Auditors who reviewed voting results cast in Maricopa County, Arizona, in last November's election said Joe Biden's vote total was 99 more than officially certified — and Donald Trump's was 261 fewer.
But at the same time, they maintained they'd found multiple election anomalies, among them more than 17,000 duplicate ballots.
The findings of the audit, commissioned by Arizona Senate Republicans and conducted by Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, were both hailed and decried by Trump critics. At once, they said the review debunked the former president's claim of fraud, but also disputed other assertions of irregularities at the polls.
Trump issued a statement early Friday following media stories based on unauthorized disclosures of Cyber Ninjas' draft report, reiterating that fraud was rife in the election.
"Huge findings in Arizona!" he wrote in a statement. "However, the Fake News Media is already trying to 'call it' again for [Joe] Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November! The audit has uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD! Until we know how and why this happened, our Elections will never be secure.''
In a statement issued later Friday, Trump said, "I will be discussing the winning results of the Arizona Forensic Audit, which will show 44,000 possibly illegal ballots cast, tomorrow at the Great State of Georgia rally, which will be packed!"
Biden beat Trump by fewer than 11,000 votes — by the certified count — in the nominally Republican state, and about 45,000 in Maricopa County — its most populous — out of more than 2 million cast.
Cyber Ninja representatives outlined their findings in a hearing before the Arizona Senate late Friday. The presentation was led by company CEO Doug Logan.
One slide during the presentation indicated there were 17,322 duplicate votes.
Among others who testified was Shiva Ayyadurai, who identified himself as an expert in pattern recognition with more than 40 years of experience. He raised several issues with the county's signature verification system — particularly the mail-in ballots, including voters receiving more than one voter ID number.
Among his other claims:
- Cyber Ninjas detected more signature scribbles than the county reported.
- Ballots came from voters with matching addresses and signatures but different voter IDs.
- Blank signature boxes were stamped verified and approved.
- The number of blank signatures increased by 25% after Nov. 4 and through Nov. 9.
Trump seized on the findings to again decry the vote counting and restate his frequent claim that the presidency was stolen from him.
"Massive fraud was found in the Arizona Forensic Audit, sometimes referred to as ''Fraudit,'' he wrote in a statement Friday afternoon. ''The numbers are Election Changing!"
The after-the-fact audit is not expected to change the election results retroactively; many advocates of the recounting process have called it a means of ensuring fairer, more accurate and above-board elections in the future. Trump supporters, however, have seized on such recounting efforts, and on various states' moves to follow suit with their own audits, as evidence of a vote that was fraudulent and rife with errors and distortions.
The November election results were certified by election officials, while Congress certified the Electoral College count in Biden's favor on Jan. 6.
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