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Why some officials have raised concerns over the ongoing Republican-commissioned audit of election results in Arizona

3 mins read

Several months after elected officials certified 2020 presidential election results declaring Joe Biden president, state senators in Arizona used subpoena powers to take possession of and audit paper ballots and voting machines in Maricopa County, Arizona, according to The Associated Press.

State Republicans hired a Florida-based company with no prior experience in election audits to conduct the review, according to AZ Central.

Some officials, including Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling and a Maricopa Country judge expressed concerns over the legitimacy, transparency and security of the process.

An audit of presidential election results in Maricopa County began on April 23 and is expected to last up to 60 days, according to AZ Central.

Previous audits of election results in Arizona found no abnormalities, AP reports. The firm hired for the audit, Cyber Ninjas, has no prior experience with election audits, according to AZ Central.

The audit’s findings have not been announced and reports of “illegal” votes being found are false, Lead Stories reports.

Maricopa County conducted a host of pre- and post-election reviews to check the accuracy of voting machines, including a hand count of a representative sample of ballots as required by state law.

The county also hired two auditing firms that reported no malicious software or incorrect counting equipment and concluded that none of the computers or equipment were connected to the internet.

Representatives from all major political parties did a hand count of county ballots after the election. It looked at all votes cast for five races on 8,802 ballots — a statistically significant number of ballots, as state law requires.

The audit showed that the county counted votes with 100 percent accuracy. The county would have expanded the audit if problems were found.

And, despite rumors saying otherwise, the county did in fact do an in-depth independent audit of its voting machines that looked at whether the machines were connected to the internet, tampered with or malfunctioned. The audits all came back showing that votes were counted accurately.

Reports of illegal votes being found in the audit are false, according to multiple fact-checkers. Were a quarter of a million illegal votes found in the Arizona audit?

No, that’s not true: At the time of writing, April 27, 2021, no results from the audit commissioned by Republicans in the state Senate have been released. An exact release date is not known.

On April 28, a judge ruled that Cyber Ninjas, the private company conducting the audit, must reveal the details of its policies.

Cyber Ninjas has agreed to produce final reports within 60 days. Logan said he expects counting of ballots to last 16 days, with more than 250 people working in two shifts.

Nonpartisan election auditing experts from across the country have told The Republic that counting 2.1 million ballots will take much longer than that.

Lois Lane

Lois Lane is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the Daily Planet. The daughter of General Sam Lane, she grew up learning hand-to-hand combat and survival techniques. After being hired by Perry White at the Daily Planet, Lois coined the name "Superman" and, because of incisive reporting on the Super Hero's incredible adventures, her career is forever linked to the Man of Steel. She remains one of Superman's strongest allies.

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