ARIZONA NEWS

At least 1 county official rejects Arizona Senate’s election audit meeting request

May 14, 2021, 12:16 PM | Updated: 3:16 pm

(Audit Pool Photo)...

(Audit Pool Photo)

(Audit Pool Photo)

PHOENIX – At least one member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is refusing to attend a meeting requested by the Arizona Senate about the ongoing election audit.

“I absolutely am not going to come down on Tuesday,” Clint Hickman, one of the five-member board’s four Republicans, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday. “I feel it more important to speak out on Monday.”

Hickman said he can’t speak for his fellow board members, and a county spokesman told KTAR News that none of the other supervisors have made decisions publicly about whether to attend the livestreamed Senate meeting.

On Wednesday, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann invited board members and elections officials to meet at the Arizona Capitol on Tuesday at 1 p.m. to address several issues related to the audit she ordered after winning a legal battle for access to voting equipment and nearly 2.1 million ballots from the county’s November 2020 election.

The Republican state senator’s letter proposing the meeting lays out concerns about compliance with subpoenas, chain of custody and ballot storage, and alleged database deletions as raised by the firms hired to conduct the audit, which is being led by Cyber Ninjas.

Board Chairman Jack Sellers responded Thursday with a tersely worded statement calling the allegations, some of which were made on the audit’s official Twitter account, “false and ill-informed.”

“The claim that our employees deleted election field and destroyed evidence is outrageous, completely baseless and beneath the dignity of the Arizona Senate,” Sellers wrote.

“I demand an immediate retraction of any public statements made to the news media and spread via Twitter.”

Sellers went on to say the board will hold its own public meeting on Monday “to refute lies and lay out facts about these issues.”

Hickman said the questions in Fann’s letter will be addressed then, based on the findings of full-time forensic investigators employed by county agencies.

“And this is answering questions that we don’t even know what they’re seeing,” he said. “We were told that this audit — again in quotes — this audit
would be filed, be run, and then they would offer a report back to Karen Fann.

“I’m of the persuasion we cannot answer things based on Twitter accounts. It doesn’t make any of us look good, so we’ll go ahead and answer whatever material we have found out.”

Hickman noted that he and other county officials spent hours at a Senate hearing in December addressing concerns about the election, but that didn’t satisfy Fann.

“We spent 5½ hours’ worth of our lives there, only to see a committee vote … to subpoena our board … to go down all sorts of quite possibly rabbit holes,” Hickman said.

In an interview with The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday morning before Hickman’s appearance, Fann said the meeting invitation was an alternative to submitting another subpoena.

“We met and said, you know what, let’s not [issue a subpoena]. We don’t need to be hostile or appear that way,” she said. “Let’s just write him a letter, let them know what the questions we have, have them come in on Tuesday and answer those questions.

Fann said the contracted auditors told her a section of the database had been deleted.

“And I will admit I am no expert in this field, so I’m only relaying what they what they said,” she said.

Earlier Friday, ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer told KTAR News’ Arizona’s Morning News that the image included in the auditors’ tweet alleging that data was deleted doesn’t prove anything.

“The problem with what this tweet did and what they basically accused the Board of Supervisors and the elections department, is they didn’t give a lot of information,” said Archer, who used to work for the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

“So they gave us just enough information to make it look like the board did something intentional, but they didn’t give us anything really with any real clarity.”

The audit is taking a break starting Friday because of previously scheduled high school graduation ceremonies at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the ballots were being counted and equipment examined. The audit is set to resume May 24.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Split image with a band playing in front of a Mesa mural on the left and an aerial view of the Mesa...

Kevin Stone

7th annual Mesa Music Festival gives emerging artists their turn in spotlight

Dozens of emerging musical artists will show off their chops this week during the seventh annual Mesa Music Festival.

1 hour ago

The Arizona Department of Transportation asked the public for input on Wednesday. (File photo by Da...

KTAR.com

ADOT seeking public input to update Arizona’s highway safety strategic plans

The Arizona Department of Transportation wants the public to share their thoughts on the future of the state's highways.

2 hours ago

Fans participate in the NCAA Men's Final Four Dribble at Fan Fest on April 7, 2024 in Phoenix, Ariz...

Damon Allred

Phoenix’s Final Four Fan Fest achieves Zero Waste mark

Final Four Fan Fest was a success at the Phoenix Convention Center, as it reached a Zero Waste mark determined by waste diversion.

2 hours ago

Ernie the tamandua is the Phoenix Zoo's newest animal...

KTAR.com

Phoenix Zoo welcomes newest resident, a tamandua named Ernie

The Phoenix Zoo invited the public to come and visit its newest resident, a young tamandua named Ernie, in a Wednesday announcement.

2 hours ago

Phoenix was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. (Valley Metro Pho...

KTAR.com

Phoenix receives $1.2 million grant to help with transportation development projects

Phoenix has received a $1.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration intended for projects that boost transportation options and access in the city.

10 hours ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

At least 1 county official rejects Arizona Senate’s election audit meeting request