious way. i see my time has expired. where there are concerns of fraud and irregularities, they
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must be dealt with. i encourage us to move forward with that kind of attitude. >> the gentleman from maryland is recognized. we can't hear you. >> i hope that the colleagues saying we have a right to obtain the information they seek and that holding people in contempt for not complying with subpoenas is not an excuse to put them in jail but rather it is an attempt to affect people's right to information or number that. the legislature you belong to or get information from serial witnesses to the violent insurrection that led to the wounding and injury of more than 140 officers and interrupted the
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counting of electoral college votes for the first time in american history in the most sweeping violent attack on the u.s. capitol since the war of 1812. that is a point that people should keep in mind. the second point i want to make is you cannot bemoan loss of people's faith and elections while you are spreading information and propaganda that are eroding the people's faith and elections. when there are real problems, all of us need to act to address them. i don't think it is a fitting response to a situation to spread lies and propaganda and disinformation that are being refuted today by republican witnesses than say we have a problem with people's faith and elections. madam chair, this is one of the most important hearings i have ever seen. it's the most important thing going on in america today and i
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hope everybody listens to it. we have before us top ranking highly qualified election officials who happen to be republicans. chairman sellars and mr. gates. who have told us that the election in maricopa county was the most secure verified election in our history. they have told us that the attacks on the election are a scam to keep people angry and donating. they have said that the attacks on the election are lies. they have explained to us that the elections in arizona were free, fair, and accurate. and that joe biden won by more than 45,000 votes. this was confirmed by the counties, by the hand counts, by the machine counts, and by the people over 90% of whom believe the lawful results. yet still, we have people today in this hearing trying to
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perpetrate the big lie which their own concocted audit itself discredited. it is a remarkable moment in an extraordinary thing -- and an x ordinary thing for america to see. -- extraordinary thing for america to see. was there any fraud or corruption materially affecting the outcome of the election in arizona in 2020? mr. sellers: note. -- no. before we certified the election, we ask a lot of questions. we had over to our -- over 2-h our meeting where the results of the election were presented to us. we were able to ask questions presented by different people in the legislature and the senate. we very carefully went through
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everything before we canvassed and approved that election. >> you have invoked in this remarkable onslaught which continues by donald trump and his followers a staggering refusal to follow the will of the people which is the essence of democracy. how do you explain this staggering refusal to follow the will of the people? mr. sellers: i am not sure how i explain it, because a lot of people don't seem to realize that the board of supervisors do a lot of things other than just elections. where the fastest growing county in the united states and i am so anxious to get us back onto doing the kind of things that are truly important for us to be doing rather than relitigating things. as people have asked questions
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about the audit and the things that have been brought up in the audit, virtually everything has already been answered. >> at every level, forgive me i want to ask you one last question because much has been made of the fact that you guys are republicans. have been lifelong republicans, active republicans and all you are trying to stand up for is a free, fair, accurate election against the lies and propaganda. what if you were democrats? you can only imagine what they would be saying in that case. there are some people who will just not accept an accurate count from the election and my question for you is what did that mean for democracy if we have people who will question even after all of these audits even after all of this investment the final results as determined by election officials ? what does that mean for democracy? mr. sellers: it is very troubling because when you give
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people the facts and they still do not accept them, that is a problem. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman is recognized for point of order? the gentleman from ohio mr. jordan is now recognized for five minutes. >> the previous member just said bemoan the result and talk about the big lie. how about all the lies the democrats have told us over the couple of years? the protests in the summer of 2020 were peaceful. the democrats told us the dossier is real. the democrats told us trump colluded with russia. we had an investigation that said that wasn't true. the democrats told us the russian bounties story wasn't true. emma kratz told us covid didn't start in a trunk -- the democrats told us covid didn't start and a chinese lab. then democrats for four years told us the 2016 election was
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stolen. they could investigate that for four years, we aren't allowed to question some concerns we have about the 2020 election for four minutes. on january 6, 2017, democrats objected to more states than republicans objected to on january 6 2021. mr. raskin himself objected to the state of florida to certifying the results from the state of florida on january 6, 2017, but we aren't allowed to ask westerns. -- ask questions. they can object to alabama but we are allowed to object to pennsylvania? where in the run-up they changed the election law in an unconstitutional fashion. we are allowed to object to that or do an audit in arizona? give me a break. mr. becker, the chairwoman and
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her opening statement criticized the fact that private funds were used to finance the arizona audit. do you share her criticism? >> i do in the sense that it was on transparent. -- it was an transparent. -- untransparent. >> do you agree that mark zuckerberg gave over $400 million for the election itself? >> yes, my organization received over $60 million from mr. zuckerberg to grant to any state that want to apply for for voter education. >> how many million? >> $60 million my organization was granted to the states. it was all done transparently. we put out in march of this
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year, i'm sure you have read it. we put out a report listing all of the states that applied 23 states some of them very blue like connecticut, some of them very red like south carolina. >> it still came from private funds -- it is ok for private funds to be used for the election? mr. becker: no, transparency is paramount. >> -- transparency on how the 400 million dollars was used to run the election and what your organization did with the over $50 million you received. mr. bennet, there were three numbers pointed out in the audit. is auditing a bad thing? mr. bennett: absolutely not. it is already in state law that the counties do a limited audit.
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the senate did a full forensic audit in the situation. >> normally, we think auditing is a good thing. it's an understanding of what actually took place. why do democrats hate audits? mr. bennett: you would have to ask a democrat. i don't know why they hate audits. may, we have an auditor general office in the state of arizona. every state is audited. everyone seems to support that. i think audits of elections are warranted as well. >> no kidding. they tried to audit the 2016 election, they are still trying to do it. we aren't allowed to ask questions and do a few audits on the 2020 elections. i want to run by you a few numbers. 23,344 mail-in ballots from another address. 9044 more ballots returned by a voter then were sent to that
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voter. 5295 ballots with the same name and birthdate from a different county then were sent to the voter. can you tell me about those numbers and what those findings, tell me your findings on those numbers. >> the first number was the 23,000. my recollection was that 15,000 of those 23,000 were voters who moved within maricopa county project election. that does not take them ineligible to vote in the county. there's probably nothing wrong with those 15,000. there were 6000 of the 23,000 that was thought by the auditors to be moved out of arizona just prior to the election. if so, probably should not have been allowed to vote but when they looked at the registration of the 6000, it was divided equally 2000 republican,
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democrat, no party. we don't know what the votes were on those ballots. >> that was 6000. mr. bennett: yes. the other two numbers the auditors determined to be questionable based on their comparison of the final vote data released by maricopa county compared to commercial databases. that has given rise to questions that maricopa county says -- as i said in my testimony, we welcome answers from the county. >> the gentleman's time has expired. maybe we can get these answers in writing on that. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> thank you for holdings important hearing. -- holding this important
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hearing. my friends on the other side of the aisle claim that our democracy is strengthened when elections are subjected to forensic audit by outside entities. i think that all reasonable people would agree that if maricopa county should have hired an outside entity to conduct a forensic audit of the maricopa county 2020 presidential election, then doug logan and the cyber ninjas should not have been the firm entrusted with that obligation. why? because the arizona state senate knew that doug logan and the cyber ninjas had no election or auditing experience or expertise. they knew that he was a
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well-known and notorious pro-trump conspiracy extremist when they hired him to conduct the audit. doug logan and cyber ninjas were hired and no-bid sole-source process and knew that doug logan was spreading claims of election fraud on social media. the arizona senate was also aware that doug logan was spreading qanon racist theory and they knew that doug logan was intimately involved in promoting the stop the steal movement that was key to inciting the january 6 insurrection which was a violent attack on the u.s. congress and an attempt to overthrow the results of the presidential election that president biden had one -- won by the vote and the electoral college landslide.
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the fact that the arizona senate entrusted their so-called audit to a partisan political hack like doug logan is revealing as to the true quote -- purpose of the so-called audit. the real reason why the arizona senate entrusted this process to doug logan and the cyber ninjas was to undermine public confidence in our elections while providing a false justification for efforts in georgia with this infinite senate bill 202 and also arizona and other states around the country to pass laws making it harder to vote and easier for partisan officials like those in the arizona senate to subvert elections. -- it has now been revealed that doug logan and cyber ninjas took
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$5 million excuse me, over $7 million they took from private organizations connected to donald trump to fund their so-called audits. america project was one of those firms run by patrick byrne, the former executive of who sought to overturn the 2020 election based on unfounded conspiracy theories. america's future is another private firm raising money from angry citizens misled by donald trump and his minions about him losing the election, the election having been elected -- allegedly stolen from them. america's future has collected millions of dollars from americans and they used part of that money to give it to the
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cyber ninjas to conduct this sham audit which we are talking about here today. america's future is chaired by none other than the notorious michael flynn, president trump's discredited and flown he us -- for loney us national security advisor. --felonious national security advisor. cyber ninjas -- >> will the gentleman yield for a question? >> not at this time. i'm speaking facts and you will have some time when i finish to refute those facts. do you disagree with anything i have said? >> yes, thank you for yielding. as public record, there were three bids for the audit.
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you said it was a no-bid process. >> i knew i would get someone to protest me on that. it wasn't a no-bid contract. the other allegations are much more severe that you choose not to contest because they are uncontestable. do you contest the fact that america project run by patrick byrne funded this audit? do you protest the fact that -- >> his time has expired. he has no time to yield. that saved you. [laughter] >> thank you, adam gerol. -- madam chair. >> i yield back. >> i recognize the gentleman
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from wisconsin for five minutes. >> i think it is good to review the last election. i think absentee ballots, mail-in ballots are necessary for military folks, for people out of town. nevertheless, it seems that they were used more in this election than ever before. i am always worried about them. could someone maybe mr. bennet tell us about how many mail-in ballots there were in this election and the 2016 election? mr. bennett: in maricopa county, there were 1.9 million ballots mailed in. >> almost all were by mail? mr. bennett: 1.9 million by mail. a little shy of 200,000 who
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voted at a voting center. >> can you compare that to four years ago? mr. bennett: that ended up being 88% vote by mail which is up from 80% four years ago. >> i have two concerns about vote by mail. i am wondering how you dealt with it in your audit. my first concern, when you show up in person, you are right there, we note you are the one voting he showed his robbers license and whatever. -- his driver's license. when you vote by mail, you don't know if it was that person or someone else getting the mail and filling it out. how did you deal with the concern that may be were filling out a ballot but it wasn't the same person who should have been filling it out? how did the auditors deal with that? mr. bennett: the auditors dealt
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with the original ballots after they had been voted in person or submitted by mail, they had during the election been separated from those envelopes so the auditors did not have the envelopes themselves. there was a subcontractor who looked at the images at the envelope affidavit signatures and that was part of his report as one of the five subreports for the audit. the auditors did not have the physical envelopes. >> the question i am trying to get here, if i have a ballot from mary smith at 123 elm street, how do i know that it was the mary smith that still lived there or she's the one that filled it out? just audit do anything in that regard? mr. bennett: the audit did very little in that we did not have the envelopes. the answer to your question is,
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and arizona if the envelope is returned and the county election department can tell if it's a ballot envelope they sent to a voter, there is a barcode that they can check and it pulls up the voter information. then there is a signature box which is the affidavit that the voter certifies it's their ballot inside. and arizona, we do it primarily by verifying the signature in the signature box as matching the voter registration information the county has on record. >> my other concern that i wish we wouldn't have so many vote by mail is, is someone else influencing that person? if i vote in person, there is nobody next to me, nobody checking the box for me. nobody making sure that i vote for president trump. is there any way we can check if there was undue influence of that nature?
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mr. bennett: not to my knowledge. >> is that a flaw in the system? and having too many absentee ballots that we will never know if people, if it was the boyfriend or girlfriend saying you have to fill it out this way? mr. bennett: it is hard to know that. in arizona, most counties, all counties put a line underneath that signature box which invites the voter if they did receive assistance from someone to help them cast their ballot, a name can be entered there and a phone number for contact. >> do you feel, maybe i will ask mr. sellers. i think part of the purpose of this hearing is to see if we should change the election laws. do you feel that those are,
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nothing against you guys, but do you feel that there is a flaw in absentee voting in the sense that i'm not sure we can really ever know who filled out that ballot or if that person was being coached and those flaws do not happen if you vote in person. >> i believe that we can make significant improvements for voter identification purposes. a driver's license number or some other type of data that can be confirmed by the county to make sure that those vote by mail ballots were cast by the voters themselves. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from vermont mr. welch is recognized for five minutes. rep. welch: there is a frustration about having the
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hearings probably for many of us because we are accustomed to having the vote in the election occur, the votes be counted, then the candidate who got the most votes be accepted as the leader of the country. that is in dispute now. there are two errors that are relevant. number one is president trump himself and the other is the media. we know that president trump used enormous energy and effort to promote his theory that he won the election that was stolen. the call to the georgia secretary of state, the invitation to the capitol riot with folks who showed up on january 6, the pressure he put on the justice department essentially threatening to fire mr. rosen and replace him with loyalist. these lies, the assertion he made that he won the election that was stolen was picked up by social media.
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what we now have is a situation where the evidence hearing and even today, someone didn't acknowledge that president biden is the president of this country. it's not a hard question to answer. >> -- >> republicans according to polls do not believe that biden was elected. >> point of order. >> the gentleman has cited a point of order. >> my testimony has been misconstrued and misstated. if he is going to continue, i would like an opportunity to respond to that at some point. >> that is not a proper point of order. >> not a proper point of order. with the gentleman continue? >> thank you. we have this situation where the president, who is trusted by the
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folks who voted for him, is telling them a lie that he in fact one the election. it is not surprising that -- and candidates in the republican party are asserting the election was stolen. i want to ask a few questions about the big lie and about media. the july 15 -- doug logan claimed there were 74,000 mail-in ballots that had been counted with no record of having been sent in. they were come as we know, in person early ballots. is that right, mr. sellers? i wanted to ask you about that. >> i'm sorry, could you repeat the question? quick the mail-in ballots -- >> the mail-in ballots that were claimed by president trump to have mysteriously appeared, what is the reality of that? >> there is no reality.
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every portion of the election process was very, very carefully monitored and controlled. >> that was echoed by president trump on social media. it makes it more difficult to do your job in a straightforward way. >> yes, 88% of the people in arizona voted by mail, and that became a very important part of the efficiency of our election during a pandemic. >> thank you. mr. ramachandran, can you explain why conspiracy theories and misinformation about the election are so dangerous for our democracy? >> thank you so much for that question. conspiracy theories and misinformation are dangerous for our democracy because they laid the groundwork for legitimizing future attempts to sabotage
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elections, to reject the will of the voters. these sham partisan reviews like the one we have been seeing in arizona, insinuations are made. they are not act up with proper evidence, and they get picked up and amplified, as you have described, on social media. for instance, i mentioned one of the people that was hired by the arizona senate to look at ballot envelopes. in his review, he conflated the envelope images with actual ballots. he made a presentation for the arizona senate in which he falsely stated each of these voters submitted to ballots, when he was describing the images he was looking at in the data file. promptly, the same day, that statement was picked up by arizona state senator wendy rogers. she said there were double votes , or duplicate votes, on
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twitter, and insinuated there was fraud. that is this disinformation campaign. >> final question. in addition to having candidates accept the outcome of the election, it -- is it time for us to have some rule that applies to social media with respect to the spreading of false information? that is for you, ms. ramachandran. ms. ramachandran: thank you for the question. in the report the brennan center published a little bit earlier this year, describing attacks on election officials, we made a number of recommendations for the problem of disinformation on social media. one of those recommendations is for social media companies to amplify the true information that is provided by trusted election officials, so they are not drowned out by this misinformation. rep. welch: thank you. >> i know yield to the gentleman
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from kentucky. >> madam chair. >> mr.,, you are now recognized. rep. kilmer: thank you, madam chair. if there were no irregularities, as democrats on the committee have indicated, with this past election, i wonder if the democrats on the committee would take back all the conspiracy theories that they spread about the u.s. postal service sabotaging absentee ballots, because that was a mainstay in this hearing, in this committee, for many months prior to the election, but once absentee ballots went overwhelmingly for mr. biden, it seems there is not a peep. i wonder if the democrats on this committee, madam chair, will take that back, and will the issue a formal apology to all the postal workers and the postal unions who were very
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offended by the accusation that they could sabotage and election. >> this is a very serious conversation about the integrity of our elections, and you are trying to change the subject. i am focused on this. rep. comer: madam chair, obviously i'm going to take that as a no. i think it is terrible what the democrats on the committee assume, that the postal workers would do to the election. with that -- >> would you yield for a response?
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rep. comer: i yield the balance of my time to mr. gosar, from arizona. rep. maloney: mr. biggs is recognized. he means mr. biggs. rep. banks:: i thinkrep. he yied to go sorry, but i will take it briefly. the production and the outcome of the audits, i don't know who won in arizona, because there are a lot of questions and anomalies that have arisen through the audit that were not answered. with that, i will yield back to mr. comey, who i think yielded to go sorry. -- gosar. rep. maloney: the gentleman yields back. i recognize ms. bush? >> mr. comer originally yielded to mr. gosar. >> i have to mr. manning to mr.
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gosar. rep. maloney: you are recognized, mr. gosar. >> you are muted, paul. rep. maloney: please unmute. >> can you hear me now? rep. maloney: yes. rep. gosar: i think you stated that the county board of supervisors really tried to work with senator fan. is that true? >> my apologies, congressman. my testimony was that we received a subpoena from the state senate. rep. gosar: i know, but i'm short on time here. you tried to work with her. simple question, yes or no? mr. gates: i believe we tried to work with them, yes. rep. gosar: so in compliance with those subpoenas, it was
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said that everything was given to the audit team. can you discuss the routers and the signature envelopes that to this day have not been given, in fact have obstructed every single day to have more validation for this audit team? can you address that? mr. gates: to the routers, i was told personally by one of the staff in the county attorney's office that they would provide the routers when they delivered the ballots and machines, and that did not occur. i was told and personally would provide virtual access to the routers in the next couple of weeks. when that did not happen, we were told there was a problem within the county to secure sheriff's department social security numbers and county health records, and that we would not have access to them at all. i believe that just within the
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last few weeks the senate and the county have come to an agreement to jointly appoint a special master to allow the routers and all of the other things to be looked at, as far as the internet connectivity. as to the ballot envelopes -- is that your second question, mr. gosar? rep. gosar: it was. mr. bennet: to my recollection, the ballot envelopes were not on the january subpoena, but the images of the ballots were, and those were eventually -- rep. gosar: my understanding is the court order from the judge said "all information pertaining to the election --" was mandated. is that true? >> i was not at that hearing. i would defer to yourself or others that may know better than i. rep. gosar: it was a win-win situation because trust is necessary.
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what better way to keep up the trust of your voters, being transparent? that is why i find concerning the actions of the county board of supervisors and their attorneys, biting and kicking every step of the way. rep. maloney: the gentleman's time is expired. the gentleman's time is expired. the gentlelady from missouri, ms. bush, is recognized. ms. bush? rep. bush: i thank you, madam chair, for convening this hearing. although the audit in arizona failed to uncover evidence of widespread fraud, it was successful in achieving its bigger goal, to pave the way for election subversion laws across this country. we have talked a lot about voter suppression in recent months, as the house is considered historic legislation, but the threat of election subversion has received far less attention. i would like to hear from our
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experts. i know, going over this again, just to be clear, to have a very clear understanding for me, what election subversion is and how this audit has fueled it, and what congress can do. ms. ramachandran, can you explain what election subversion is so we can be more clear about how it might be different from voter suppression? ms. ramachandran: sure, and thank you for that question. i'm sure different people have slightly different definitions for all of these terms. for me, election subversion is when someone decides to change the outcome of an election or manipulate the outcome of the election so it does not reflect the true will of the voters. suppressing votes is one indirect way of doing that. rep. bush: how has the cyber
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ninjas audit laid the ground for more election subversion? ms. ramachandran: thank you for that question. the cyber ninjas have laid the groundwork for these laws because they have made insinuations of fraud that we have seen repeated here. for instance, they implied that perhaps some voters voted more than once in multiple counties. they insinuated there were no longer eligible, who voted. they implied the county was not keeping up its maintenance membership in the database the other witness mention. through all of those implications, the justified future legislation that proposed undermining the will of the voters. it fortunately did not pass, but there was a bill proposed in
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arizona that would have permitted the state legislature to simply pick electors for president that were not the ones the voters voted for. that kind of outrageous bill is the sort of thing these insinuations unfortunately lead to. rep. bush: yes, thank you for bringing that up. the brennan center has found that in this year alone more than 2 million election subversion provisions of been introduced in legislatures across the country and parts of those bills have been enacted into law. how have these laws been used to subvert the judgment election results? we know they are extremely dangerous. can you go a little bit further into that? ms. ramachandran: thank you so much for that question. i do have to apologize that it is a large effort to track all of these laws across the states and i am not the primary lead on that effort at the brennan center.
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i'm familiar with my colleagues work, and there is a set of laws that make it harder to vote that have been popping up all over the country. rep. bush: two months into the cyber ninjas audit in arizona, hb 720 was introduced. ms. ramachandran, could you please explain what impact this particular bill would have on voters in arizona, particularly black, brown, and indigenous? ms. ramachandran: thank you so much for that question. if that sort of legislation were ever to pass in arizona, the impact would be severe, because the voters would be at risk of having their choices not respected in the election for president. there would be a risk that the state legislature would attempt to use a different slate of electors than the slate that received the most votes, because
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they did not like the outcome of the election. obviously, that means risking the this enfranchisement of millions of voters in arizona if that were ever to come to fruition. rep. bush: this bill would allow the state legislature to override the popular vote up through inauguration day, which is a blatant display of white supremacy. it is profound. if people in our elections do not believe in counting people's votes, it is clear the threat of election subversion is present and grave. we wish oversight work to prevent antidemocratic election subversion law from spreading even further. thank you, and i yelled back. rep. maloney: the gentleman from ohio, mr. gibbs, is recognized. rep. gibbs: madame chairwoman, i ask unanimous consent for a letter from myself to be entered into the election. rep. maloney: without objection.
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rep. gibbs: in this letter, i talked about disappointment with the work this committee has performed under your leadership. rational oversight is one of the most important responsibilities of the united states congress and we are responsible for investigating arbitrary and capricious behavior, abuse, waste. we have not allowed our committee to conduct oversight on these pressing issues. we have not examined the policies that led to the southern border crisis. rodney scott wrote a letter to the senate and house leadership stating options have been given to the biden administration, border patrol immigration, and the department of homeland security, but every recommendation has been rejected. last week, the civil liberties
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subcommittee selected part six of its hearing, titled "confronting white supremacy," but have yet to hear about people frustrated with antifa and a 2020 in which 62 national guard -- 62,000 national guard were used. you continue to waste the committee's time. you passed the women's health protection act, legislation to expand the right to kill a baby in the womb up until the day it was born. this committee does not have to hear state laws. the supreme court has the power to decide state laws regarding abortion, and has reviewed the 15 week abortion law passed in mississippi. finally, the ongoing crisis in afghanistan. it is unbelievable that we have yet to hold a public hearing, including secretary of state
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antony blinken, and the american people deserve to have those responsible for the disastrous events that transpired against afghanistan, and the loss of 13 of our service members. you've decided to waste time by holding a hearing trying to rain in private contractors for fulfilling a contractual obligation which they were hired by the arizona state senate. the audit was conducted in a timely manner at no cost to taxpayers in arizona. this was in the 2016 presidential election. you spent 32 million dollars investigating president trump during which they found no evidence of collusion with russia. they knew from the beginning that it was a fraud being laid
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on the american people and the allegations were untrue. mr. bennet, in your -- mr. bennett, you talk about the results and other things, not just the numbers. envelope affidavits, missing serial numbers, matching duplicate ballots of the originals. you also talked in your testimony about a lack of cooperation or willingness for the local board of election officials to work to get these answers. did you get any answers how many numbers were looking at missing or unmatched signatures, missing serial numbers, voting abnormalities? mr. bennett: i would say the
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audit did not receive those answers but the audit report has gone to the senate. the senate has forwarded that to the state attorney general, who i think is going to be working through his election integrity unit directly with the county to get answers to those questions. for example, i believe the county reported that they rejected about 1400 envelopes for lack of signatures of a subcontractor. they thought there could be as many as 3500 to 4000 either missing signatures or just scribbles. those kinds of things will be worked out i think between the attorney general's office and the county as to whether they have justification for the envelopes they opened in process or not. rep. gibbs: i will yelled back.
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rep. maloney: the gentleman yields back. ms. wasserman schultz is now recognized. rep. wasserman schultz: i want to thank all our witnesses for appearing before the committee. in a moment, i want to discuss the methodology used to come to the full conclusions of the report. how would you respond to representative kustoff g -- representative gosar's allegation, and where you concerned about turning over routers? yesterday to: the issue -- mr. gates: we had concerns from our sheriff and others at the county level that if we were to turn the routers over it would have provided a roadmap for even a decent hacker to get into their system. this would have basically brought down our operations in
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the county. we are the fourth largest county in the country. we need to provide services to our residents every day. there would be a cost on putting the network back together. that is why we came to an agreement with president found, and in that agreement, president fan signed it saying the county has fully complied with the subpoena. just so we would not have the cybersecurity concerns, we have jointly agreed on former congressman john shattuck serving as special master. cyber ninjas can ask questions about the routers and went -- what went on, and congressman shattuck will consult with i.t. experts, and they will be able to provide answers to those questions. reppo washington schulz -- rep.
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wasserman schultz: you should not turn over a router to an organization that has no expertise in audits. that is the premise of my questions. can you briefly describe the method cyber ninjas used to count ballots, how it differed from standard procedures? what was the acceptable rate for that process? what error rate is permissible in standard audit procedure? mr. gates: in general, there is an established set of best practices. these have been done extensively in many states, including arizona in 2020. generally, there is a statistical random sampling of the ballots that is taken. they are reviewed by bipartisan teams and observed by observers from all of the parties in the campaigns. these tallies are checked against the initial tallies. this process is transparent from
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start to fish and -- finish and defined well in advance of the election, before anybody knows what the outcome of the election is. georgia is a great example of that. they literally counted every single paper ballot by hand, the first time that had paper ballots in georgia in two decades. when you are spinning ballots around uncolored the lazy susan's, bing observed by people who do not have adequate training, with no experience in elections, where there are severe limitations on the ability of observers from across the political spectrum to view them, you are going to have an error rate that is extremely high. even with a high error rate and an invalid process, what we saw was they could determine -- they found no evidence that indicated that maricopa county's processes yielded the wrong result. i would say this did not confirm the result because it was
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already confirmed under arizona laws written by the rezoning senate in advance of the election. rep. wasserman schultz: an audit ensures voters, but this was not really an audit. it was a guest letting exercise funded by dark many groups who want to promote the big lie and undermine confidence in our election. this conspiratorial worldview also affects republicans in my home state of florida, where a pending bill in the state legislature would conduct a forensic audit of the 2020 elections, but only in counties that biden won. this is puzzling given that governor ron desantis heaped praise on the 2020 election process. these so-called audits are not about unearthing facts. they are about justification for repressive voting rights laws that prevent like an brown people from access to the voting booths, helping republicans lay the groundwork for setting aside the work of local officials so
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they can disrupt elections. these are democracy corrosion exercises, nothing more. thank you for your testimony. i hope the committee continues to promote election integrity, not the big lie as our colleagues have been doing since the end of the election. i yield back the balance of my time. rep. maloney: the gentleman from louisiana, mr. higgins, is recognized for five minutes. mr. higgins. rep. higgins: thank you, madam chair. how dare we. how dare we. how dare sovereign states and free americans challenge the oppressive authority of the all-powerful national democratic machine? how dare we? exercise our legal and constitutional rights to question irregularities of an incredibly significant election.
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we have thousands of affidavits by american citizens regarding suspicious election irregularities, and specific shocking observations of electoral sabotage on election day itself. my colleagues summarily dismissed the sworn affidavits of american citizens as lawyers and conspiracy theorists, letting an illegal alien cross our border with a scripted plea for asylum taped to his head -- he is seen as a paragon of virtue. the 2020 presidential election was indeed compromised. we don't know how much, because investigations take time. yet as of january 2021, joe biden was indeed our inaugurated president. we wish him good.
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on january 20, 2025, we are going to take that. and democrats will have an opportunity to deal with a real election and newly inaugurated president donald j. trump -- again. and i have no doubt that my democratic colleagues across the aisle will object. madam chair, i yield to remainder of my time to my friend, colleague, and gentleman from arizona, mr. biggs. reppo biggs -- rep. biggs: bob christie of the ap, from arizona, on february 5, said that the county board of supervisors asks the court friday to quash a state senate subpoena. you and i can continue that conversation off-line. it is bugging me, ok? i want to make sure we get that out somewhere. mr. bennett, what is the
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standard error rate on audits run by maricopa county? mr. bennett: when you do a very limited hand count, and that is the audit we are talking about here -- in this election, the total number of ballots processed by maricopa county ended up being processed in 10,341 batches, most of them at 200 per batch. as the first mailing returns were coming in before election and before being counted, 52 batches were set aside as potential matches to hand count verify. 26 of those 52 were randomly selected through a process that stipulated in state law. it was those 26 batches, totaling about 5000 mail-in ballots, that were hand counted
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and compared with a tally by the election machines that maricopa had run. in this election, the hound can't -- can count on it matched exactly. they said there was no difference between the machine count of those 5000 ballots in the hand count done by bipartisan teams. that is 26 batches of ballots out of 10,341. it is very frontloaded and it is not a random sample of all 10,341 batches. reppo biggs -- rep. biggs: it is not a random sample. with a full forensic audit, you are trying to get everything you can. what i am trying to understand is, if i understand right, there were chain of custody issues and
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other statutory violations that you mentioned in your opening statement. i am trying to understand if my colleagues -- not my colleagues, but my friends over here from arizona -- are saying they are ok with those laws, those statutory violations. you have your mask off, so i will ask you. are you ok with the statutory violations? >> i frankly don't believe there were any statutory violations. rep. biggs: you don't think chain of custody was a violation at all? >> we were very, very careful with our chain of custody. i can't speak to what happened after it left our chain of custody because the arizona senate signed off, accepting responsibility. rep. biggs: the testimony today is you had chain of custody problems inherent in what you
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delivered. you did not see that? mr. sellers: i disagree with that. rep. maloney: the gentleman from maryland, mr. survey, is recognized for five minutes. reppo surveys -- rep. sarbanes: there are things that should make us nervous about this fishing expedition, this sham audit by cyber ninjas. one is that cyber ninjas does not really have the qualifications to conduct this kind of an audit in unauthentic fashion. -- in an authentic fashion. that is a source of real concern. the other is how this thing was funded. no my colleagues have already referred to it but i would like to go into that more. we know the arizona senate only agreed to pay cyber ninjas i think $150,000 for the audit, which was far short of what was ultimately needed to conduct this thing.
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instead, the republican party in arizona went out to raise funds from dark money groups, these groups with ties to president trump and ties to the big lie narrative. they raised $6.7 million from those groups, which was 98% of the cost of the audit overall. ms. ramachandran, does the public have visibility into the donors who contributed to these 501(c)4 groups? ms. ramachandran: thank you for that question. now, there has been minimal transparency into the donors. there has been a small amount of disclosure from mr. logan about some of the top groups that you mentioned. but as far as who in turn has donated to those groups, i am not aware of any publicity on that side.
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rep. sarbanes: are these audits generally funded by dark money groups? ms. ramachandran: election audits are usually performed by election officials with members of the political parties present, observing. they are not very costly. they are generally funded from within the budget for the elections office, and it would be ideal for them to continue to be funded in that way. i know that congress has called for limiting audits and also for appropriations for election officials, moving forward. rep. sarbanes: thank you very much. that is how it ought to operate. if you look at some of these groups that funded this sham audit, you have a nonprofit chaired by former national
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security advisor for donald trump michael flynn. that was a million dollars coming in from that group. former trump lawyer sidney powell's group provided over half $1 million to support this inquiry that was conducted. patrick byrne -- we heard this before from my colleague, congressman hank johnson -- a prominent businessman, supporter of donald trump, has a group that contributed over $3.4 million to this audit. all three of these individuals, the ones i just mentioned, in last december, general powell, mr. flynn, ms. burns, took part in an oval office meeting where they reportedly encouraged president trump to take steps to overcome the election, including by seizing dominion voting machines. ms. ramachandran, would you question the impartiality of any
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audit that was primarily funded by groups headed by these three individuals? ms. ramachandran: absolutely, i would question the impartiality and would ask that objectivity is the minimal standard required for an audit to provide confidence for the public. rep. sarbanes: mr. bennett made a comment apparently that you told reporters it does not matter who paid for it, when he was referring to the audit. but i disagree with that completely. it matters a great deal when your salary and your security and 98% of the entire audit is paid for by people who want to overturn the election, and maybe even the losing candidate himself. we know donald trump was interested in supporting these efforts. that should make everyone question his impartiality and its results. i'm glad you mentioned the freedom to vote act. that is another reason we have
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to pass it to shine a light on this dark money in politics, which would require organizations in politics disclose their donors. the current law allows special interests to hide the source of the political spending. we have to fix that. we have to do it for the public and to lift up the credit ability of our political system. passing the freedom to vote act would certainly help that. thanks, madam chair, and i yield back my time. rep. maloney: the gentleman from south carolina, mr. norman, is now recognized. reppo norman thank you -- rep. norman: thank you, chairwoman. i have heard statements made, undermining democracy, and saying this is the most important hearing. the hearing we should be having now is the crisis on the border. the polls show people are that up with the 8 million immigrants that are coming in here
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intentionally by the democrats. we undermine democracy by the military leaving afghanistan and the 13 marines living americans behind. we undermine democracy by continuing to stack the supreme court. the one good thing about this hearing is crystal clear. democrats do not want voter i.d. they do not want it because it gives them a chance to do the mail in ballots. it is showing it in this testimony. i want to yield the balance of my time to congresswoman barr. -- congressman bar. -- barr. rep. biggs: you mean biggs. but that hurts mr. barr far worse than it hurts me.
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thank you very much. going to direct these questions. i'm going to ask the arizona folks here this question. i will start with mr. bennett and try to work down so everybody can get to it. is it standard practice to delete files of a server after an election? mr. bennett: i hope not. rep. biggs: mr. gates, would you agree with that? mr. gates: i would say it is appropriate to maintain files, and that is exactly what we did. we deleted -- the files that have been discussed, they were archived. rep. biggs: so you admit that maricopa county did delete files off the server after the election? rep. biggs: that are archived -- mr. gates: that are archived. rep. biggs: when you release these servers and this information to the auditors to begin with, they did not have access to those archived files at first. is that fair to say? mr. gates: they did not subpoena
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those. that is correct. rep. biggs: you did not feel obligated to turn that over to them. mr. gates: we responded to the subpoena. rep. biggs: your response to that? mr. bennett: i find it frankly laughable to suggest that a county, in response to a subpoena, could say we will delete files from the hard drive and materials that we get to the auditors, because we have those files archived on data that we did not give to the auditors when the subpoena said "turn over all the records related to the election." rep. biggs: i read the subpoena more broadly than the county read it, for sure. your twitter account mentions that the purging of the 2020 election database at the beginning of february is a standard practice. can you confirm for me that that is what you do after all elections? mr. gates: i cannot confirm that for you today but we can get you
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that answer. rep. biggs: can you confirm that today, or not? >> i cannot confirm that either today. i know that because there is limited space on these servers -- you have to make room for the election data. rep. biggs: was there still -- let me rephrase this. that is the standard practice. the chairman just intimated -- can you explain to me why did it was still present for prior elections on the databases, in and of itself? >> again, i don't have any answer to that question, but we will certainly get an answer for you, congressman. rep. biggs: i would appreciate it if you would get me that information. >> i do think it is important
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that our recorder has suggested that he will be answering every question in a timely fashion. rep. biggs: that is the same recorder that campaigned that adrian fontes was incompetent, and called him a criminal? and you actually hired someone to oversee mr. fontes because he did not trust mr. fontes. is that the same stephen richman? [laughter] >> i would not put it that way exactly. but what we did was we did have statutory -- as you know, boards have responsibility for election day. we took that back so we would have four republicans and two democrats overseeing the 2020 election. we thought that was important. rep. biggs: i yield back, thanks. rep. maloney: the gentleman from california, mr. ro khanna, is now recognized. reppo khanna -- rep. khanna:
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thank you, madam chair. mr. bennett, do you testify that the most significant finding of the audit is that the hand count of the physical ballots very closely matches the county's official results in the president and u.s. senate races? that finding is frustrating to many who expected the audit to prove a different election result. i appreciate your honesty in that. i would like to be brief since time is limited. mr. bennett, given your statement, the cyber ninjas hand count showed that joe biden one more votes than donald in maricopa county? mr. bennett: yes. did the audit show that mr. biden got more votes in maricopa county than mr. trump? yes, the audit showed that. rep. khanna: do you have any
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reason to believe today that joe biden did not win the state of arizona? mr. bennett: not other than the questioned ballots, questioned envelopes. rep. khanna: do you think he is the legitimate legal elected president? mr. bennett -- legitimately elected president? mr. bennett: yes. rep. khanna: when president trump said "we won arizona," he did not. he lost with a forensic audit. that is false, correct? i just want to make sure that people understand what the record is. that is not a true statement, correct? mr. bennett: i would not characterize it that way. i was asked by the senate to be the liaison to the maricopa audit. the maricopa audit found that the results were very similar to
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what maricopa county canvassed in the official results. rep. khanna: so anyone including the former president who is saying that the audit somehow suggests that donald trump won the arizona election -- it would be a wrong and false interpretation of the audit, correct? mr. bennett: i would say he is probably making the statement based on his opinion of other things in the audit. rep. khanna: it is not your characterization of the audit. mr. bennett: correct. rep. khanna: i don't think we have to have a postmodern version of truth. i don't think everybody gets to make their own interpretation. let me ask you this. is it true that cyber ninjas found no bamboo fibers or watermarks on paper ballots, suspicious that there were conspiracy theories circling online? mr. bennett: did they do what about bamboo fibers?
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rep. khanna: they found november fibers or watermarks. this is one of the conspiracy theories. mr. bennett: to my knowledge, i never witnessed any evidence that they were specifically looking for bamboo fibers. rep. khanna: i appreciate that. the report says there was no evidence that paper ballots had been tampered with, correct to mark -- correct question mark mr. bennett: -- correct? mr. bennett: there were some paper ballots of concern that they were authentic. to say that none were would be incorrect. rep. khanna: there was earlier testimony that he thought -- that you thought mr. biden got more votes than mr. trump. mr. bennett: correct. rep. khanna: cyber ninjas has turned over no documents to this committee and turned over only for document to the arizona
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senate, despite an order. do you believe the cyber ninjas should obey court orders and requests for comment? mr. bennett: yes. rep. khanna: we come from different parties, different views, but you seem like you are trying to do a decent job in terms of the elections, and it is all we have in our democracy. you have people really concerned about whether the democratic system is going to continue in the robust way that we have had for 200 years. let me ask you two final questions, and you can answer them both. do you think there would ever be grounds for a state legislature to overturn votes if a candidate for president wins the popular vote in that state? do you think that is going down a dangerous route? and do you think it is healthy -- put aside being a republican or whether you voted for, or biden -- do you think all this
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conspiracy theory is healthy for democracy? do we have a legitimate president when half the country is saying he is not elected president? is that safe in that when he first century question mark mr. bennett -- century? mr. bennett: let me ask your second -- answer your second question first. do not consider it healthy, the number of references that have occurred even in this hearing alone, that this was a hyper-partisan audit. the first thing that i did after being asked by the state senate was to call the state democratic chairman and ask that a code liaison be assigned who was a democrat. i was refused four times. i called several prominent democrats personally, all of whom either refused or told me after checking with state democrat leaders --
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rep. khanna: i'm not trained to go at the auditors. i'm just saying, you have some credibility. rep. maloney: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman may answer him in writing. the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, is recognized for five minutes. mr. sessions? rep. sessions: mr. gates, i'm interested in going back to some conversations of several members , several members back. when an audit was done and prepared, did you follow the same procedures that under law would have been required from the time the ballot came in, and you looked at the envelope, to
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place that to make sure it was the correct person, and looked at that process that i understand is different characteristics to it to ensure accuracy? >> which audit were you talking about, congressman? rep. sessions: let me go back. at the time that maricopa county did their audit, or the audit was confirmed, whether it was you or the county -- did you follow the same procedures and looking at the law that would have been followed by people running the election? mr. gates: i want to make sure everyone understands the audit we did.
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these audits were run by certified voting technology companies. at this point, you do not get to have any examination of the envelopes because the ballots have already come out. the audits we did were more focused on the machines themselves, on whether there was malware attached to the machines, whether there had been hacking, whether the machines had been connected to the internet. there has been a lot of questions about that. i want to be clear that the nature of the audit, the two audits that we authorized, did not involve the full process, because frankly you are unable to do that, because when the ballot comes out of the envelope, it is separated. does that answer your question? rep. sessions: with your answer i think you are trying to help me. what i'm suggesting is, is there a process that is normally followed by the elections administrators or workers at the
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time they receive a mail-in ballot? mr. gates: there absolutely is a process. i apologize. it has been discussion about voter i.d. as relates to mail-in ballots. that is something as an elected official i have been concerned about over the years. when the ballot comes in, when the mail-in ballot comes in, it has a signature on it. rep. sessions: you and i are working really well together. was that process followed in the audit that you did? mr. gates: i want to be clear i am not trying to be obtuse. that particular portion, the signature verification, was not part of our audit, because the ballot had come out as separated from the envelope itself. rep. sessions: i want to come back to that. i've got a session -- a
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question. was there any point in early voting an indication that was given by election officials that there would be no verification or audit process -- what was given in georgia, was given by election officials to say to people all the ballots will be counted? mr. gates: i'm not aware of any indication given for maricopa county that we would not do the normal signature verification on mail-in ballots and voter i.d. check and election day voters. rep. sessions: you believe there was no information given, public information, that would have swayed anyone to think that the full eight or nine different verification steps by a mail-in
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ballot person who was processing that -- they check a number of things. mr. gates: correct. go ahead. rep. sessions: i have 10 seconds left. mr. becker, there was a reference a minute ago to internet. is there any state that allows an internet process to be utilized, or said another way, would it be against the law in arizona for the internet to have been used? mr. becker: i have no information at all that arizona, which has been using the same paper processes for years, with extensive mail balloting, as secretary bennett pointed out -- that there was anything connected to the internet. the most extensive use of even a small number of ballots that may have been transmitted over the internet in west virginia, where
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they have been using a pilot program for military and overseas voters to transmit their ballots over the internet. rep. sessions: during the process of early voting and day of election, in your opinion, use of the internet, by and large, except for west virginia, would not have been allowed by law. mr. becker: i am not as much of an expert in arizona law as the gentleman i'm sitting next to. the election procedures, i have not seen any evidence that did exist or could exist. rep. maloney: the gentleman's time has expired. now, the gentlelady from michigan, ms. tilly-- talib, is recognized. rep. tlaib: in my community, we witnessed firsthand the radical backers of the former impeached president's attempt to prevent
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votes from being counted in one of the most beautiful cities in the country, the city of detroit. we know it did not stop there. ever since donald trump was voted out of office by an overwhelming majority of voters in our country, he and his allies, led on the ground by arizona state senate president karen pham, have sought to turn arizona into the poster child for their efforts to push false election fraud claims that failed elsewhere. before their attempt, chairwoman, to overturn the election before it even started -- i believe senator pham told the people of arizona it would be a big step to returning trust and confidence in our election process. she said this is not about trump. this is not about overturning the election. you all should know that as early as december 2020, she bragged that she was working with rudy giuliani and the
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president to get forensic audits . in detroit, we call that voter suppression tactics, the so-called forensic audits in arizona. supervisor, do you believe the so-called audit was about restoring trust and confidence in our election process? mr. gates: i believe that some of the people who were involved in this, some good volunteers who got involved, i think that really was what they were focused on, but unfortunately i do believe that a lot of people who led this, that was not their major focus, restoring confidence. instead, i think it was more on raising doubts. i think we are saying that again today, quite simply. rep. tlaib: they misled many of our american people that fell for it. chairman sellars, was it your impression that senator pham was willing to work with you to conduct a so-called impartial audit of the votes in maricopa
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county to restore trust in the elections process? yes or no? mr. sellers: i have known her for a number of years and we had private meetings to try to resolve some of the issues that were coming up. early on especially, i have truly believed that her approach was to simply say there are questions from a number of our constituents that we need answers for. and i said i am willing to work with you to get those. rep. tlaib: we all know that joe biden actually won by more after it was done. is that correct? >> that is what the results from this -- >> he won more votes. is that correct? at the end it showed he won more
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votes than it was initially reported in arizona. is that correct? >> i cannot verify the results that the cyber engineers got in their report. >> secretary bennett, is that correct? >> yes, the hand count done by the audit -- >> remember that, y'all. hand count. >> the than count reflected an increase of 350 votes as the margin won by. >> so after the report was published the former forever up peached president claimed you quote it is clear in arizona they must decertify the election. we won the arizona audit on a level you wouldn't believe. make no mistake democracy is dying in folks. fascism is here. we must stand up begins to and
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it is so important. i'm urging my colleagues especially our republican colleagues to reject these lies and we have to be committed to our democracy. i will end with two questions quickly, mr. becker. do partisan attempts to overturn the will of people like arizona and restore faith and competent in america's elections? >> we are seeing them having disastrous consequences. do you believe efforts luke -- like this are meant to make it more difficultor people to vote. >> the fact is that it s is
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deterring people from voting particularly republics because they are believing a lot of lies about falsehood about the integrity of the process. >> thank you. you yield. >> at the request of a witness we will take a very brief bathroom break. the committee stands in recess for three minutes.


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