ARIZONA NEWS

Sen. Fann says audit ballot totals don’t match Maricopa County’s numbers

Jul 13, 2021, 11:37 AM | Updated: 12:21 pm

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (electkarenfann.com Photo)...

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (electkarenfann.com Photo)

(electkarenfann.com Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said Tuesday the number of 2020 general election ballots tallied during the ongoing audit she authorized doesn’t match the total documented by Maricopa County, but the Republican didn’t know how far off the counts were.

“They haven’t released a number yet, if you will, however we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point,” Fann told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

When asked about the size of the discrepancy, Fann said: “I do not know. They have not told me the number.”

Fann said the approximately 2.1 million ballots are being recounted by “independent machines” before the Senate returns them to the custody of Maricopa County.

“We are finishing up — the vendor is finishing up what we call the aggregation: double-checking the spreadsheets against the blue tally sheets, against the scans they did on the ballots,” said Fann, who authorized the audit after winning a courtroom battle for access to voting equipment and ballots from the 2020 general election in metro Phoenix.

“Because before we turn those ballots back to Maricopa County, they want to make sure that every one of those check-and-balances match before they start doing the analysis of all the data they received.”

Fann said a Senate attorney raised the possibility a couple of weeks ago that the audit tally wouldn’t match the county total.

“That’s when we said let’s get a couple of our own independent machines in, not Dominion’s, separate ones, and do our own independent — and all we’re doing is just counting the number of ballots,” she said. “It’s a paper-counting machine is all it does.

“That will help us give like a third check-and-balance to see if those numbers are closer to the vendors’ numbers or Maricopa County’s or they all three could be right on target.”

The new tally was expected to start Tuesday at the Arizona State Fairgrounds’ Wesley Bolin Building. Audit operations moved there from Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the beginning of July, more than two months after the process started.

State Senate spokesman Randy Pullen told pool reporters Monday that the new machine count would go into next week.

Work on a hand recount of the votes cast for president and U.S. Senate, two narrow Democratic victories, has been completed. Officials have said the final audit report is expected to be released in late July or early August.

The audit has been the subject of much scrutiny since it started April 23.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which consists of four Republicans and one Democrat, previously authorized two audits 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, but state Senate Republicans subpoenaed the county for access to the election materials at the urging of supporters of Donald Trump who refused to accept President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Arizona’s largest county and statewide.

County officials and others have questioned the methods, competence and motives of Cyber Ninjas, the audit’s lead vendor.

Fann said Tuesday she has confidence in Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based cybersecurity firm with no previous election audit experience.

“And I’m confident because it’s not just them,” she said. “Everybody keeps just counting on them when actually they are working with a number of other contractors that have experience in audits and in their expertise in their own fields. … This is a joint effort.”

Fann did acknowledge that things haven’t been perfect.

“Do I think that it’s gone as smoothly as it it could have? Heck, no,” she said. “This is the first time in the history of our nation that anybody has done an audit of this magnitude. And so, quite honestly, we are doing a lot of things, triple-checking, just to make sure that this is all correct.”

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.

However, many Trump supporters still see it as a step toward invalidating Biden’s victory and returning Trump to office.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Jamarr Dwayne Young, pictured above, is 33, authorities said. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office pho...

KTAR.com

Man accused of domestic violence killed bicyclist while fleeing from authorities, Phoenix police say

An Arizona man was arrested after allegedly killing a pedestrian while fleeing from Phoenix police, authorities announced on Friday.

6 hours ago

Casita bill, or HB 2070, passed in Arizona House...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona House Democrat explains how ‘casita bill’ can help fight the state’s housing shortage

The so-called "casita" bill was passed by the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday. Rep. Analise Ortiz breaks down the benefits.

8 hours ago

north-korean-fraud...

Nick Borgia

Arizona woman accused of involvement in major North Korean fraud scheme

An Arizona woman is being prosecuted for allegedly assisting in North Korean fraud schemes to place overseas IT workers in U.S. positions.

9 hours ago

Peoria wants to build out a future airpark similar to the Scottsdale Airpark, pictured here, with a...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Peoria Airpark project could create thousands of jobs, millions in revenue

Plans for a new regional airport and employment center in Peoria could generate nearly 8,000 jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the municipality, according to a study released this month.

12 hours ago

Authorities released these images from a 2022 assault in Gilbert in January 2024. An arrest was mad...

KTAR Video

Video: SHORT: Why are prosecutors cutting deals with youth violence suspects and alleged Gilbert Goons?

Some of the young adults arrested in connection with violent gang-related attacks in the East Valley are getting deals from prosecutors. Chris Merrill shares his thoughts.

12 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: Why are prosecutors cutting deals with youth violence suspects and alleged Gilbert Goons?

Some of the young adults arrested in connection with violent gang-related attacks in the East Valley are getting deals from prosecutors. Chris and Joe wonder how victims and others experiencing youth violence feel. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Sen. Fann says audit ballot totals don’t match Maricopa County’s numbers