Katie Hobbs remains firm on criticism of election audit in Maricopa County

Jun 21, 2021, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:26 am

PHOENIX — Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs remains firm on her stance that the state’s 2020 election was a success.

As the Arizona Senate Republicans’ hand-count of 2.1 million Maricopa County votes at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum comes to an end, Hobbs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Think Tank on Saturday she doesn’t know what they’re trying to accomplish, except that they will “further undermine people’s confidence in our system.”

Maricopa County previously authorized two audits of its November 2020 general election by independent contractors.

Those audits found no problems with the count, but Senate Republicans subpoenaed the county for access to its ballots and voting equipment.

“There is nothing that can happen here, no matter what the result is, that can change the election,” Hobbs said. “The period to do any of that is over.”

Hobbs alleges the auditors lacked procedures, security and consistency.

After winning a legal fight to enforce the subpoena, Senate President Karen Fann hired Cyber Ninjas 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 Twitter account that had activity that supported unproven 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.

“They’ve been looking for ways to get a foothold to do this around the country, and Arizona was the first place to do that,” Hobbs said. “They are writing a playbook here to take it to other states.”

The Secretary of State previously said the voting machines may have been compromised due to the audit, and intends to have them replaced for election security.

The cost of replacing the Dominion Voting Systems machine in the state’s largest county has been estimated at more than $6 million.

“We will proceed with decertifying the equipment if they don’t intend to replace it,” Hobbs said.

A person conducting the audit claimed video cameras gave transparency that no equipment had been tampered with, but Hobbs rebutted by calling the video feed “useless.”

She added the equipment was stored in a room where there were no video cameras.

Hobbs said guidance from SISA, a cybersecurity firm, is “if the chain of custody is broken, the best thing to do is not use that equipment again in future elections.”

The audit began April 23 and was paused on May 14 because of high school graduation ceremonies. Operations resumed 10 days later and was completed on June 14.

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