According to state Senate Republicans who have been calling for a recount of the votes cast in the November election, Arizona will hold a full hand recount of the ballots cast in Maricopa County.
In a statement, Senate President Karen Fann said, “This audit will be broad and detailed: the team will include, but is not limited to, testing the machines, scanning the ballots, performing a full hand count and checking for any IT breaches.”
Fann continued, “When all the work is done, there will be a full report for the Senate and County to review. Our voters expect this audit, and it can be a big step in returning trust and confidence in our election process,”
The state Senate’s Judiciary Committee voted in December to grant subpoenas and appropriate Dominion Voting Systems equipment used in Maricopa County.
GOP senators said at the time that this would put to rest all questions over the election’s legitimacy, despite unproven suggestions that the computers could be used to manipulate votes. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors rebuffed the request.
According to the Arizona Republic, Senate Republicans have been in a battle with county authorities for rights to voting machines since then, and last month won a case to secure access to the ballots.
Maricopa County received about 2.1 million ballots, or just under two-thirds of the total 3.3 million votes cast in the state.
Fann added, “As thousands of our voters continue to call for a thorough audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, I am pleased to report we have narrowed it down to a preferred forensic audit team. We are negotiating final details on the execution of the audit and hope to have an announcement soon.”
“Our desire is to work closely with the County Board of Supervisors, and the Senate continues to believe the proper location of the audit is at the County, to preserve the chain of custody and maintain security of the ballots and equipment,” she said.
2020 Election Integrity: Arizona Forensic Ballot Audit
Full & complete forensic audit by known & trusted experts. Timing & other key details still withheld. https://t.co/HaSCmiZXCE
— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) March 17, 2021
Fields Moseley, a county spokeswoman, said the county hasn’t had any previous discussions with the state about using its services.
“Our goal is to make this a bipartisan effort with full transparency and in joint cooperation with Maricopa County officials. We’ve been reaching out to experts on election processes in Arizona and around the nation and hope to have the best and brightest involved in the audit,” Fann continued.
Multiple reports have found no flaws in how the election was held, according to county officials.
A new forensic audit has found "no evidence of tampering or hacking" in voting machines in Maricopa County, Arizona, offering more proof that the presidential election was free and fair. https://t.co/mSQIzdXppe
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 24, 2021
This is a state effort to conduct a full hand recount of 2.1 million ballots in the state’s most populated district, which some have dubbed a “charade” designed to hold supporters of former President Donald Trump enraged and discredit the state’s electoral legitimacy.
A hand count will be a huge undertaking. After the November election, bipartisan teams took a day and a half to hand-count a sample of 8,000 Maricopa County ballots, as required by law.
The county Board of Supervisors battled a subpoena imposed by Senate Republicans, arguing that the ballots were classified and that the computers needed to be kept safe.
Fann has been hunting for an auditing company that can do the deep dive she needs since she secured the court case. Any Trump supporters say that he was defeated due to voter irregularities in Arizona and other swing states. Fann said that she intends to respond to their concerns.
The five-member county board of supervisors has cited several checks as evidence that the election was open, equal, and well-run. They included pre- and post-election checks of counting machines and applications, as well as a hand count of a ballot sample to verify the computer count’s accuracy.