By Ivan Pentchoukov
A witness brought forward by the Trump campaign in its election contest in Nevada alleged that the memory disks used to store vote totals from election machines during the early vote period had the vote tallies unexplainably changed overnight, according to a presentation at an evidentiary hearing in Carson City on Dec. 3.
According to Jesse Binnall, who presented the evidence on behalf of the Trump campaign, the witness, whose name is shielded by a protective order, said that the vote tallies were collected from the machine at the end of every voting day and stored on Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives overnight.
“What they would do is they would log these disks in and out. Good practice. And the disks had a serial number on them. And numerous times that disk would be logged out with one vote total on it and logged back in the next morning during the early vote period with a different number on it. Sometimes more, sometimes less,” Binnall said.
“What that means is that literally in the dead of night, votes were appearing, and books are disappearing on these machines.”
Binnall said that the USB drives were not encrypted and the voting machines were not password protected. “And they were hooked up with laptops, then where the laptops themselves could have been compromised,” he added.
The allegation about the vote total alterations was one of several Binnall presented during an evidentiary hearing, the first of its kind for the Trump legal team’s six-state post-election effort.
At the core of the election challenge in Nevada are several batches of ballots that the Trump campaign alleges were either cast, processed, or counted illegally, including roughly 40,000 voters who allegedly voted twice. The campaign is also arguing that the signatures on more than 130,000 ballots were verified solely by a machine in contravention of Nevada’s election law.
The campaign is asking the court to affirm the contest and strike the electors representing former Vice President Joe Biden, who are the defendants in the contest, from representing the state of Nevada in the Electoral College.
“Every single one of these instances that we’ve identified has resulted again in the votes of honest Nevadans being disenfranchised,” Binnall said.
“We understand that this is an unusual situation but what we can’t do is turn a blind eye to vote fraud. If we’re going to keep being the beacon of representative Democracy in the world, when it goes bad—and here it went bad—we can’t just turn a blind eye to it. That’s not what we do in America. We make it right.”
Kevin Hamilton, the attorney for the defendants, delivered a comprehensive point-by-point challenge to all of the Trump campaign’s claims. He argued that the Trump campaign didn’t name a single voter among voluminous lists of ballots that were allegedly illegally cast.
“Simply put, breathtaking relief demands breathtaking evidence but contestants stand before you with nothing of the sort,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton argued that similar legal challenges against the use of the signature-matching machine have been overruled without exception by other courts. He also targeted the credibility of Jesse Kamzol, a key witness for the defendants whose testimony features a data analysis that points to a large number of potentially illegally cast ballots.
In a rebuttal delivered at the tail end of the hearing, Binnall pointed out that the defendants didn’t question Kamzol’s analysis and instead attacked his qualifications. Kamzol served as the chief data officer for the Republican National Committee as recently as 2017.
District Judge James Russell ordered both parties to submit proposed orders to the court by 10 a.m. on Friday so he can quickly make a ruling with enough time for either party to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.
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