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Maricopa County GOP chair rejects accuracy test to help Trump 'get back into office'

The ballot machines that determined President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump by 45,109 votes in Maricopa County accurately counted those ballots, the chairwoman of the Maricopa County Republican Party confirmed in two documents signed Wednesday. Nevertheless, she wrote "certification denied" next to her signature — a notation that elections officials say means nothing.

Brickman told Arizona Mirror that the accuracy test conducted Wednesday showed the vote-counting machines were working properly, and that her dissent is aimed at overturning the election result.

"It is most important that we sign the way it was necessary to sign to help our president get back into office," Brickman said. "And if he didn't win officially, I guess we have to live with those results. I'm not going to sit there and protest, but I will stand behind him 110%."

Brickman said she believes the count of actual ballots was wrong, and blamed the software that the ballot-counting machines use.

"The problem is not what we saw there. The problem lies within the machine in the software that we cannot see," Brickman said. "I want to see what is going on inside the machines."

That software, which was approved by the federal Election Assistance Commission, is what allowed the machines to correctly count ballots in pre- and post-election accuracy tests. And a hand-count audit conducted this month found the machines perfectly counted ballots cast on Election Day.

Brickman's signature with the "certification denied" note is the latest example of Republican officials in Arizona and across the country attempting to block the certification of election results.

In Pima County, the two Republican county supervisors voted not to certify their county's vote, citing unfounded "election irregularities." And supervisors in Mohave County — which Trump won overwhelmingly — delayed certifying their election until the Nov. 23 deadline, which GOP supervisor Hildy Angius told The Washington Post "has nothing to do with our results" but is "more of a big picture sort of thing." And Jean Bishop, chair of the Mohave supervisors, said the move is "political," and intended to "make a statement to support the state party."

On Thursday, a judge rejected a lawsuit from the Arizona Republican Party that sought to block Maricopa County for certifying its election results.

Brickman, like many other Arizona Republican leaders and election officials, is calling for a hand recount of all ballots cast in Maricopa County. She declined to specify how the recount should be conducted in order to appease her concerns, but she said she had questions about the software.

The gesture of signing two "Certificate of Accuracy" documents with a notation denying the text in those documents has no significance, according to election officials. State law mandates the accuracy testing to "ensure the maximum degree of correctness, impartiality and uniformity in the administration of an electronic ballot tabulating system."

"It doesn't mean anything," Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, said of Brickman's note next to her signature.

Erika Flores, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Elections Department, said even if Brickman had declined to sign the certificate of accuracy, another Republican representative vouched for the accuracy of the voting systems.

"Even without Mrs. Brickman's signature, there was a Republican, Democrat and Libertarian that all signed off certifying the results of the test and accuracy of the equipment," Flores said.

Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward signed the documents on Wednesday, as did the leaders of the county Democratic and Libertarian parties, and a representative from the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

Brickman said Ward's signature is insignificant.

"She signed on as an observer, which means nothing, I was the one that was official," Brickman said.

The logic and accuracy test completed on Wednesday, which is required by state law, is conducted before and after every election to ensure no changes were made to any voting software to alter how ballots are counted. It's the final step to verify the election results before they are sent for an official canvass to the county board of supervisors.

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While the test was still in progress Wednesday, Brickman issued a press release declaring that any certification is premature. She called for an investigation by county and state prosecutors over widely debunked concerns about the Dominion Voting System machines the county has been using for a decade.

Brickman's attempt to delay the official canvass of election results is a stance shared by Ward and other Republicans in the state and country.

According to the Associated Press, the state GOP is pressuring county officials statewide to delay certifying election results, despite no evidence of election fraud.

In Michigan, another state where Trump lost to Biden, Republican representatives have flipped-flopped on approving voting results.

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.

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Maricopa County Elections Department

Maricopa County Republican Party Chairwoman Linda Brickman signed the election Certificate of Accuracy but noted 'certification denied' next to her signature, which elections officials say is meaningless. Brickman said she did so to help Trump win reelection.