Steven Rosenfeld Voting Booth

Meet the Trio Who May Have Figured Out How to Save American Democracy

The following is an excerpt of an article that was originally published at The New Republic.

Click to read the full article online.

Three retired election auditors in Arizona foiled the Cyber Ninjas scam—and may have created a template for how to protect elections in 2022 and 2024.

By Steven Rosenfeld

Since the 2020 election, Donald Trump and his allies have produced no evidence that Joe Biden’s victory was illegitimate despite their dozens of failed lawsuits, shrill propaganda, and bad-faith postelection reviews. But Trump’s party has shown no reluctance to revise the rules of voting to advantage Republicans before 2022’s midterms and 2024’s presidential election.

Led by battleground state legislators, the Trumpers have rewritten voting laws, threatened election administrators, begun purges of county election boards, created new gerrymanders, and more. The worst of these power grabs limit access to a ballot, which is the starting line of voting, for anti-Trump blocs and would disqualify ballots and nullify votes before the finish line.

This playbook is not new. But modern voting systems, from voter registration to tallying paper ballots, contain numerous stages and respective data sets, many of which are public records and are quite detailed. If smartly used after Election Day, these records could provide an easily understood evidence trail that would make it much harder for the Trump faction to proclaim victory prematurely or falsely.

There are formidable obstacles, though—not just to accessing and parsing the data but to getting election professionals and opinion leaders on board. In recent years, their top priority has been countering cybersecurity threats from abroad, not countering domestic disinformation so that average voters, not election insiders, can see and trust what lies behind high-stakes results.

Using public election records to debunk stolen election lies and confront propagandists is not a “fool’s game,” as a New York Times editorial board member recently opined—arguing that “the professional vote-fraud crusaders are not in the fact business.” The template of debunking and confronting election-theft lies is the largely untold story of what happened in Arizona in 2021, where Trumpers ultimately were forced to admit that Biden won, a process I witnessed.

Read more at the The New Republic.