ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Sec. Hobbs wants audit to reveal security plan for pending hiatus

May 11, 2021, 3:00 PM
(Audit Pool Photo)...
(Audit Pool Photo)
(Audit Pool Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is demanding details about how voting equipment and nearly 2.1 million ballots will be secured when the state Senate-ordered audit of the 2020 Maricopa County election goes on a planned hiatus at the end of this week.

“The Secretary is deeply concerned about Defendants’ plan to move the ballots and other election equipment from their current location in the Coliseum after May 14, without returning them to Maricopa County,” Hobbs’ legal counsel wrote Tuesday in a letter to Senate attorneys.

“The Defendants do not seem to have and, if they do, they have not disclosed any policies or procedures related to the secure moving or secure storage of ballots at some other, unknown location.”

After winning a legal battle that concluded in February for access to the ballots and other election material, state Senate President Karen Fann hired Cyber Ninjas to lead three other contractors in the hand recount and forensic audit at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

In April, the Democratic Party filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the proceedings, citing, among other things, concern about the contractors’ lack of transparency. A judge allowed it to continue but required the auditors to allow observers from Hobbs’ office and make certain procedures public as part of the settlement.

The letter from Hobbs’ attorneys alleges that the auditors haven’t been following their own published security plan, demanding “immediate corrective action.”

“If Defendants are going to retain the ballots and election equipment after May 14, they must move and retain them in a secure and documented manner, including using tamper-evident and numbered seals which Defendants do not appear to be using currently,” the letter says.

“Pursuant to sections 1(a) and 1(d) of the Settlement, please immediately provide any and all policies specifying how Defendants plan to do so. Please also notify us when and where the ballots and election equipment will be packed and moved so that the Secretary’s observers may observe pursuant to section 1(h) of the Settlement.”

The audit, which is being conducted on the main floor of Coliseum, has to pause after Friday because the venue was previously booked for a series of high school graduation ceremonies next week.

No formal rental deal for the audit to continue at the original home of the Phoenix Suns beyond Friday had been announced as of Tuesday afternoon. However, former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has repeatedly said an arrangement was being made for ballots and equipment to be secured in other parts of the building to make way for the Phoenix Union High School District ceremonies.

Bennett told pool reporters Tuesday that the Coliseum will be available to the auditors again from May 24 to the end of June.

“I’m very confident that we can conclude our work during that time,” he said.

Bennett estimated that about 300,000, approximately 14%, of the 2,089,563 ballots had been tabulated since counting started April 23.

He has been saying the contractors are working to increase staffing.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Suspect arrested after fatal fast-food drive-thru shooting in Phoenix

Phoenix police have arrested a suspect a shooting at a drive-thru that left a fast-food worker dead and a second one wounded.
20 hours ago
Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks to the media after voting on November 08, 2022...
KTAR.com

Defeated Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake files election lawsuit

Kari Lake filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the number of illegal votes cast in Arizona's general election outnumber her margin of defeat.
20 hours ago
(Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema relieved by Brittney Griner’s release from Russian prison

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she is not in a place to criticize the Brittney Griner-Viktor Bout exchange and is happy Griner is home.
20 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Abraham Hamadeh)...
KTAR.com

Republican Arizona AG candidate Abe Hamadeh files another election lawsuit

Republican Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh filed another election lawsuit Friday, asking for another look on his race.
20 hours ago
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
SuElen Rivera

Maricopa County recorder proposing ways to speed up vote count

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said he planning to propose changes to Arizona election laws that would speed up the vote count.
20 hours ago
A cold and flu medicine shelf is empty in a CVS pharmacy on Dec. 6, 2022, in Burbank, California. (...
Associated Press

Maricopa County health officials warn about spread of flu, COVID, RSV

Arizona's most populous county is warning of a significantly rise in cases of the flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Arizona Sec. Hobbs wants audit to reveal security plan for pending hiatus