Commentary: The Real Significance of the Arizona Audit

by Phill Kline


A lot of people on both sides of the political aisle seem to be missing the whole point of the ongoing election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona.

This process isn’t about “proving” fraud or overturning an election. Rather, it’s about determining what, if anything, went wrong with the election process in 2020 and providing a road map for further investigation. In other words, it’s about determining the right questions to ask as we work to restore confidence in our electoral process.

This effort is necessary due to the unprecedented manner in which the 2020 election was conducted, which involved an unprecedented infusion of private monies into local election offices and saw local election officials unilaterally set aside long-standing state laws protecting election integrity. Away from the Trump-Biden political wars, every single reasonable elected official would desire such a review.

Investigations don’t start with proof; they begin with questions. How was over $400 million from Mark Zuckerberg used by local election offices, and did its use favor one candidate over the other? Why did election officials in Green Bay, Wisconsin circumvent the election clerk assigned to conduct the election in favor of a leftist activist working for a left-leaning non-profit? Where are the ballot transfer forms proving the chain of custody of the Fulton County, Georgia absentee ballots placed in drop boxes? Why did Arizona officials sign a contract with an election machine vendor that doesn’t allow the legislature or local officials to access information on the machines necessary for a meaningful audit?

All of these questions and more must be answered if we are to have faith in the 2020 election, or any future election, for that matter. The fact that election officials don’t want these questions asked necessarily makes us doubt the election more.

I’ve never been involved in an investigation where an innocent person didn’t want me to see the evidence they controlled that proved their innocence. Conversely, I’ve never investigated a person who was guilty who wanted me to see the evidence they controlled. In short, dodging questions is indicative of potential wrongdoing.

In the past, these questions would be asked, and asked again, by the Third Estate – ethical journalists. Today, however, the media desire to push a narrative rather than seek truth. The answers to these questions may harm the narrative and, therefore, the media spends its time attacking those who ask the questions.

This media “double-speak” was recently modelled by The New York Times when it quoted David J. Becker, founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), criticizing the Arizona audit. Mr. Becker lamented that an “out-of-state contractor” was “rifling through ballots.”

Yet Mr. Becker leads just such an organization. CEIR poured more than $60 million into election offices in Democrat strongholds, teaming with organizations such as the Center for Tech and Civic Life and the National Vote at Home Institute – all left-leaning and all funded by leftist oligarchs – in actually participating in ballot handling and counts during the election.

All of this reminds me of the investigation I conducted as Attorney General of Kansas into abortion clinics failing to report child rape. I had evidence of hundreds of children, some as young as 10 or 11 years old, obtaining abortions in Kansas – and the abortion clinics did not report the child abuse that caused the pregnancy, as required by law. I did not have the names of the children, only their ages and hometowns as reflected on redacted abortion clinic records.

When I sought the names of the children in the abortion records so we could act for their welfare, a national culture war erupted.

The left-leaning Kansas Supreme Court joined the fray and ordered their appointed ethics administrator to investigate me. The ethics official filed a complaint against me alleging that my investigation of the abortion clinics was unethical because I didn’t have a “complaining witness.”

This claim is absurd. Many investigations are launched without a complaining witness. Drug abuse is one example of many. And most child rape cases do not involve a “complaining witness,” unless the rape is committed by a stranger and the parents call the police.

Most child sexual abuse involves someone with authority or control over the child. Such child victims do not report their own abuse! That is why we have laws requiring medical professionals to report abuse.

If investigators must have a complaining witness prior to starting an investigation of child rape, over 90 percent of child rape cases would never be investigated. The “ethics” interpretation of the Kansas Supreme Court ethics administrator was merely a formula to prevent the investigation of the abortion clinics at all in order to protect abortion on demand.

Now, the left is using the same flawed reasoning to try to prevent real questions from being answered about the 2020 election by demanding “proof of fraud” before meaningful investigation even takes place.

The audits and investigations are in their beginning stages, and already they have raised some meaningful questions. The American people deserve answers to these questions. If we are going to have faith in future elections, we must let facts, not political agendas, determine the narrative.

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Phill Kline is the Former Kansas Attorney General. He currently serves as Pulpit Pastor of Amherst Baptist Church, a law school professor, and director of the Amistad Project of The Thomas More Society.









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