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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Arizona Senate audit to resume Monday after week off