On Wednesday, a cybersecurity expert, testifying at Republican gubernatorial candidate for Arizona Kari Lake’s election challenge trial said that the ballot printer issues occurring on Election Day last month in Maricopa County could not have been an accident.
Last week, Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ordered Maricopa County to grant Lake’s lawyers access to inspect randomly selected “ballot-on-demand” printed ballots cast on Election Day as well as pre-printed mail-in ballots sent to voters.
What they found was that “48 of 113 ballots [42 percent] reviewed during our examination were 19-inch ballots produced on 20-inch paper,” Lake’s official campaign account tweeted.
“This one-inch discrepancy cause chaos on Election day. Causing the mass rejection of these votes as they were attempted to be read through the tabulators.”
This prompted Lake attorney Kurt Olsen to ask cybersecurity expert Clay Parikh during the trial, “Is there any way, in your opinion, for a 19-inch ballot image to be projected on a 20-inch ballot by accident?”
“No sir,” Parikh responded.
“Why not?” Olsen followed up.
“Because the settings and the configurations and the procedures that are used cannot allow that,” Parikh said. “These are not a bump against the printer and the settings change. There are security configurations. I’ve reviewed the evidence, and the printers are configured via script, which by any large organization that has to do multiple systems is the standard.”
“It takes away the human error of somebody miscoding in the instructions on the printer,” Parikh said.
Olsen also questioned Maricopa County Director of Elections Scott Jarrett, asking if the 19-inch ballot image placed on a 20-inch piece of paper would be “a failure of Maricopa county’s election process?”
Jarrett denied that happened, but conceded, “If something like that happened, which I don’t know how it would, yes it would have been a mistake.”
“Could that have also been a deliberate act?” Olsen asked.
“I don’t know if it could have been a deliberate act or not. I don’t believe that that occurred,” Jarrett said.
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and County Recorder Stephen Richer made an announcement on the morning of Election Day last month saying 20% of polling locations were having tabulator problems.
The county later said it was 70 sites or about one-third of them. Lake’s campaign alleges that the true number was 132 sites consisting of 59% of the polling locations.
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