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Maricopa County holding meeting Monday to refute audit allegations

PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will refut allegations related to the ongoing election audit ordered by the Arizona Senate during a public meeting Monday afternoon.

The 1 p.m. meeting is being livestreamed and comes after county officials launched a counterattack in response to Senate President Karen Fann asking the board to address several issues related to the audit she authorized.

The county defended its election integrity and criticized the audit, which is on hiatus at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum until May 24 because of previously scheduled high school graduation ceremonies, during a Twitter thread that started Friday morning.

By Sunday, the thread had grown to more than 20 tweets using the hashtag #RealAuditorsDont calling into question the methods and motivations of the audit, which is being conducted by four contractors hired by Fann and led by Cyber Ninjas.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican who won his office during the election being audited, drew national media attention over the weekend for calling former President Donald Trump “unhinged” for issuing a statement that alleged “The entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED!”

“Wow. This is unhinged,” Richer tweeted. “I’m literally looking at our voter registration database on my other screen. Right now.

“We can’t indulge these insane lies any longer. As a party. As a state. As a country.”

Fann and Senate Republicans ordered a full hand recount and forensic audit after winning a legal battle for access to voting equipment and nearly 2.1 million ballots from the November 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county.

On Wednesday, Fann invited the GOP-led Board of Supervisors and Maricopa County elections officials to a meeting at 1 p.m. Tuesday to address concerns about compliance with subpoenas, chain of custody and ballot storage, and alleged database deletions.

It’s unclear whether county officials will attend the Senate meeting. Supervisor Clint Hickman said last week he won’t participate but wouldn’t speak for his fellow board members.

“I have a feeling this is not being done in a proper way,” Hickman, one of four Republicans on the five-member board, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead show on Friday.

“So I don’t feel like there will be too much attendance there. … But I will definitely be there with bells on Monday.”

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

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

Fann told The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday that she hasn’t lost confidence in the audit, which started April 23 and went on hiatus Friday.

“I still have every bit of confidence in our vendors, the four contractors that are doing this,” the Prescott Republican said.

“I am disappointed it hasn’t gone faster and completed when we expected to be completed.”

Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity company, had no experience conducting election audits. Fann’s selection of the Florida-based firm’s $150,000 bid quickly drew scrutiny over founder Doug Logan’s deleted Twitter account, which had activity supporting unfounded election conspiracy theories.

Logan’s perceived lack of objectivity was among the points made during the county’s #RealAuditorsDont tweets.

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