The Biden Department of Justice has just sent a letter to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann taking issue with Maricopa County’s forensic audit of the 2020 election.
The letter on Department of Justice letterhead from Pamela Karlan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, raised issues with two aspects of the forensic audit. The DOJ letter to Senator Fann states the following:
“I write regarding issues arising under federal statutes enforced by the United States Department of Justice that are related to the audit required by the Arizona State Senate for the November 2020 federal general election in Maricopa County,” the letter states. “News reports indicate that the Senate subpoenaed ballots, elections systems, and election materials from Maricopa County and required that they be turned over to private contractors, led by a firm known as Cyber Ninjas.”
“The Department has reviewed available information, including news reports and complaints regarding the procedures being used for this audit,” the letter continued. “The information of which we are aware raises concerns regarding at least two issues of potential non-compliance with federal laws enforced by the Department.”
“The first issue relates to a number of reports suggesting that the ballots, elections systems, and election materials that are the subject of the Maricopa County audit are no longer under the ultimate control of state and local elections officials, are not being adequately safeguarded by contractors at an insecure facility, and are at risk of being lost, stolen, altered, compromised or destroyed,” the letter added.
“Federal law creates a duty to safeguard and preserve federal election records,” the DOJ letter went on. “The Department is charged with enforcement of provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1960. This statute requires state and local election officials to maintain, for twenty-two months after the conduct of an election for federal office, “all records and papers” relating to any “act requisite to voting in such election…”
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“The purpose of these federal preservation and retention requirements for elections records is to ‘secure a more effective protection of the right to vote’,” the DOJ continued.
It should be noted that the Civil Rights Division had no issue with Georgia’s inability to produce chain-of-custody documents, nor private voting machine companies processing ballots in state elections.
“The second issue relates to the Cyber Ninjas’ statement of work for this audit,” the DOJ went on. “Among other things, the statement of work indicates that the contractor has been working ‘with a number of individuals’ to ‘identify voter registrations that did not make sense, and then knock on doors to confirm if valid voters actually lived at the stated address.”
“The statement of work also indicates that the contractor will ‘select a minimum of three precincts” in Maricopa County ‘with a high number of anomalies’ in order ‘to conduct an audit of voting history’ and that voters may be contacted through a ‘combination of phone calls and physical canvassing’ to ‘collect information of whether the individual voted in the election’ in November 2020,” the DOJ letter added.
“This description of the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters,” the DOJ continued. “The Department enforces a number of federal statutes that prohibit intimidation of persons for voting or attempting to vote. For example, Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act provides that “No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to vote…”
“Past experience with similar investigative efforts around the country has raised concerns that they can be directed at minority voters, which potentially can implicate the anti-intimidation prohibitions of the Voting Rights Act,” the DOJ said. “Such investigative efforts can have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future.”
“We would appreciate your response to the concerns described herein, including advising us of the steps that the Arizona Senate will take to ensure that violations of federal law do not occur,” the letter threateningly added.
Earlier tonight, Becker News reported that the Biden DOJ was poised to intervene in the Arizona election audit. It turns out that report is correct.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.