Advice for Kari, Blake, and Mark

It appears that Democrat candidates won most of the Arizona midterm political contests, and that is a fact we should all accept.

However, many citizens have doubts about whether it was fairly counted, and those doubts will not be resolved without analysis, testing, and transparent reporting. Standard ballot recounts will not suffice.

Therefore, Kari Lake, Blake Masters, and Mark Finchem, three contending Republicans who lost their elections despite polls favoring them, should consider taking the following actions, to the extent feasible and lawful:

  1. Request an independent signature test of a sample of mail-in ballot envelopes

With regard to the 2020 presidential election, an independent signature test was performed in January 2022, and the results were shocking. To perform the test, a panel of six judges was assembled by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT-trained engineer who was working on behalf of the Arizona State Senate. Three of the six judges were forensic document examiners and three were novices. Each judge analyzed the signatures on 499 scientifically selected early voting mail-in ballot envelopes. All six agreed that 60 of the tested ballot envelopes had signatures that did not match the corresponding signatures in verified records. In other words, 12 percent may have been phonies.

Think about it: Three expert forensic document examiners and three other reviewers unanimously agreed that 12 percent of the signatures could not be matched to registration records. If we apply that percentage to the entire mail-in voting population of Maricopa County, it means there may have been as many as 204,000 phony ballots in the 2020 election, in just one Arizona county. That is almost twenty times Biden’s winning margin!

  1. Confirm the UOCAVA vote

The Uniform Overseas Civilian Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) applies to voting by uniformed services personnel, their families, and U.S. citizens living abroad.

At an Arizona Senate Committee hearing on January 24, 2022, it was revealed that 95 percent of 2020 Maricopa UOCAVA personnel voted for Joe Biden. That is an amazing (i.e., impossible) percentage, given that the overall county-wide vote was fairly even between Biden and Trump.

The findings were presented by Paul Harris (@1:53 in video), a corporate executive who had been asked to conduct the review during the Maricopa County Cyber Ninjas audit of the 2020 election. Harris appeared to be almost angry as he noted that the ballots were simply print-outs of (presumably) emails or faxes on standard copy paper, and there were unusual aspects to the ballots (the sheets of paper):

  • There was no documentation to indicate the source of the “ballots.”
  • There was no way to determine who processed the ballots, and when.
  • The number of ballots jumped from 1,600 in 2016 to 9,600 in 2020.
  • Because 95 percent of the votes were for Joe Biden, Harris estimated that the UOCAVA vote of just this one county added at least 8,000 votes (net) to Joe Biden, who had (ostensibly) won the State by only a bit over 10,000 votes.
  1. Make sure there are signed chain-of-custody documents for all ballots

Verity Vote, a electoral integrity watchdog group, performed an analysis of drop box chain-of-custody records from the 2020 election in Maricopa County.

The methods used were credible, and the findings in the Verity Vote report are stunning.

Here is a description of the process used by Verity Vote to estimate that 740,000 ballots had no chain of custody documentation: Arizona requires that an “Early Voting Ballot Transport Statement” (Figure 1, below) be completed every time there is retrieval from a ballot drop box. Verity Vote submitted several Arizona Public Record Requests to obtain all available EVBTs forms, and it verified that it had been given all of them— a total of 1,895 forms. However, more than 80 percent of the forms (1514 of 1895) lacked ballot counts, a clear violation of the “Elections Procedures Manual” (EPM). Verity added up ballot numbers on all of the forms, no matter where the quantities were written, and regardless of other defects on the form (which were numerous). That number was 183,406. Verity then subtracted that amount from 923,000, which was the total of Early Voting ballots accepted at Maricopa County vote centers or drop boxes. Verity calculated the difference between the two numbers to be 740,000. That is the number of ballots that had no chain-of-custody documentation.

Figure 1: An EVBTS with no ballot count and only 1 signature

Image Verity Vote, with permission to author


  1. Most importantly, knock on doors

Maricopa and other counties may refuse to provide the records needed for testing signatures, UOCAVA voting, or chain-of-custody records. However, they probably cannot prevent you from conducting a door-to-door canvassing operation, and it can produce high-quality evidence. The canvassing must be completed soon, while recollections are fresh.

Here is how you do it: Obtain county voter registration lists and select a statistically representative sample of residences in various precincts. Using top-quality and totally independent professional canvassers (e.g., a CPA auditing firm, engineering firm, or a large law firm), contact the people on the registration list, and ask whether they voted, and by what means (mail or in-person). The answers they give should jibe with county records. In some cases the results may not reconcile, and the reason may relate to aggressive (i.e., illegal) ballot “harvesting.”

This canvassing work could be very useful, should it be necessary to sue in court. A large, private canvass operation was conducted by Liz Harris (an Arizona State Representative) after the 2020 election. Ms. Harris is not a professional statistician or pollster, but her report includes credible and troubling findings. For example, there were people who said they had not voted in years, but were listed as voters by Maricopa County.


A simple recounting of ballots is probably the only “auditing” that Arizona counties will perform. That is not enough. If there was fraud in this election, it won’t be detected by a simple recount. A real audit should be designed to determine the validity of the ballots that were cast.

Until we restore election integrity by requiring hard forms of identification to accompany all mail-in ballots (not just signatures), post-election auditing will have to be expanded and strengthened. There will be much opposition to these audit procedures, and some may be blocked; however, it is essential. Without it, the public will be skeptical of election results, and with very good reason.   

One final point

In making my recommendations, I cited several alarming problems that were found in the 2020 Arizona election results. There were mismatched signatures (12% of those tested), the crazy UOCAVA results (where one candidate received 95 percent of the mostly-military vote), and there were 740,000 ballots born without parents. Did the wonder boys in the Maricopa Elections Department address any of these matters? I don’t think so. But then again, I forgot that this “election was the most secure in American history.”

Joe Fried is an Ohio-based CPA who has performed and reviewed hundreds of certified financial audits. He is the author of the new book, Debunked? An auditor reviews the 2020 election— and the lessons learned (Republic Book Publishers, 2022). It provides a comprehensive overview of irregularities that affected the 2020 election.

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