ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Senate hires 4 companies to audit 2020 Maricopa County election

Mar 31, 2021, 1:13 PM | Updated: Apr 1, 2021, 7:12 am

Maricopa County Elections audit...

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

PHOENIX – More than a month after winning a legal battle over access to tabulation machines and 2.1 million ballots from Maricopa County’s 2020 general election, the Republican-led Arizona Senate on Wednesday said it hired four out-of-state companies to conduct a forensic audit and full hand recount.

Wake Technology Services, CyFIR, Digital Discovery and Cyber Ninjas are expected to issue their report in about 60 days, according to a press release.

Senate leadership will not be directly involved with the process.

“The scope of work will include, but is not limited to, scanning all the ballots, a full manual recount, auditing the registration and votes cast, the vote counts, and the electronic voting system,” the release says.

Florida-based Cyber Ninjas will lead the audit. According to the company’s website, it “specializes in all areas of application security, ranging from your traditional web application to mobile or thick client applications. Within these disciplines we offer ethical hacking, training, and general consulting.”

Wake Technology Services provides information technology services, according to its website. Its members performed hand counts of 2020 election results in Pennsylvania, where the company is based, and New Mexico, according to the Arizona Senate’s press release.

Virginia-based CyFIR and Texas-based Digital Discovery are cybersecurity companies that offer forensic services, according to their websites.

Last month, Maricopa County authorized an audit of its election equipment and software. It was completed by SLI Compliance and Pro V&V and didn’t reveal any irregularities, the county said on Feb. 23.

The state Senate emerged victorious in its quest for access to the metro Phoenix machines and ballots three days later, when a judge ruled that its subpoenas were enforceable.

Before then, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which consists of four Republicans and one Democrat, turned over reams of data but balked at handing over the actual ballots or the tabulation machines.

The supervisors in the state’s largest county argued that the ballots were by law secret and the machines would be compromised. They also pointed to multiple tests of the voting machines done before and after the election and hand counts of a sample of ballots that showed the tabulation was accurate.

On Feb. 8, the Senate fell one vote short of finding the board in contempt, which would have made the supervisors subject to arrest.

Senate Republicans began their quest to gain access to ballots and other materials in mid-December, prompted in part by the many in the party who subscribed to unfounded claims that President Joe Biden narrowly won Arizona only because of problems with vote counting.

Republicans have said an audit would boost confidence in elections.

“Our voters expect this audit, and it can be a big step in returning trust and confidence in our election process,” Senate President Karen Fann said earlier this month.

But Democrats called it a partisan campaign to undermine election integrity.

“This entire charade is only keeping the flame of fraud lit, and we’ve seen how gaslighting voters into thinking their election was stolen has to end,” Sen. Rebecca Rios, the Arizona Senate minority leader, said recently.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona Senate hires 4 companies to audit 2020 Maricopa County election