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Brnovich: Senate ‘audit’ dead wrong it its claims that deceased voters cast 2020 ballots

By: - August 1, 2022 4:59 pm

The Senate’s “audit” team presented its report on Sept. 24, 2021. L to R: Ben Cotton of CyFIR, Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, Randy Pullen. Photo by Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

The Arizona Senate’s partisan “audit” last year claimed 282 dead voters cast a ballot in the 2020 general election in Maricopa County, but Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said only one of those was genuine, according to a letter he sent to the Senate on Monday. 

“Our agents investigated all individuals that Cyber Ninjas reported as dead, and many were very surprised to learn they were allegedly deceased,” Brnovich wrote in his letter to Senate President Karen Fann. 

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Fann thanked Brnovich and his office for “answering some tough questions from voters and lawmakers who had grave concerns” about the 2020 election. 

“This step of the AG’s investigation is critical to restoring the diminished confidence our constituents expressed following the last election,” said Fann, who has privately acknowledged that the so-called “audit” was intended to prove the baseless fraud claims made by former President Donald Trump.

Brnovich, a Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate, opened an investigation 9 months ago and has had his office’s Election Integrity Unit investigating the findings of the Senate’s so-called “audit” since its conclusion. He released an “interim report” in April alleging election failures but citing no actual violations of the law, claims that Maricopa County officials said were “full of false innuendo and misrepresentations.” 

The letter Monday says that Cyber Ninjas alleged that 282 people who were dead prior to Oct. 5, 2020 had voted in the Nov. 3, 2020 general election. 

Brnovich was unsparing in his criticism of the allegations that dead people voted in the 2020 election. 

“After spending hundreds of hours reviewing these allegations, our investigators were able to determine that only one of the 282 on the list was deceased at the time of the election,” he wrote. “All other persons listed as deceased were found to be current voters.” 

Brnovich’s office has prosecuted a Scottsdale woman who cast her mother’s ballot shortly after she died. The woman, Tracey Kay McKee, was sentenced to probation. It is not known if this case is the one Brnovich is referring to.

Brnovich’s office also investigated claims from “other sources” that alleged to have found dead voters and in total looked over 6,352 records shared with them in total and found that none of them were in fact dead voters. Additionally, the record keeping for many of the cases were not properly maintained when handed over to the AG’s office either. 

“Some were so absurd the names and birthdates didn’t even match the deceased, and others included dates of death after the election,” Brnovich wrote. “While our office has successfully prosecuted other instances of dead voters, these cases were ultimately determined to be isolated incidents.” 

Brnovich stated in his letter that he supports the Senate’s ability to conduct its “audit” of the general election results, which showed that President Joe Biden won by a larger margin than by the official count, he added that there is no evidence for widespread fraud from deceased voters. 

“(A)llegations of widespread deceased voters from the Senate Audit and other complaints received by the (Elections Integrity Unit) are insufficient and not corroborated,” Brnovich concluded. 

***UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a comment from Senate President Karen Fann.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.

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