The Arizona state Senate announced Wednesday that it has chosen four firms that will conduct an audit of Maricopa County’s November election results.
The announcement came a little over a month after a judge ruled that the Senate could have access to the ballots and other election equipment over the objections of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
“After months of interviewing various forensic auditors, the Arizona Senate has found a qualified team consisting of Wake Technology Services, Inc., CyFir, LLC, Digital Discovery, and Cyber Ninja, Inc. to conduct the audit,” a news release from Senate President Karen Fann’s office read.
“The team will be led by Cyber Ninjas, a cyber security company with a focus on application security, working across financial services and government sectors.”
KTAR-FM reported Cyber Ninjas is a Florida-based company.
Members of the Wake Technology Services group have performed hand-count audits in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico as part of the 2020 election cycle, according to the news release.
The company has experience investigating election fraud issues going back to 1994.
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) March 31, 2021
The audit will include a scan of all of Maricopa County’s approximately 2.1 million ballots, a full hand recount, an audit of registration and votes cast, and a review of the electronic voting systems.
A report is expected from the audit in approximately 60 days, the release said.
The Arizona Senate first subpoenaed Maricopa County for access to the ballots and voting equipment in December.
“There is technology that can look at those ballots to see if there are any anomalies, to see if there’s any dual voting and whether or not these were pre-printed,” then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Eddie Farnsworth explained in an interview at the time.
The Maricopa Board of Supervisors responded by taking the Senate to court to try to quash the subpoenas.
A judge then affirmed in December that the Senate had the authority to enforce its subpoena, but it was out of session.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen reissued subpoenas in January after the new legislative session began.
The Board of Supervisors went back to court, arguing state law precluded it from giving access to the ballots and other materials requested.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ruled in late February that the Senate has the authority to review the materials requested.
“There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas,” Thomason wrote in his opinion.
“The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections,” he added.
That same week, Maricopa County released the findings of an audit the board commissioned of the Dominion Voting Systems machines used in the election, finding no evidence the machines had been hacked or manipulated.
However, the review did not include a review of the ballots themselves.
Following the Senate’s announcement of the auditing firms, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors put out a notice it would be holding an emergency session Thursday morning to obtain legal advice regarding the election-related subpoenas.
Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward tweeted in response that she hoped the session was “to allow the subpoenaed documents, technology, & information to be fully audited there.”
#AZ #FullForensicAudit Update: I certainly hope that this 10AM “emergency session” of the BOS called after 4PM yesterday is to use the Maricopa Tabulation Center & allow the subpoenaed documents, technology, & information to be fully audited there. But I doubt it will be… pic.twitter.com/aUp0s9pILv
— Dr. Kelli Ward ?? (@kelliwardaz) April 1, 2021
There was reportedly “no further action taken” at the meeting.
Board chairman Jack Sellers suggested in a statement issued Wednesday he has questions about the qualifications of the firms contracted by the Senate.
“I am not familiar with any of the firms listed in the Senate press release,” he said.
“Elections are complicated and highly regulated operations,” Sellers said. “Maricopa County hired certified experts to conduct its audits and examinations of equipment. I hope the auditors hired by the Senate will take great care with your ballots and the election equipment leased with your tax dollars.”
— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) April 1, 2021
Despite Biden’s victory, Republicans carried every countywide office in Maricopa save sheriff (which the incumbent Democrat held), including flipping the country recorder and winning the open treasurer seat.
Biden won Arizona by 10,457 votes (0.3 percent), the closest margin of any of the swing states that went for him.
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