ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County ballot recount picks up pace, is more than 60% complete

Jun 4, 2021, 12:47 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm
(Audit Pool Photo)...
(Audit Pool Photo)
(Audit Pool Photo)

PHOENIX — The hand recount of nearly 2.1 million ballots from Maricopa County’s 2020 general election is more than 60% complete and picking up steam, an Arizona Senate spokesman said Friday.

“It’s sped up quite a bit since we reorganized everything and reset the floor,” Randy Pullen, co-liaison for the Arizona Senate Republicans who ordered the audit, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s pool reporter.

“It’s a much, much smoother operation. Accuracy is still as good as ever; we’re just doing it quicker.”

Pullen said the process has been going so well that some workers doing the counting are being moved to a different task.

“We are now going to shift over and have more people working on the paper examination,” he said.

Republican leaders of the state Senate hired lead contractor Cyber Ninjas and the other firms to conduct the audit.

Senate President Karen Fann said she intended the audit to bolster faith in elections, but critics, including Maricopa County Republican leaders, have questioned the motives and competence of the companies involved.

The ballot counting — covering just the Phoenix-area races for president and U.S. Senate, both narrow Democratic victories — and inspection of voting equipment and systems began at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum on April 23.

Officials at first expressed confidence the audit would be completed by May 14, the end of the initial lease agreement.

Instead, with only about a third of the counting completed, the audit went on hiatus that day because a series of high school graduation ceremonies had been previously scheduled at the state fairgrounds arena.

The audit resumed May 24 under a new deal with the Coliseum that runs through the end of June.

Based on Pullen’s estimate Friday, counters have covered as much ground in the two weeks since the audit resumed as they did in the three weeks before the break.

At the recent pace, the counting would be completed with nearly two weeks to spare.

“Definitely, there’s no question, we will be done here in the Coliseum by the end of the month,” Pullen said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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