When it comes to the routers that Arizona’s most populous county used during the 2020 elections, state auditors want them or a virtual image of them by Aug. 2 — or else.
According to a Washington Examiner report Monday, the Arizona Senate issued its third subpoena to election officials in Maricopa County, demanding the equipment and warning of contempt charges if officials don’t comply.
“Right before I came on here, the board of supervisors received another subpoena from the state Senate ordering us to turn over the routers, in addition to some other information. And they threaten us in these papers that if we do not turn those over by Aug. 2 — so that’s next Monday — then we could be held in contempt,” said Bill Gates, a Republican member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, during an appearance Monday on CNN.
Gates has been an outspoken opponent of the audit and used the appearance to throw shade upon the subpoena — including by mentioning an appearance by Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita at a rally headlined by Trump on Saturday, in which she drew boos by calling the audit “botched.”
“The reality is, the good people of Arizona know that this audit is a sham audit and that it’s time to move on,” he said, adding that the subpoena was a sign the state Senate is “desperate.”
That may have played well on CNN — but if the Senate is indeed desperate, why does Maricopa County appear to be the one stonewalling the audit?
The subpoena in question covers routers or “virtual images of the same,” along with the public internet protocol address used to identify each router. The routers are seen as a problem spot inasmuch as they may have been poorly secured.
BREAKING: Maricopa County receives a new subpoena for election materials from Republican leaders of the Arizona Senate pic.twitter.com/76Ss3JQ8VB
— Jen Fifield (@JenAFifield) July 27, 2021
Five other demands were delivered to Maricopa County via the subpoena, according to a copy obtained by KNXV-TV.
The subpoena seeks “All reports, findings and other documents concerning any breach of the voter registration server, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office systems or any other aspect of the Maricopa County elections systems at any time within six months of the November 3, 2020 general election.”
The subpoena also requested all ballot envelopes “or digital images of the same” from the 2020 election.
Furthermore, “All user names, passwords, pins and / or security keys or tokens required to access, or otherwise relating to, any and all ballot tabulation devices used in connection with the November 3, 2020 general election in Maricopa County” needed to be turned over. This seemed to pertain to passwords and other forms of authentication auditors have repeatedly complained about not having during the audit.
Fourth, the auditors requested voter records and change histories for those records. The fifth demand dealt with the routers.
Finally, Maricopa officials demanded “[a]ll splunk logs, network logs, net flows, or similar data related with systems associated in any way with the administration of the November 3, 2020 general election for the time period beginning 60 days before the election and ending 90 days after the election.”
Here is what the state senate has subpoenaed:
1. Info on breach of public voter registration data
2. EV envelopes or images.
3. Pass keys for precinctabulators
4. Voter registration database
5. Routers or virtual images of routers
6 Network logs. pic.twitter.com/jjCp8mKxvW
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) July 27, 2021
County officials contend that supplying this data could put private information in jeopardy.
“Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel argued providing the county’s routers ‘could jeopardize the security of law enforcement data,’ echoing claims by Democratic Sheriff Paul Penzone,” the Examiner reported.
“County officials have said other types of data, including health data and Social Security numbers, would also be placed at risk.”
However, auditors have said the material in question is vital to completing the task. That’s especially true with the routers, which could be a serious weak point in Maricopa’s election security.
“Members of the audit team testified before the Arizona Senate earlier this month about information and materials they said they need to complete their review,” the Examiner reported.
“[Auditing firm] CyFIR founder Ben Cotton stated it is ‘critically important’ to obtain routers owned by the county, insisting they would help clarify specific vulnerabilities he claimed existed in Maricopa’s digital election system. Cotton also said the county hasn’t updated the antivirus software on the election management system since ‘August of 2019.'”
Furthermore, Maricopa County’s protestations are attenuated somewhat by the fact auditors and the state Senate say the county is deliberately undermining the audit.
Arizona state Senate President Sen. Karen Fann told The Western Journal last week “what has been even more of a challenge is the fact that Maricopa County has intentionally done everything in their power to sabotage it, to withhold information, to be less than honest with the public about this, and so it’s created a huge problem.”
“They withheld the blue tally sheets. We have not gotten the chain of custody [documentation for ballots]. We have not gotten the routers, the passcodes, the fobs,” she said.
In fact, they haven’t even gotten the password to the passwords used in the Dominion Voting Systems machines — mostly because Maricopa County doesn’t even have them.
According to The Associated Press, the state Senate also, for the first time, issued a subpoena to Dominion.
“Maricopa County doesn’t even have control over their own election system,” Fann said. “Only Dominion has those passwords and they have 24-hour-a-day access to those computers.”
Well, I feel safe already.
The continued resistance to the audit by county officials doesn’t discredit the audit or the process. On the contrary, it gives the impression there’s something to hide.
This is the third time the county has been served with a subpoena — and it’ll likely be the third time it obstructs it. Their qualms about privacy can be dealt with — although one assumes that’s not the reason behind all of this.
The only thing that’s going to go away here, if Maricopa County ignores defies this subpoena, is the people’s trust in the electoral system. When that becomes even further debased, heaven help us all.
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