The Arizona state Senate will need to request routers and passwords that are being withheld by Maricopa County election officials to complete the audit of the 2020 election results, said an audit spokesman, while State Senate Leader Karen Fann said county executives still haven’t delivered several “missing items” related to a court-ordered subpoena issued earlier this year.
Randy Pullen, a spokesman and liaison for the effort, said Thursday that after speaking with state Senators, they will determine the next steps to take. Some electronic data stored by Maricopa County needs to be evaluated by the audit team.
“We have none of that information has been provided to us, and it’s something that the Senate will have to go back to the county and request those items,” he told reporters as the audit team was moving out of the Phoenix Coliseum on Thursday. “So again, it’s very difficult to complete the audit without getting that information.”
What’s at stake, Pullen explained, are a “few minor things” over software additions to Maricopa County’s systems. He didn’t elaborate on the software.
“We got some additional information for the county,” he added. “Apparently there was a difference on how many duplicate ballots there were per batch, so they gave us a new list and so we had to create software that took that data and compared it to our data to deal with the duplicate ballots.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Karen Fann, in response to questions about the possibility of subpoenas being issued, told The Epoch Times that her office and auditors are “still waiting for the Maricopa County Supervisors to provide us with the missing items on the original subpoena as ordered by the court.”
“The Arizona Senate has extended our contract with the State Fairgrounds for two weeks at the Wesley Bolin building. Our vendor is finishing the aggregation process which is double and triple-checking the tallies of the hand counts, spreadsheet, tally sheets, image scanning etc.,” she continued in an email. “This is a critical step to ensure the tallies can be accurately verified which will give us a path forward in completing the audit.”
Before the audit commenced in late April, there was a back-and-forth legal battle between the Senate and Maricopa County’s executives. A judge ultimately ruled that the legislative body’s subpoenas were valid and could proceed with the audit.
Late last week, a spokesperson for the audit team confirmed that the paper ballot examination and counting phase of the audit is complete. More work is needed to be done offsite, and Republicans have said the final report will be released late in August or September.
Another liaison, Ken Bennett—a former Arizona secretary of state—told NBC News that the count is finished but, according to him, “the audit is just starting.” Election reviewers, Bennett added, recently obtained documents that are crucial to the process.
“Those documents are critical to understanding how many ballots were taken out of every almost every batch and sent to duplication and therefore have to be accounted for in accounting for all of the ballots,” he said Thursday, referring to the logs about duplicate ballots. Those records, Bennett added, were obtained through AUDIT USA, an outside group supporting the audit.
Democrats and legacy news outlets have frequently characterized the audit as being politically motivated as well as being fraught with errors and security lapses. Fann and other Republicans have categorically denied the claims.
And Maricopa County, meanwhile, declared that the election equipment that was reviewed by the auditors was compromised, announcing in a press release that the machines would be replaced. Fann described Maricopa County’s letter as another “attack on the audit” and argued Maricopa cannot provide any evidence suggesting the machines were “tampered with.”
Maricopa County has not yet responded to a request for comment about the possibility of new subpoenas. A spokesperson for the county told NBC that the Senate has not subpoenaed the logs about the duplicate ballots, saying that it fulfilled a request to hand over the documents after an AUDIT USA request in mid-June.
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