ARIZONA NEWS

Senate President Fann says finding answers goal of Maricopa County audit

Apr 27, 2021, 11:21 AM | Updated: 2:48 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX — Senate President Karen Fann insists the ongoing Maricopa County audit at Veterans Memorial Stadium is only being conducted to find answers.

“How do we put in election integrity back into our system and that’s only what this has been about,” Fann told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday. “This has been the sole thing is to get answers so that if we have any problems, we can fix them and we make sure that the next election is safer, cleaner and run smoothly.”

Fann said the audit of the 2.1 million ballots is necessary because Maricopa County officials promised a Senate-funded full forensic one.

She added that she’s received emails from people who don’t trust the system.

That’s despite the fact Maricopa County conducted numerous pre- and post-election reviews to check the accuracy of voting machines, including a hand count of a representative sample of ballots as required by state law.

County officials also hired two auditing firms that reported no malicious software or incorrect counting equipment and concluded that none of the computers or equipment were connected to the internet.

The Senate’s audit, meanwhile, has raised concerns of transparency, fairness and security.

Fann said there’s no link between the audit’s lead contractor, Florida-based Cyber Ninjas that has no election experience, and conspiracy theories aimed at disproving the results of the 2020 election.

The Republican said media that has tried to connect Cyber Ninjas with causes like Stop the Steal and QAnon are incorrect.

“That has never ever been the situation when this first started from the very beginning,” Fann said.

But according to an archive of what appears to be Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan’s Twitter account, he used hashtags and shared memes popular with people promoting disproven or unsupported allegations casting doubt on Joe Biden’s victory.

Cyber Ninjas also asked now-recused Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury to keep their methodology sealed as trade secrets because the Senate is immune as a separate branch of government. The company also wants Tuesday’s hearing closed to the media and the public.

That came after a local reporter revealed people counting ballots at the audit site were using blue pens.

State law bans black and blue pens from ballot counting rooms because those colors can be read by machines and voters are instructed to use them.

“I don’t have an answer for that one. I wasn’t there,” Fann said. “I read it in the media… what I believe is that what happened is that they, for some reason, didn’t realize they needed to use green or red, but I don’t know if that’s the case or not. I need to follow up with that one.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Senate President Fann says finding answers goal of Maricopa County audit