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Maricopa County officials rip audit, won’t attend Senate meeting

PHOENIX — During a defiant special meeting on Monday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors blasted the ongoing audit of the November 2020 election and said they won’t be attending the Arizona Senate’s meeting on the matter Tuesday.

The board unanimously approved a letter calling for the audit to end in response to allegations in a letter from Senate President Karen Fann.

“It is time to end this. For the good of the Senate, for the good of the Country and for the good of the Democratic institutions that define us as Americans,” the board’s letter said.

Chairman Jack Sellers said the county was through responding to inquiries from audit.

“I will not be responding to any more requests from this sham process,” Chairman Jack Sellers said in closing the livestreamed meeting. “Finish what you’re calling an audit and be ready to defend your report in a court of law.”

On Wednesday, Fann invited the GOP-led Board of Supervisors and Maricopa County elections officials to the 1 p.m. meeting on Tuesday at the Arizona Capitol.

The Republican state senator’s letter proposing the meeting laid out the concerns about compliance with subpoenas, chain of custody and ballot storage, and alleged database deletions.

The board instead held their own meeting, where they refuted the allegations in the audit led by Cyber Ninjas.

Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, spoke during the hour-long meeting and also laid out a rebuttal to Fann’s letter.

“This board was going to be part of a political theater broadcast on livestream by OAN,” Supervisor Bill Gates said during Monday’s meeting. “The Arizona Senate is better than that, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is better than that.

“We’re not going to be a part of that and now they know. Everyone knows.”

Cyber Ninjas 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.

The audit is on a pause 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.

“My hope is that now we can bring the heat down, bring the accusations down and we can again start to focus on the issues that matter,” Gates said.

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