On Tuesday, the Trump campaign filed evidence under Siegel in its lawsuit to revive allegations that ballot papers were tainted in Arizona, AKA Sharpiegate 2: Electric Boogaloo. Maricopa County Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kiley denied the motion, but after yesterday’s hearing, it’s no mystery why plaintiffs wanted to keep this stuff locked up.
Last week, the Wingnutosphere reiterated its allegations that campaign officials tricked personal voters into tainting their ballots by filling them in with sharpies, making them illegible to the tabulation machines. After Arizona’s foreign minister reassured the public that this was wrong, the theory changed slightly. What if sneaky poll workers delivered the felt-tip pens with the knowledge that the ink would bleed and damage the ballots by leaving scatter tags that would be read as outvotes, i.e. votes for multiple candidates in the same race and thus rejected?
If that was the plan, it seems to have failed spectacularly. (It wasn’t the plan.) The Maricopa County President’s vote totaled a whopping 191 ballots, equaling 0.002 percent of the ballots cast, inconsistent with plaintiffs’ claims of “systemic failure.” Perhaps because of this, Trump campaign attorney Kory Langhofer was forced to take some unorthodox action to gather evidence of the “thousands of additional votes for Donald Trump” promised in the original complaint.
He has apparently used an online collection portal where anyone can submit a report on voting irregularities. Despite using a CAPTCHA to verify the information, Langhofer had to admit in court that much of what he got was lies and spam. “It turns out what is hydrant? is not a good tool for sorting evidence. Good to know!
Langhofer stated that he further verified the online filings by speaking to the affiants in person and sorting out anyone who was not present at a polling station on November 3 to testify to the alleged inappropriateness.
“It just goes to show that you can’t disprove what is being claimed,” remarked Judge Kiley before ruling out CAPTCHA evidence.
And then the Trump campaign called its witnesses and things really went off the rails.
A second Trump campaign witness, claiming trouble with a Sharpie vote, testifies that he was unsure whether his vote took place on election day – and is still unsure – but said nothing at the time.
“I didn’t mean to cause a stir,” he said.
– Alan Fire (@alanfeuer) November 12, 2020
Nobody testified firsthand that election officials wrongly submitted overvotes instead of delivering new ballots for repair. And Gina Swoboda, the election day director of operations in Arizona for the Trump campaign, testified that she did not see any systemic issues on election day, raised no issues regarding election workers at the time, and had no personal basis for assuming that the result does not reflect the result express will of the voters.
Lawyer Asks Trump Campaign Officials:
Do you have EVERYTHING knowledge that EVERY vote for Trump is not counted as misconduct by campaign workers?
“I am aware of the * belief * of voters that their votes were not counted.”
But adds, “I don’t know what the reason was.”
– Alan Fire (@alanfeuer) November 12, 2020
Which was really a fitting resolution. Because Ms. Swoboda was introduced to the booth by Zack Alcoyne, the self-proclaimed election specialist who created the online CAPTCHA portal for angry voters who can check all images with traffic lights. It appears that Mr. Langhofer failed to mention an important detail or two about his relationship with the witness.
At the booth, Mr. Alcoyne could not definitively determine whether he was being paid for his testimony.
“Not that I know of,” he said. “I haven’t talked about it.” He couldn’t remember any further questions. “I’m not sure,” added Alcoyne.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Kiley took the matter under discussion. But apparently he doesn’t have to give an opinion on Sharpiegate Subsequent MovieFilm.
BREAKING: The day after a full trial, the GOP plaintiffs tell the Arizona court, “Since the hearing ended yesterday, the statewide listing of votes has made a judicial decision on the presidential election unnecessary.”
Trump is now 1-13.https: //t.co/PzqlFBxH5A
– Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 13, 2020
Ah great. Yet!
The Trump campaign attorney admits to judgment: Our search for evidence of fraud has resulted in blatant lies and “spam”. [Law and Crime]Trump’s attorney tells the Maricopa County judge that the election challenge is not about fraud or election theft [AZ Republic]
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore, where she writes on law and politics.