Passing gaslight: the lies about Arizona votes have been a continuing cloud of disinforming vapor that even after the cyber-ninjas had ascended and gone bankrupt, that claims of voter fraud were so much bullpucky. “Kinetic markers” now seems to be the 21st Century version of hanging chads or dingleberries(sic).
Exclusive emails obtained by Rolling Stone expose an attempt to recertify the state as a victory for Donald Trump — and reveal top Trumpworld figures were complicit.
The technology was complicated, but the plan was simple: Scan mail-in and absentee ballots in populous Maricopa County, remove the “invalid votes,” and recertify the state’s 2020 election count, surely declaring then-President Donald Trump the rightful winner.
This scheme to subvert the election outcome in Arizona is laid out in newly released emails obtained by Rolling Stone. Sent in early December 2020, the emails cover a critical moment when the post-election push by Trump and Republican allies to find fraud and overturn the presidential election was in full swing.
The emails show how a group of fringe election sleuths pressed state legislators on a plan to disrupt the 2020 election certification and potentially change the vote count in a battleground state that helped deliver Joe Biden the presidency. The emails also reveal that several Trump advisers, including campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis and legal adviser Bernie Kerik, were included in the discussion.
Ellis and Kerik played influential roles on Trump’s legal team after the 2020 election, and their work extended beyond Arizona. Ellis appeared at public hearings, sometimes alongside Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and amplified baseless claims about election fraud in frequent media appearances. Kerik played a more behind-the-scenes role, emails and other records show, assisting the Trump campaign’s fruitless search for election wrongdoing. The select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection has subpoenaed Ellis and Kerik.
Three days later, on Dec. 11, Waldron wrote to three Arizona Republican lawmakers: Borrelli, Finchem, and Sen. Eddie Farnsworth, a Republican who chaired the judiciary committee. This time, Waldron included hundreds of pages of supporting documents purporting to describe how proprietary technology could be used to detect “kinetic markers” like folds and creases on ballots or the lack thereof, which in turn could be used to identify ballots that were “fraudulent or were not cast by a voter,” according to an attached affidavit. The documents also included operating manuals for hardware produced by Dominion Voting Systems.
Bill Gates, the Republican supervisor in Maricopa County, and Adrian Fontes, the county’s former Recorder and a Democrat, say they spotted multiple inaccuracies and misperceptions in Waldron’s emails. Images of ballots are not a public record, as Waldron claims in one of his emails. Fontes, who is now running for secretary of state, says he’s never heard anyone refer to “kinetic markings” on ballots in his years as an election official. Fontes says, “This is the way the legislators got the wool pulled over their eyes.”
While there is plenty to discuss about what was alleged during this hearing — generally speaking, this hearing was a rehash of the unfounded and outright false arguments made in dozens of lawsuits that were filed and subsequently dismissed in the the aftermath of the 2020 election — social media was abuzz about one particular moment. According to a viral video, Giuliani farted at one point during the hearing.