ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Senate audit to resume Monday after week off

May 24, 2021, 8:07 AM | Updated: 8:08 am
(Audit Pool Photo)...
(Audit Pool Photo)
(Audit Pool Photo)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Senate GOP-ordered audit of Maricopa County’s election resumes Monday after a weeklong break because of a scheduling conflict.

Hand counting of the 2.1 million ballots and inspection of election equipment was put on hold May 14 while Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum hosted Phoenix high school graduation ceremonies last week.

Ballots, machines and other election-related material, which had been moved to other buildings at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, were returned to the coliseum over the weekend.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann hired little-known Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based cybersecurity company, to oversee the forensic audit of the November 2020 election in the state’s largest county.

Experienced vote counters have watched the process in shock. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said this week Maricopa County will need to replace all of its election machines because their security has been permanently compromised by the auditors.

Experts note the review isn’t following standard recounting procedures and, unlike with other election audits in Arizona, members of each major political party are not at each table observing the counting.

Hobbs told Maricopa County leaders that the equipment they were forced to turn over for the ongoing Arizona Senate audit “has been compromised” and can’t be used in future elections.

Maricopa County has already conducted two audits, which found no problems with the count in the state’s most populous county. At the urging of former President Donald Trump supporters, the Senate insisted on a third and subpoenaed more than 2 million ballots from the county.

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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Arizona Senate audit to resume Monday after week off