ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County says election audits prove ‘no hacking or vote switching’

Feb 23, 2021, 1:21 PM | Updated: 2:46 pm

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)...

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County said Tuesday that its election equipment and software passed all tests done during audits by two independent firms.

“We are releasing the results of those audits today so that the public can see what we see and know what we know: no hacking or vote switching occurred in the 2020 election,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers said in a press release.

The Board of Supervisors, which consists of four Republicans and one Democrat, authorized the audits by SLI Compliance and Pro V&V after the county was pressured by Republicans questioning the validity of President Joe Biden’s victory in the Phoenix area and statewide.

“As a result, the Board of Supervisors asked two firms to independently look at the security and reliability of our election equipment and processes and to let us know if they found any evidence of equipment malfunction or foul play that might have changed the outcome of any race,” Sellers said.

“The firms we hired are the only two in the United States certified to do this work. We asked them to go beyond what we had already done to ensure the integrity of our elections and beyond even the stringent requirements of state law.”

The Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting to review the audits at 1 p.m. Wednesday. More about the audits is available on the county’s website.

The independent firms started their reviews on Feb. 2. It was in addition to equipment testing and hand count audits conducted before and after the Nov. 3 election that also confirmed the accuracy of the results.

“With the completion of these two independent audits, in addition to the hand count audit completed by the political parties and accuracy tests before and after the election, we have an opportunity as a community to work from a shared set of facts,” Supervisor Bill Gates said in the release.

“Our ability to do that will determine the strength of our republic. The facts are the voting machines in Maricopa County counted ballots accurately and were not compromised in any way during the November General Election.”

The Board of Supervisors expressed confidence in the results all along but felt the additional audits would help restore confidence following a barrage unfounded claims of voter fraud and other irregularities made by President Donald Trump and his allies.

The GOP-controlled Arizona Senate has been trying to get Maricopa County officials to turn over equipment, ballots and other election materials so it can do its own audit.

The Board of Supervisors turned over certain materials but maintained that it would break state law to release some of the requested items.

Senate GOP leaders attempted to hold the board in contempt for not complying with a subpoena. However, the contempt resolution failed when one Republican, Sen. Paul Boyer, voted against it.

If it had passed, the five county supervisors could have been subject to immediate arrest.

The supervisors said they respect the power of the Legislature to issue subpoenas and have provided much of the information lawmakers requsted. But they maintained that it would be illegal to turn over the ballots and also said allowing access to voting machines by unqualified personnel would render them useless in future elections.

The validity of Maricopa County’s elections have also withstood a variety of legal challenges. The longest-running was a lawsuit filed by Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward, which was shot down in the Arizona court system before being put to bed Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear it.

“The audits clearly dispel the notion that somehow the November election was rigged,” Supervisor Steve Gallardo, the board’s only Democrat, said in the release. “Whether you liked the results or not, the will of the people was represented.

“Our equipment worked. Our people were above reproach. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 2020 elections in Maricopa County were safe, secure, and accurate. End of story.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Maricopa County says election audits prove ‘no hacking or vote switching’