Maricopa County launches website to address 2020 election misinformation
PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Elections Department has a new website to address questions and what it calls misconceptions about the 2020 general election as the Arizona Senate’s audit continues.
The website is called JustTheFacts.Vote.
“This is really meant to put to rest any of the wild conspiracy theories and well-intentioned misunderstandings,” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
“If you’re still hearing things about Sharpies, which is something that the county has addressed time after time, you can find the true story on Sharpies and that Sharpies did not affect the tabulation of the 2020 ballots.
“If you heard some unfounded allegation about 74,000 extra early ballots, you can learn why that is categorically false and that all of those ballots are accounted for,” Richer added.
The website is also intended to lay out the processes and procedures that election department staff and bipartisan temporary workers follow each election as well as to explain why things are done a certain way.
It’s divided into two main sections.
One section focuses on the laws and guidelines that are in place to ensure there’s accuracy in each election, while the other section addresses what the elections department calls inaccurate claims about mail-in ballots, voter registration, election security and more.
This comes more than a week after the state Senate held a hearing to give an update on the ongoing audit of last year’s general election in Maricopa County.
Richer said during the hearing “a number of new unfounded allegations and unproven statements” were made.
He said that motivated him to call on his staff to come up with the website.
Richer also reiterated that the 2020 general election results for Maricopa County have been audited, certified and litigated multiple times and found to be safe, secure and accurate.
“We’re not opposed to scrutiny,” he said. We’re not opposed to assessing situations, but it has been done for the 2020 election. It was done responsibly by the county and by the court system.”
Cyber Ninjas was chosen as the lead contractor to do the audit despite not having previous experience with election audits, which the county criticized in a series of tweets Friday.
It called the Cyber Ninjas “inexperienced” and explained why the county won’t work with its staff on the audit.
“Participating in an ‘audit’ with unqualified actors would put the county at legal and financial risk and would undermine confidence in our election system,” the statement read. “Therefore, the county is not participating in activities involving Senate contractors.”