Arizona Senate to Start Major Audit of 2.1 Million 2020 Presidential Election Ballots

Arizona Senate to Start Major Audit of 2.1 Million 2020 Presidential Election Ballots
Arizona elections officials continue to count ballots inside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix on Nov. 6, 2020. (Matt York/AP Photo)

The Arizona Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, is ready to start a major audit of 2.1 million ballots for the 2020 presidential election. The recount will be done by hand this time.

The state Senate said in March that they would be conducting a “broad and detailed” audit, adding that they'll test voting machines, scan ballots, look for IT breaches, and perform a hand count.

The state-issued subpoenas needed in order to execute the audit have been pending since mid-December and were ruled as valid (pdf) on Feb. 25.
Since then, lawmakers have been working on the specifics for the audit. Karen Fann, the Arizona Senate president, told Just the News that the audit process will commence this week.

Fann said the state’s Republicans have faced “sabotage” by Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors and that the process has been hindered.

“The Maricopa BOS has refused to allow us to perform the audit at their facilities,” Fann said, "and has gone so far as to refusing to even answer simple questions such as ‘how are the ballots sequestered?’

“It’s taken the Senate two and a half months to win in court to uphold our right to issue subpoenas for election materials and another 6 weeks of researching to select the audit team to perform the full forensic audit.”

She said previously that their intention was “never about overturning the election, it was about the integrity of the Arizona election system.”
Fann signed a contract earlier this week to rent the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix for about a month starting April 19, according to azcentral. She previously said she wanted to use spaces in the county but that they declined.

She said there will be physical and livestreaming security in the more than 20,000-square-foot facility.

“The audit teams are assembling and transporting the equipment and personnel to Arizona with an expected start date of April 22,” she said.

Fann noted that the Arizona State Senate and auditors don’t have a particular expectation of the findings.

“We are performing the full forensic audit to either dispel our voter’s concerns, or if a problem is uncovered, we must fix the problems before the next election,” she said.

“We have never accused anyone of fraud or misconduct, whether it be the hardware, software, or actions of personnel.

“We hope there is no intentional illegal tampering but, if found, we will turn the information over to the state and federal attorney generals for their further legal action, and we will proceed to make the appropriate corrections.”

A report is expected to be released in about two months, according to a statement from the state Senate.

The independent audit will be conducted by four out-of-state companies—Wake Technology Services, CyFIR, Digital Discovery, and Cyber Ninjas. Florida-based cybersecurity company Cyber Ninjas will be leading the audit, the Senate said, adding that they focus on computer application security for financial services and government clients.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers told Fann in an email obtained by the Epoch Times that the upcoming audit “is not a joint effort between the County and the Senate Republican Caucus.”

In a response to an April 2 email from Fann, Sellers wrote: “Maricopa County performed the audits of the election required and permitted by law. As required by law they were bipartisan and transparent. There has been no suggestion that those audits were in any way deficient. The County then properly authorized two further forensic examinations of its machines that it was permitted to perform as possessor of the machines.”

He also said that because of the unsettled legal ramifications of the documents, “Maricopa County cannot be involved in supporting your audit as to do so may expose it to liability for which it has no similar legal protection.”