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Hobbs says concerns validated about process of audit in Maricopa County

(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)

PHOENIX — Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said her office’s observers of the ongoing audit for the November 2020 Maricopa County election have seen their concerns validated about the process of the hand recount of the 2.1 million ballots.

Hobbs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Monday that procedures are being changed on the spot on the floor, causing confusion for some counting the ballots.

The Democrat added that her observers have looked through the procedures, some of which she said have been flagged for their relevance to an election audit.

“A lot of what we have seen so far has validated concerns that we have shared in terms of the reliability of what is going on in this room,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said her office previously reached out to Senate President Karen Fann to put Fann in contact with election experts who could help craft procedures to legitimize the process.

Fann, a Republican, never took her up on the offer, according to Hobbs.

Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, which is leading the audit, has no previous election experience.

“From the time our observers have been in there, those things have all been confirmed in terms of rules that are not really relevant to an actual election audit,” Hobbs said.

Cyber Ninjas initially refused to release its policies and procedures for hand-tallying the ballots.

The state Democratic Party won a court order requiring the company to follow the law on ballot and voter secrecy and to file its policies with the court. Those policies were released Thursday, and by Friday criticism was piling up.

For example, the policies allow counters to accept a large enough error rate to perhaps show Trump won the state. But such an outcome would not change the outcome of the election because the results were certified months ago in the state and Congress.

If a miscount is determined, it could, however, boost the unsupported argument of Trump and his backers that election fraud and malfeasance lost him the White House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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