Arizona Senate considering a second audit of Maricopa County election results: report
The Arizona Senate may arrange for another audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County after reports of officials saying they are dissatisfied with the process.
The current audit, which began April 23, consists of a review of 2.1 million ballots cast in the November election in Maricopa County. The firm hired to conduct the audit, Cyber Ninjas, has gone through more than 800,000 ballots so far, according to former Secretary of State Ken Bennett. Officials say they hope to have the audit concluded by the end of June.
The GOP-led state Senate is reportedly preparing for a second audit of the ballots in Maricopa County that would be done all electronically, running digital cans of all the ballots cast for every race in the county, according to local media. A California-based group called Citizens Oversight is being considered for the second audit Bennet said. The goal is to compare the results of both audits to one another. Ray Lutz, an official with the group, told local media that they’ve never been commissioned before to conduct an audit, and the proposed technology has never been used for an official audit.
“I think it is certainly a big test for me because I have put a lot of work on it for the last year and a half or so. We have enhanced it to the point now where I believe we can do a lot to provide information about how well (this election) went,” Lutz told the Arizona Republic.
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Lutz was asked whether he believed his system could accurately audit the county’s election results. He told the Arizona Republic that his team sometimes sees “mistakes that are made on our side.”
The GOP Senate is spending $150,000 on the current audit, with the rest of the funds coming in from donations. One America News Network anchor Christina Bobb is organizing fundraisers through the nonprofit group Voices and Votes. The total cost for the audit has not been made public.
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Former President Donald Trump lost Arizona by more than 10,000 votes to Joe Biden. Biden’s lead was boosted by Maricopa County, where he earned nearly 45,000 more votes than Trump.
Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs called the audit a “political stunt.” Hobbs says that the results from two previous election machine audits conducted for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors showed no irregularities in the county’s 2020 election.