MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ – Outside companies hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to conduct a audit of the state’s 2020 election results gave an update on their efforts via a livestreamed briefing on Thursday, claiming to GOP Senate members that they have uncovered potential irregularities in the voting process but require much more information in order to finish their report.
The audit was spearheaded by Arizona Republicans, who claim they are merely attempting to restore public confidence in the election process following former President Donald Trump’s unproven claims of widespread fraud costing him his reelection bid. Senate Democrats, however, maintain that there was no widespread fraud and that the audit is a partisan power play to undermine the election results.
The winner of the 2020 election, Joe Biden, won Arizona by 10,457 votes out 3.4 million cast. Most of those votes were cast in Maricopa County – Arizona’s most populous – and the audit calls for hand counting the county’s 2.1 million ballots and forensically evaluating voting machines, servers and other data.
“A crime was committed on November 3rd, and a coverup has been happening ever since,” Liz Harrington, former Republican National Committee official and Trump’s new personal spokesperson told Newsmax ‘American Agenda’ during an interview
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Some have suggested Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based cybersecurity firm leading the audit, has no prior experience in elections, and its CEO, Doug Logan, had previously tweeted pro-election fraud conspiracy theories, however, several companies are involved in the audit, some of which have been certified by U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.
During Thursday’s livestream, Logan explained the excessive time that the audit is taking is due to several factors, such as confusion about “damaged ballots” and a lack of access to some data. The auditors have requested that legislators subpoena more records and survey thousands of voters at their homes for the information they say they need to continue.
Logan also dropped a potential bombshell allegation during the livestream, claiming that his company had uncovered numerous ballots that had allegedly appeared out of thin air.
“We have 74,243 mail-in ballots where there is no clear record of their being sent,” he said. “We can tie them to a specific individual that it was mailed to, so we have 74,000 where we have and came back from individuals where we don’t have a clear indication that they were ever sent out to them. That could be something where documentation wasn’t done right — there was a clerical issue, there’s not proper things there — but I think when we’ve got 74,000, it merits, you know, knocking on a door and validating some of this information.”
However, the Associated Press fact-checked this claim, saying that it “mischaracterizes reports created for political parties to track who has voted early so they can target their get-out-the-vote efforts.”
“One report tracks all requests that voters make for early ballots, either by mail or in person, up to 11 days before the election,” the AP said. “The other report tracks all ballots received through the day before the election. That leaves a 10-day window during which people who vote in-person but don’t request a mail ballot would appear on one report but not the other.”
Logan also spoke about potential issues concerning 168,000 ballots with the printing slightly offset between the front and back, which he claimed ink bleeding could cause votes to be counted for the wrong candidate; however, he provided no evidence that affected the vote count, and said that the issue needed more research.
Currently there is no estimate as to how much longer the audit will take to finish; it was originally slated to last only 60 days, but is now running months behind.
After the briefing on the Maricopa County audit, Arizona Republican State Sen. Wendy Rogers called for a new election; Arizona Senate President Karen Fann responded during an interview, saying that the Arizona Senate is unable to recall electors or decertify the election results.
“The Senate body, we do not have the authority to do that. So, this is what we have said, and I want to make this very clear on the record,” Fann said. “I am not saying there is no way it can be done. What I am saying is our Senate body does not have the authority to do it. However, we will turn [the audit’s findings] over to the attorneys general, not only on the state level but on the federal level. And we will turn it over to Congress, and they can make those decisions. And that is, I’m saying if there were any wrongdoings.”
Attorney and legal scholar John Eastman joined Steve Bannon on The War Room Monday morning where he disagreed with Fann saying “We Don’t Have to Live with a Fraudulent Election” that legislature does have authority.
Donald Trump continues to repeat his claims that the 2020 election was stolen him.