Arizona Election Audit Moves out of Coliseum, Ballots Held in New Building Under 24/7 Security: Official

Arizona Election Audit Moves out of Coliseum, Ballots Held in New Building Under 24/7 Security: Official
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are audited at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Ariz., on April 29, 2021. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP/Pool)
Jack Phillips

After more than two months, the audit of Arizona’s Maricopa County moved out of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, according to one of the state Senate’s audit liaisons.

Randy Pullen, one of the Senate’s audit liaisons, told reporters that the audit process will persist inside another building at the fairgrounds. The audit team has to vacate the coliseum due to a lease agreement, he said, adding that 2.1 million ballots and voting equipment will be moved to the Wesley Bolin Building on Thursday morning.

The voting machines, ballots, and other materials will be protected around the clock by three security guards, Pullen said. Surveillance cameras will also provide livestream from inside the Wesley Bolin Building for security reasons, he added.

“There’s still a little bit more work to do,” Pullen said, reported KTAR. “I can’t imagine it will take more than a couple of weeks to get everything resolved,” he added.
Last week, the audit team announced that the counting and paper examination of the ballots had finished. Officials involved in the process said that more work will be done before a report is produced by the end of the summer.

“I don’t think they’ll be any numbers coming out, preliminary numbers or anything,” Pullen said of a report being released. “That would be totally up to the Senate. … That would be their call.”

Following the completion of the counting, Republican Senate Majority Leader Karen Fann told The Epoch Times GOP senators will be meeting this week to “formulate a plan and timeline moving forward,” without elaborating.

For months, amid a legal tug-of-war between the Republican-led state legislature and Maricopa County executives, the Senate ultimately authorized an audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results, which started in late April. The Senate won a legal fight to enforce a subpoena of voting equipment and the ballots

Democrats, including Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, have routinely criticized the audit and called it a partisan affair. Republicans, including Fann, have said the audit isn’t designed to overturn the 2020 election results but is merely an attempt to restore the public’s trust in the elections system.

Earlier this week, Maricopa County announced it would replace all subpoenaed voting machines that were examined during the audit.

“Accordingly, I write to notify you that Maricopa County will not use the subpoenaed election equipment in any future election,” said the letter from the county officials, dated Monday. In a separate press release, Maricopa County said it will “never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections.”

Fann, however, told The Epoch Times that the announcement is another “attack on the audit,” and stressed the machines weren’t tampered with during the weekslong process.

The Epoch Times has contacted former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, another audit liaison, for comment.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
Related Topics