By Bowen Xiao
Public hearings conducted in Arizona and Michigan this week have shed light on a myriad of election irregularities as Republican lawmakers in some states prepare to ramp up action disputing this year’s election results.
Two hearings took place this week: one by the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee on Dec. 1 and another on Nov. 30 by select members of Arizona’s state legislature along with members of President Donald Trump’s legal team. There was also one last week held by the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee.
At the Michigan hearing, witness after witness, many of whom had written sworn affidavits over their concerns, spoke of irregularities and a culture of concealment during their time at the TCF Center in Detroit. Patty McMurray, a poll challenger for nine years, said she attempted to watch the workers’ duplication ballot process where one worker was meant to hold up the damaged ballot and the other would fill in a new one to replace it.
“Whenever we would try to watch the process, the person that was inspecting the ballot would stand in front of us, and if we tried to move to the side, one of the adjudicators would challenge us and tell us to stand back and that we were too close,” McMurray said at the hearing.
After a lunch break as poll challengers tried to return to the building, they were met with locked doors. McMurray said she witnessed “pizza boxes being placed over the windows so that the poll challengers couldn’t see in.” She said these were placed by the election workers and adjudicators.
According to McMurray, not a single military ballot she saw was from a registered voter and that the ballots “looked like they were all exactly the same Xerox copies.”
“They were all for Biden across the board,” she said. “They [workers] had to manually enter the names and addresses and a birthday of 1/1/2020, which would override the system and allow them to enter non-registered voters, of which I saw several throughout the day.”
At the public hearing in Arizona, lawmakers called for their colleagues to support an upcoming resolution that would delay the release of the state’s Electoral College votes.
Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem told reporters during the Nov. 30 hearing that lawmakers hope to have a resolution “within the next 24 to 48 hours.” The state holds 11 Electoral College votes.
“We are clawing our Electoral College votes back, we will not release them,” Finchem said. “That’s what I’m calling on our colleagues in both the House and Senate to do—exercise our plenary authority under the U.S. Constitution.”
According to Finchem, the move would be easy to make and would be legally binding.
“A simple majority can call the House and Senate back, and in a day can pass a resolution and cause those electoral votes to basically be held,” he said. “And it is binding—I’ll see y’all in court.”
Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, alongside witnesses, appeared in front of members of the Arizona Legislature on Nov. 20 alleging that considerable voter fraud occurred in the state. They also pushed for the Republican-majority state House and Senate to hold a vote on the certification of the election.
During the Arizona hearing, a volunteer poll observer and worker in Arizona’s Pima County told Republican state legislators that she had been told by state election officials to allow people who may not have been properly registered to vote in Arizona on Election Day.
“I was having to allow people to vote who literally had just moved here. A large percentage had addresses from two apartment complexes,” poll observer Anna Orth said.
Orth said “many” of these individuals were “residents for not more than a month,” adding that from her observations, she estimated that about 2,000 people appeared to be out-of-state voters.
And at a Philadelphia hearing last week, multiple witnesses testified to being obstructed from observing the counting of 2020 election ballots and of other irregularities.
Poll observers Justin Kweder and Kim Peterson, the first two witnesses at the Pennsylvania hearing, testified that they couldn’t properly observe anything at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Kweder said he was a certified observer on the day of the election and returned as a volunteer observer for the next 10 days, during which he estimated he spent around 85 hours at the site. He said what he saw was “problematic, to say the least.”
“The Philadelphia Board of Elections processed hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots with zero civilian oversight or observation,” Kweder said.
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