July 16, 2021 Epoch Times by Zachary Stieber
Teams conducting a forensic audit in Arizona’s largest county said on July 15 that they want more items to complete their review, which has turned up several major discrepancies.
The auditors, led by Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, want ballot envelope images, router images, splunk logs, hard drives that contain information about the 2020 election in Maricopa County, and details on the county’s policies and procedures as they try to complete a review that started nearly three months ago.
That information could help clear up issues that have been identified.
Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, told senators at the Arizona state Capitol during a hearing that auditors could find no record of the county sending more than 74,000 mail-in ballots. He also said auditors found approximately 18,000 people voted but were removed from voter rolls “soon after the election, 11,326 people who were not on the voter rolls on Nov. 7, 2020, but appeared on the rolls on Dec. 4, 2020, and 3,981 people who voted after registering after Oct. 15, 2020.”
Ben Cotton, CEO of CyFIR, a subcontractor working on the audit, said the analysis of the election management system and network uncovered “severe cybersecurity problems,” including that antivirus programs weren’t up to date.
The hearing came after Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, whose Republican caucus authorized the audit late last year, said the auditors’ ballot count produced a different number from the county’s count.
Logan said the discrepancies with mail-in ballot records should trigger a canvassing proposal that was put on hold under pressure from the Department of Justice.
“Based on the data we’re seeing, I highly recommend canvassing, because it is the one way to know for sure whether some of the data we’re seeing, if it’s real problems or whether it’s clerical errors of some sort,” he said.
The July 15 testimony, given in front of Fann and Sen. Warren Peterson, chairman of the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee, immediately triggered a push to conduct a new election in the state, where President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by about 10,500 votes.
“I call for the Biden electors to be recalled to Arizona & a new election must be conducted. Arizona’s electors must not be awarded fraudulently & we need to get this right,” Arizona Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Republican who has been keeping close tabs on the audit, said on Twitter.
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, said in a statement after the hearing that the auditors were incompetent.
“At today’s briefing, the Senate’s uncertified contractors asked a lot of open-ended questions, portraying as suspicious what is actually normal and well known to people who work in elections. In some cases, they dropped bombshell numbers that are simply not accurate. What we heard today represents an alternate reality that has veered out of control since the November General Election. Senate leadership should be ashamed they broadcast the half-baked theories of the ‘Deep Rig’ crowd to the world today,” he said. “To senate leaders I say, stop accusing us of not cooperating when we have given you everything qualified auditors would need to do this job. Finish your audit, release the report, and be prepared to defend it in court.”
A county spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email it was unclear which data sets the auditors were referring to for some of their allegations. The approximately 74,000 ballots probably refers to voters who went in person to vote centers before Election Day, he said.
“Even though they are voting in person, their ballots are treated the same as those mailed in – sealed in an envelope and signed by the voter,” the spokesman said.
Fann told reporters after the hearing that she would be talking to attorneys later Thursday or on Friday to figure out the best way to obtain the items auditors want.
“Do we go back to court or do they specifically comply with the original subpoena? Maybe some of this can be done before the request and we can get some of that information,” she said. “It would be great if Maricopa County would help us with this request and we can move forward.”
But the county spokesman indicated more subpoenas would be required to get the items, even the routers.
“We will have a response about other demands if and when Senate leadership produces more subpoenas,” he said.
Routers or router images were included in subpoenas the Arizona Senate sent last year that were confirmed legally valid by a judge after the county took the matter to court. The county is still refusing to provide the auditors access to the subpoenaed materials.
The county agreed to comply with the subpoenas after the late February ruling, but called for the audit to end less than a month after it had begun. County officials have noted that a hand recount and a risk-limiting audit performed at their behest uncovered no discrepancies. They voted this week to replace the machines the auditors examined, agreeing with Democrat Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that they can’t ensure that the machines will perform properly in future elections.
Fann noted that she wanted the audit done at county facilities, but was forced to have the audit teams conduct it offsite when the county declined her request. She also said senators have never implied or inferred that the discrepancies were caused by “intentional misdoings.”
“It is unfortunate that the county has been recalcitrant,” Peterson said at the hearing. “That doesn’t breed trust, it slows things down, it makes things difficult.”
He noted that if auditors don’t receive the requested items, they’ll produce “an incomplete report.”