“Audit Update: Paper examination and counting are finished today,” the audit team wrote in a post on its Twitter account on June 25. “Thank you to all the amazing Arizona volunteers who made this audit possible!”
The Republican-led state Senate authorized the audit, which started in late April, after months of wrangling with Maricopa County executives in a back-and-forth legal battle. Republicans hired Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based cybersecurity firm, to lead some of the audit efforts.
Republican senators will now be meeting within the next several days and will “formulate a plan and timeline moving forward,” Senate Majority Leader Karen Fann, a Republican, told The Epoch Times.
The announcement from Cyber Ninjas comes as Ken Bennett, a former Republican secretary of state who was tapped to work on the audit, told The Associated Press that the final report stemming from the audit would take several weeks or months to complete. Previously, authorities said that it would be due in August.
Following the completion of the counting and paper examination process, other audit work is being done, he said. That includes evaluating data from voting machines and election servers.
“I think too much emphasis has been put on the tasks that are happening here at the Coliseum, but these are not the only two tasks of the audit,” Bennett told the Associated Press, referring to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, where the effort was being carried out.
While former President Donald Trump and Arizona Republican lawmakers have said that the audit is necessary to safeguard and restore faith in elections, state Democrats, corporate media outlets, and Democrat Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs have said that the audit was carried out in an irregular manner and that there were claimed lapses in security.
Hobbs, in an interview with Bloomberg News published on June 27, again panned the audit and claimed Republicans “have a highly partisan agenda.”
“Nothing that we’re seeing here inspires confidence that any results that they put out will be valid or credible,” she said.
Hobbs also faulted Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan for being a Trump supporter.
Republicans, including Fann, have said that the audit wasn’t designed to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election, but rather to restore trust in the election system.
Following the Maricopa County audit, Republicans in several other battleground states have suggested they might do the same.
Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee Chairman Dave Argall, a Republican, said there is a “very real possibility” that an audit could be done in Pennsylvania.
“It’s a very careful recount, forensic audit, so yeah, I don’t see the danger in it,” Argall also told reporters last week. “I just think that it would not be a bad idea at all to proceed with an audit similar to what they’re doing in Arizona.”