PHOENIX, Arizona (PNN) - April 20, 2021 - The Arizona Senate 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 it would be conducting a “broad and detailed” audit, adding that it will 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 by a court as valid on February 25.
Since then, lawmakers have been working on the specifics for the audit. Karen Fann, the Arizona Senate president, said 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. She previously said she wanted to use spaces in the county but that they declined.
She said there will be physical and live streaming 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 attorneys general 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.