Teams conducting a forensic audit in Arizona’s largest county said Thursday they have found several major discrepancies and need more items to complete the review.
The story: Auditors spoke about some of their findings, defended themselves against critics who raised concerns about the validity of their audit, and explained why they need more information to complete the review during a hearing at the Arizona state Capitol on Thursday.
Both Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann and state Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen were present at the hearing.
In detail: The CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the company that was hired by the Senate to conduct the audit, revealed several details about the suspected irregularities.
He said the team could find no record of more than 74,000 mail-in ballots that the county supposedly sent to voters. Auditors further discovered that 11,326 individuals appeared on the voter rolls on Dec. 4, 2020, even as they were not on the rolls on Nov. 7, 2020, and that 3,981 people appeared to vote after registering on Oct. 15, 2020.
Ben Cotton, CEO of CyFIR, a subcontractor working on the audit, said the analysis of the election management system and network flagged “severe cybersecurity problems.” For example, they found that the antivirus programs weren’t up to date, he said.
The auditors are requesting access to router images, envelope images, Splunk logs, and hard drivers related to the 2020 election in Maricopa County. They also say they need additional details on the county’s policies and procedures.
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, slammed the auditors in a statement.
“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,” Sellers said.
“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.”
Worth noting: Earlier this week, two House Democrats launched an investigation into whether Cyber Ninjas is working to “reverse the result of a free and fair election for partisan gain.”
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