The Republican-controlled Arizona Senate is preparing to conduct a massive audit of 2.1 million ballots for the 2020 presidential election. This time, the recount will be done by hand.
In March, the state Senate announced that it would start a “broad and detailed” audit, including testing voting machines, scanning ballots, looking for IT breaches, and performing a hand count.
The state-issued subpoenas needed to conduct the audit have been pending since mid-December and were ruled valid on Feb. 25 (pdf). Since then, lawmakers have been consulting on the audit’s particulars.
Karen Fann, the president of the Arizona Senate, told Just The News that the audit will begin this week.
Fann stated that the state’s Republicans had been subjected to “sabotage” by Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors, which has hampered the process.
“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 even to 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 six weeks of researching to select the audit team to perform the full forensic audit.”
“It was never about overturning the election, it was about the integrity of the Arizona election system,” she previously said.
According to Azcentral, Fann signed a deal earlier this week to rent the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix for around a month beginning April 19. She had previously stated that she wanted to use county spaces but that they had refused.
In the more than 20,000-square-foot facility, she said, there would be physical and live streaming security.
“The audit teams are assembling and transporting the equipment and personnel to Arizona with an expected start date of April 22,” she stated.
Fann said that the Arizona State Senate and auditors have no particular expectations of the results.
“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 attorney generals for their further legal action, and we will proceed to make the appropriate corrections.”
The state Senate tweeted that a report will be issued in about two months.
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) March 31, 2021
Wake Technology Services, CyFIR, Digital Discovery, and Cyber Ninjas are four out-of-state companies to perform the independent audit. Fann also retained Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company, to oversee the audit, including a hand recount of ballots.
The Senate will only be responsible for the payment of energy and personnel at the Coliseum, which it will rent for four weeks starting April 19. It must also ensure its safety.