ARIZONA NEWS

Recount done for 2.1 million ballots in audit of Maricopa County election

Jun 14, 2021, 8:29 PM | Updated: 9:50 pm
(AZ Audit Screenshot)...
(AZ Audit Screenshot)
(AZ Audit Screenshot)

PHOENIX — The hand recount of 2.1 million ballots from the 2020 Maricopa County election has been completed, an Arizona Senate spokesman said Monday.

Three boxes of Braille ballots — about 50 to 60 in total — were left to be counted along with large-type, overseas military and duplicated ballots but all others had gone through the process, which began April 23.

Ken Bennett, state Senate audit liaison, has said the end of the hand count wouldn’t immediately signal a final audit report.

Resources have been shifting to a paper examination of mail ballot envelopes for signatures as counting has come to a finish.

Bennett said that process is to address questions such as “Are there folds in the 1.9 million ballots that came in and out by mail? Are alignment marks on the fronts and the backs of the ballot aligning as authentic ballots should? Is there a depression in the oval where a human hand-held device would have filled in that oval as opposed to an inkjet printer or a Xerox machine or whatever you might think?”

Other parts of the audit still to come could potentially include a second tabulation of scanned images, but Bennett or others haven’t provided details about what that might entail if it happens.

State Senate Republican leaders who ordered the audit hired Bennett, a former Arizona secretary of state, as their representative during the process. The only races being recounted are president and U.S. senator, seats Democrats narrowly won in the county and state.

The operations paused May 14 because of high school graduation ceremonies previously booked at the Coliseum and resumed 10 days later. Under a second lease deal, the building is available to the auditors through the end of June.

Maricopa County previously authorized two audits of its November 2020 general election by independent contractors who are certified by the National Institute for Standards and Technology and the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.

Those audits found no problems with the count, but state Senate Republicans subpoenaed the county for access to its ballots and voting equipment at the urging of supporters of Donald Trump who refuse to accept President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Arizona.

After winning a legal fight to enforce the subpoena, Senate President Karen Fann hired several vendors, with Florida-based Cyber Ninjas as the lead contractor, to examine the ballots, machines and voting systems.

Fann’s selection of Cyber Ninjas’ $150,000 bid quickly drew scrutiny over founder Doug Logan’s deleted Twitter account, which had activity supporting unfounded election conspiracy theories.

Questions have since arisen about the sources of funds being raised in the name of the audit as well as unorthodox methods of inspecting ballots.

Maricopa County officials, most of whom are Republicans, have defended the integrity of their election operations and questioned the auditors’ competence, methods and intentions.

Fann has said the aim of the audit is to restore faith in the election system and find ways to improve Arizona’s voting laws, not to reverse the result of the election.

Bennett wouldn’t speculate about what changes might be made in response to the audit.

“Until a complete, comprehensive report is issued, we would not be able to entertain recommendations of what can Arizona do better,” he said last Tuesday.

The Associated Press and KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore and Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Jovanni Limon Salas and Diego Ediel Chaparro (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photos)...
KTAR.com

2 men sentenced to prison for drug trafficking in Arizona

Two men were recently sentenced to prison in separate cases for involvement in a drug trafficking organization, the Arizona Attorney General's Office said this week.
21 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park)...
Associated Press

Woman dies after boating accident at Lake Pleasant

A woman has died after she was critically injured in a boating accident at Lake Pleasant, authorities said Sunday.
21 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from May 20-22

An employment report finding the state saw a significant jobs increase last month is among the biggest Arizona stories of the weekend.
21 hours ago
(Prescott Regional Airport Photo)...
KTAR.com

Small plane crashes after taking off from airport in Prescott, pilot not injured

A small plane crashed after taking off from the Prescott Regional Airport on Sunday but the pilot was not injured, authorities said.
21 hours ago
(File Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey OK’s ban on school COVID-19 vaccines

Arizona's Republican governor has signed legislation that will prevent state health officials from ever adding a COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required school inoculations and bar face mask mandates in any buildings operated by state or local governments.
21 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@PHXFire)...
KTAR.com

Crews battle 4-alarm fire at Phoenix scrapyard early Sunday

Fire crews were battling a four-alarm fire Sunday morning at a local scrapyard in Phoenix, authorities said.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Recount done for 2.1 million ballots in audit of Maricopa County election