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Arizona GOP lawmakers seek audit of Maricopa County voting equipment

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

PHOENIX – Four Republican leaders in the Arizona Legislature are calling for an audit of Maricopa County’s election equipment and software.

Senate President Karen Fann and Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, along with Senate Government Chair Michelle Ugenti-Rita and House Majority Leader Warren Petersen, issued a press release on the matter Friday after “numerous phone calls with members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.”

The five-member board, which has four Republicans, unanimously certified the county’s results Nov. 20 after hearing extensive reports from elections officials who said the vote count was correct and noted that all tests and hand-count reviews showed the electronic ballot count was 100% accurate.

“In a free democracy elections result in some people’s candidates losing,” Chairman Clint Hickman said at the time. “I was disappointed in the outcome of a couple races and I was extremely happy with the outcome in others. But I’m not going to violate the law or deviate from my own moral compass as some have pushed me to do.”

Despite having voted to certify the results, Supervisor Steve Chucri told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday that he’s open to having the county’s tabulation machines audited by a third party.

“Let’s get all the concerns from both sides, Republicans and Democrats, answered and make sure that everyone feels has a higher level of confidence in our election system,” he said.

No Democrats have raised concerns about the integrity of Arizona’s election system.

The Republican legislators’ statement doesn’t question the results of any specific race.

Despite continued pressure from surrogates of President Donald Trump, Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers said Friday the state Legislature cannot and will not overturn the certified Nov. 3 election results.

Each of the four represent districts that are located fully or partially in Maricopa County, and they all handily won reelection on the equipment they are questioning. Additionally, Republican Stephen Richer, a political newcomer, unseated Maricopa County’s top elections official, Recorder Adrian Fontes.

“Especially concerning are the allegations made surrounding the vendor Dominion,” Petersen said in the release. “It is imperative that the county immediately do a forensic audit on the Dominion software and equipment to make sure the results were accurate.”

Dominion’s equipment was used for voting and vote tabulation in more than 30 states.

The company has been the target of a number of false claims and about the election pushed by supporters of President Donald Trump, among them that the company switched or deleted votes cast for Trump and that it has ties to prominent Democrats.

There is no credible evidence that the 2020 election outcome was altered by exploiting technical vulnerabilities, according to an open letter signed by 59 election security experts and released Nov. 16.

Arizona’s certified results showed President-elect Joe Biden winning Arizona by more than 10,000 votes to claim the state’s 11 electoral votes. As it stands, Biden won the presidency with an Electoral College advantage of 306-232 and will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Biden won in Maricopa County, the state’s most-populous region, by more than 45,000 votes in becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Arizona since 1996.

Legal challenges by Trump and his allies would have to succeed in multiple states to change the result, and they have done little but rack up losses in courtrooms and recounts to this point.

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has said the Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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