ARIZONA NEWS

Hobbs says concerns validated about process of audit in Maricopa County

May 3, 2021, 4:00 PM | Updated: May 4, 2021, 8:01 am
(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)...
(KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore)
(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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An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (Getty Images/Courtney Pedroza) An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (Getty Images/Courtney Pedroza) An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (Getty Images/Courtney Pedroza) An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (Getty Images/Courtney Pedroza) An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, April 28, 2021. (Pool Photo/Mark Henle) Dozens of volunteers at Phoenix's Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 28, 2021, count some of the 2.1 million ballots from Maricopa County's 2020 general election.  (KTAR News Photo/Peter Samore) Ordered by Arizona Senate Republicans, ballot scanning equipment is set up by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consultancy, overseeing an audit at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. The equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden and the 2.1 million ballots were moved to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on April 27, 2021. (Pool Photo/Mark Henle) An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, April 27, 2021. (Pool Photo/Mark Henle) Ken Bennett, the former Republican Arizona Secretary of State, walks the floor of the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum during setup of a 2020 election audit called for by the Arizona Republican lead Senate on Thursday in Phoenix on April 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) An audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County requested by Arizona Senate Republicans is underway at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (Pool Photo/Mark Henle) Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan, left, a Florida-based consultancy, and former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, right, talk about overseeing a 2020 election ballot audit at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, during a news conference Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. The equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden and the 2.1 million ballots were moved to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Some of the 2.1 million ballots cast during the 2020 election, are brought in for recounting at a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the Republican lead Arizona Senate at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, during a news conference Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. The equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden and the 2.1 million ballots were moved to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Some of the 2.1 million ballots cast during the 2020 election, are brought in for recounting at a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the Republican lead Arizona Senate at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, during a news conference Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. The equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden and the 2.1 million ballots were moved to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (Screenshot/AZAudit.org) (Maricopa County Elections Department Screenshot) Some of the 2.1 million ballots cast during the 2020 election, ready for recounting at a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the Republican lead Arizona Senate at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, during a news conference Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. The equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden and the 2.1 million ballots were moved to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan, left, a Florida-based consultancy, talks about overseeing a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the Republican lead Arizona Senate at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as a Cyber Ninjas IT technician demonstrates a ballot scan during a news conference Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Phoenix. The equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden and the 2.1 million ballots were moved to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) FILE - In this Wednesday, April 21, 2021 file photo, officials unload election equipment into the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds in Phoenix. Maricopa County officials began delivering equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden on Wednesday and will move 2.1 million ballots to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Matt York) Officials wait to unload election equipment into the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Phoenix. Maricopa County officials began delivering equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden on Wednesday and will move 2.1 million ballots to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Matt York) Officials unlock a truck prior to unloading election equipment into the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Phoenix. Maricopa County officials began delivering equipment used in the November election won by President Joe Biden on Wednesday and will move 2.1 million ballots to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate who have expressed uncertainty that Biden's victory was legitimate can recount them and audit the results. (AP Photo/Matt York) (Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Elections Department) (Getty Images/Courtney Pedroza)

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Hobbs says concerns validated about process of audit in Maricopa County