Rep. Mark Finchem Responds To Those Who Seek To Prevent Forensic Audits Of Elections Where There Are Controversies


AUGUST 25, 2021, Oro Valley, AZ

A few days ago the National Association of Secretaries of State, at their summer meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, approved recommendations for elections audits. Their goal was, “to create guidelines that would prevent a Maricopa-style forensic audit from ever happening again.” Only West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner voted against the recommendations, and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft abstained.

“There also seems to be movement toward a campaign intended to promote the management of the perception of elections through non-profits and religious group influencers as opposed to support for improvements in election integrity such as defect elimination. This sounds much more like a propaganda program than process excellence —Six Sigma— systems analysis for elimination of process defects. 

“Never in the history of the several States, or even in the history of the United States, have the People surrendered their right to fully scrutinize any election. Such scrutiny goes beyond recounts. It is the Legislature, that is the duly elected representatives of the people, who control this aspect of our consent to be governed, not Secretaries of State, who are executive branch office holders, or appointed, unelected bureaucrats. To prevent any form of audit is not the proper role of the Secretary of State, instead their role is to faithfully execute the laws that Legislature has adopted.

“Because of the underlying political questions involving elections, there will always be disagreement on how to handle discrepancies. But nobody can, with a straight face, say that every election is fraud-free. It is the prerogative of a free people to hold their elected representatives accountable for the examination of elections results to prove or disprove alleged discrepancies in any electoral contest. How a Legislature chooses to address those discrepancies is its prerogative, attempting to change the perception the polity is little more than manipulation.

“I fully support forensic audits when called for at the discretion of the Legislature of competent jurisdiction. I also support systemic improvements such as multi-factor authentication and ballot fraud countermeasures such as those now in Arizona law A.R.S. § 16-504, to minimize the need for forensic audits in the future.