Richer: Maricopa County to give ‘bulletproof’ answers to election questions

Sep 27, 2021, 11:58 AM | Updated: 12:00 pm
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, right, speaks with state Sen. Warren Petersen, R-G...

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, right, speaks with state Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, during the Arizona Senate Republican hearing on the review findings of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County at the Arizona Capitol Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Phoenix. The final report of the election review found that President Joe Biden did indeed win the 2020 presidential contest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County will provide “bulletproof” answers to the questions raised last week by Arizona Senate contractors who reviewed the 2020 election in metro Phoenix, Recorder Stephen Richer said Monday.

“All of these questions have answers. I would just ask for a little bit a patience because we want to do it thoroughly … and we want to offer answers that we know are bulletproof,” Richer told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show three days after the contractors released their findings Friday during a livestreamed Senate meeting and posted the documentation online.

Richer, a Republican who took office in January after defeating incumbent Democrat Adrian Fontes in November, said the county’s response will be released in the next two weeks.

He noted that the contractors, led by Cyber Ninjas, worked for five months and spent millions of dollars, but their report focused on questions they couldn’t answer rather than the fact that their hand recount affirmed that President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, both Democrats, won their races.

“We’ll get you answers to those questions, but we understood this to be a fact-finding mission, not a question-asking mission. And they seem to really gloss over the main fact that they did find, which was that the actual paper physical ballots lined up with what the county tabulated,” he said.

“And if your real goal here was to increase voter confidence, it seems like you should have spent maybe more time on that.”

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann has said she authorized the review to find ways to improve the election process, not to overturn the results. On Friday, she sent a letter to state Attorney General Mark Brnovich citing several issues raised by the contractors she hired to conduct the so-called “forensic audit.”

Richer said he agreed with some of the suggestions in the contractors’ report, including regular election audits, voter registration database reviews and posting ballot images online “so it becomes less of a black-box process.”

He also said he wants to see both parties work on legislative reforms so it “doesn’t look like a partisan operation born out of one angry candidate that’s going to ram this down the throats of the Democrats.”

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Richer: Maricopa County to give ‘bulletproof’ answers to election questions