It’s rather odd that we are constantly reassured that every aspect of the 2020 election was entirely safe, secure and kosher and yet the ongoing election audit process in Arizona’s Maricopa County seems to have been marred with confounding setbacks at every turn.
Are … are they trying to validate claims that the election was stolen? Because this is how you validate claims that the election was stolen.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has been battling with the Arizona state Senate since last year to prevent a forensic audit of November’s election, which was hotly contested by supporters of former President Donald Trump, the incumbent in what will no doubt go down as one of our most controversial elections.
Maricopa, which is the most populous county in the state, was home to some of the most high-profile accusations of election irregularities in the fallout of the general election. Although the Board of Supervisors is controlled by Republicans, they’ve refused to comply with demands from the state Senate, which is also GOP-controlled, to hand over election data for an audit.
In February, a judge ruled against their request to withhold the data that the state legislative body was demanding and a full forensic audit has been underway this month, although the audit team has faced as many roadblocks in obtaining the information they need as state lawmakers did when they originally sought it.
Now, Dominion Voting Machines, the election equipment and software firm that has been accused of essentially rigging the election for President Joe Biden, has quite a bit to gain from the revelation that their machines, which were used in Maricopa, were in no way manipulated or weighted to benefit the Democratic candidate.
After all, they’ve filed massive lawsuits against many of their most vocal critics, such as attorney Sidney Powell and My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, both of whom have made very specific and insanely bold claims against the firm.
So why are they now refusing to hand over passwords that would aid scrutiny into serious concerns have been raised over missing data? At the very least, this is simply not a great look for the much-criticized firm.
In a statement blasting one of the firms conducting the forensic audit, Dominion explained why they would not be participating in what they derided as an “irresponsible act.”
“Dominion voluntarily provides access to voting machine equipment and information to auditors who have been accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. We happily did so with the independent EAC-accredited providers that Maricopa County hired for system auditing earlier this year,” the firm wrote in a statement obtained by 12 News reporter Brahm Resnik on Thursday.
“Releasing Dominion’s intellectual property to an unaccredited, biased, and plainly unreliable actor such as Cyber Ninjas would be reckless, causing irreparable damage to the commercial interests of the company and the election security interests of the country,” the statement read.
“No company should be compelled to participate in such an irresponsible act,” the firm concluded.
NEW “No company should be compelled to participate in such an irresponsible act”: Dominion Voting Systems responds to Arizona Senate Republicans’ demand for passwords to ballot tabulators. pic.twitter.com/wjKI8ztwIj
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) May 13, 2021
Last week, former Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett told One America News that the state Senate was told by Maricopa County officials that they did not have the necessary passwords to access Dominion machines used to scan ballots on November 3, 2020.
“They’ve told us that they don’t have that second password, or that they’ve given us all the passwords they have,” he said, speaking from the site of the audit in Phoenix, according to The Epoch Times.
On Wednesday, the team conducting the forensic audit alleged that they had discovered a directory of the full 2020 election databases had been deleted just days before Maricopa county election officials were set to hand over the necessary equipment to be examined.
Breaking Update: Maricopa County deleted a directory full of election databases from the 2020 election cycle days before the election equipment was delivered to the audit. This is spoliation of evidence! pic.twitter.com/mY0fmmFXAm
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) May 13, 2021
This prompted Arizona Senate President Karen Fann to issue a letter to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers alleging quite a few concerns and discrepancies for which she demanded answers from the county.
“We have recently discovered that the entire ‘Database’ directory from the D drive of the machine ‘EMSPrimary’ has been deleted,” she wrote in part. “This removes election related details that appear to have been covered by the subpoena. In addition, the main database for the Election Management System (EMS) Software, ‘Results Tally and Reporting,’ is not located anywhere on the EMSPrimary machine, even though all of the EMS Clients reference that machine as the location of the database.”
“This suggests that the main database for all election related data for the November 2020 General Election has been removed. Can you please advise as to why these folders were deleted, and whether there are any backups that may contain the deleted folders?” Fann asked.
The Epoch Times noted that the Maricopa Board of Supervisors held a closed-door emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the latest accusations and demands from the state Senate, and will hold a public meeting on Monday to discuss the matter.
We’ll wait for that with bated breath while we wonder what could possibly come next to further cast doubt on Maricopa County’s election security — not to mention election integrity across the nation in so many localities where voters are feeling skeptical and frustrated.
It stands to reason that if the election was indeed entirely legitimate in this populous county, those who claim so would be vindicated by a smoothly conducted forensic audit. I think if we have any hope of moving forward as a nation after last year’s train wreck of an election and transition period, a great place to start would be to get to the bottom of some of these claims.
I mean, I can’t imagine anything more defeating for the MAGA camp than to find out that, in fact, Maricopa County just loves Biden and that he did genuinely win their locality. And that those suspicious ballots you heard about in the days after November 3 were legitimate, legal citizens who were eligible to vote.
If the election was legitimate, let’s see it. I’m sure there are many principled Republicans who would rather know that no matter how terrible Biden is for our country, at the very least, our democratic process was indeed preserved in 2020.
Are we not going to be given that peace of mind at all?
UPDATE, May 19, 2021: On Tuesday, May 18, a cyber expert working on the Arizona election audit team testified that he was able to recover an allegedly deleted directory from the Maricopa County election server.
Ben Cotton — the founder of CyFir, a digital forensics and cyber risk solutions company — told Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen that he discovered the missing file directory while reviewing the Master File Table.
The MFT, he explained during a special meeting of the state Senate, is a “record of all of the directories and the files that are contained in that partition and a pointing — and a pointer to where that data resides on the hard drive.”
The database directory from the D drive of the machine “EMSPrimary” [Election Management System] had been deleted, he confirmed.
“In the course of performing that MFT discovery, I discovered a MFT that clearly indicated that the database directory was deleted from that server,” Cotton said.
He then told Fann and Petersen he was able to successfully recover the files.
“All of this, however, may be a moot point because subsequently, I’ve been able to recover all of those deleted files. And I have access to that data,” Cotton said.
But on Tuesday, following Cotton’s remarks, the Maricopa County Twitter account appeared to fire back.
Just want to underscore that AZ Senate’s @ArizonaAudit account accused Maricopa County of deleting files- which would be a crime- then a day after our technical letter explained they were just looking in the wrong place- all of a sudden “auditors” have recovered the files. 🤔
— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) May 18, 2021
“Just want to underscore that AZ Senate’s @ArizonaAudit account accused Maricopa County of deleting files — which would be a crime — then a day after our technical letter explained they were just looking in the wrong place — all of a sudden ‘auditors’ have recovered the files,” the account tweeted.
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