WorldNetDaily has uncritically repeated misinformation about, and from, the audit of 2020 presidential election voes in Maricopa County, Ariz., so it had high hopes for the announced results. An anonymously written Sept. 23 article tried to work up enthusiasm for it:
Arizona state Senate Republicans will present a final report of their audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County on Friday.
The session at 1 p.m. Pacific Time – to be streamed live – will be closely watch by lawmakers in other states, including Georgia and Pennsylvania, who have been gathering evidence to support their contention that the outcome of the presidential election last fall was fraudulent.
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen will hear the findings of the audit. Among the presenters are Doug Logan, CEO of the lead contractor Cyber Ninjas, and Ben Cotton, the founder of the digital forensics company CyFir.
In May, Cotton said he was able to recover data from vote-counting machines that the Senate audit team had accused Maricopa County of deleting.
Among the audit's critics is Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democratic candidate for governor, who has called it "political stunt" to cast doubt on election integrity.
However, a statewide, citizen-run canvassing launched in December – claiming no affiliation with the state Senate's audit – found 173,104 "lost votes," people who said they voted but no vote was recorded, and 96,389 "ghost votes" from invented voters.
WND censored the fact that the citizen canvass report has been discredited, and that the databases accused of being deleted were actually inadvertently hidden by the people runmning the audit, which should offer a clue as to how seriously the audit should be taken.
The anonymous WND writer added:
Jovan Pulitzer, who had invented a system he claims can detect fraudulent ballots, believes the report is "going to be monumental."
"For the very first time you're really going to see how sick this system is that we call our election and voting system," he said in an interview Sept. 17 with St. Louis Real Talk radio station 93.3.
"It's about as efficient as a 1980s fax machine. And you’re going to look at it and go, 'Wow, why didn't we do anything with it?'"
Pulitzer (not his real name) does not have a record that inspires trust: he's a con man, failed treasure hunter and inventor of one of the worst gadgets ever, the CueCat.Not that the anonymousWND writer thought this was worth telling readers, of course.
The Sept. 24 article on the actual results -- also written anonynmously -- started out surprisingly balanced for a WND article, though he (or she) made the mistake of basing the story on the notoriously unreliable Gateway Pundit:
The CEO of a cybersecurity firm hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to audit the 2020 election results in Maricopa County said Friday he found more than 57,000 problem ballots, however his team's count confirmed that Joe Biden won.
Those mixed results produced contrasting reactions on Friday, with media reporting the five-month, $6 million effort was a waste of taxpayers money while President Trump, Arizona Republican lawmakers and voter-integrity activists pointed to findings that verify their belief that the election was fraudulent.
Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, said his team found 57,734 ballots with serious issues, the Gateway Pundit reported.
Ben Cotton, the founder of the digital forensics firm CyFIR, claimed in his presentation to the senators he has evidence that Maricopa County workers intentionally deleted data.
He said his team caught the election workers at the keyboards of computers in February purging results from the Election Management System the day before the audit began.
Cotton is lying; as county officials stated, "Nothing was purged. Cyber Ninjas don’t understand the business of elections. We can't keep everything on the EMS server because it has storage limits."The anonymous WND writer did acknowledge that "Maricopa County responded with a statement on Twitter saying it 'strongly denies claims that @maricopavote staff intentionally deleted data.'" And, of course, that 57,000 number is a bogus accounting.
As the article continued, the anonymous WND writer became content to simply regurgitate whatever bogus claims were made:
Another 17,000 ballots in Maricopa County should not have been counted because they were duplicate votes, contended Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT-trained data analyst hired by the Senate Republicans.
He said there were ballots that eventually were double or triple counted that had a "verified and approved" stamp pre-printed on the front. Among the examples he presented was a ballot that was stamped as approved even though it didn't have a signature.
As one fact-checker noted, that's not what happened, and "Ayyadurai appeared to have absolutely no knowledge of Maricopa County policies and procedures regarding the early ballot envelopes and signature verification.
The audit was proved to be a sham, but it produced the results WND wanted, so it tried to keep the narrative alive. An anonymously written Sept. 29 article hyped the next step:
When the Arizona state Senate revealed last week the results of its audit of the 2020 presidential election race in Maricopa County, which confirmed more than 57,000 problem ballots in a county won by Joe Biden by a handful, some may have thought the issue was over.
They would have been wrong.
This week, Arizona Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Brnovich announced a review of the issue, and so did officials in Maricopa County.
The article repeated the false claims about data being deleted.