Arizona Senate is poised to begin a major audit of over two million ballots cast in the 2020 election in the state’s largest county, a process the state Senate president claims has been stymied by county officials and which the county claims rests on legally uncertain ground.
Senate subpoenas to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for information and equipment needed to perform the audit have been pending since Dec. 15, 2020 and were upheld by a judge on Feb. 25. In mid-March, the state Senate announced that Republicans in that chamber would be conducting a “broad and detailed” review of Maricopa’s ballots, one that would involve “testing the machines, scanning the ballots, performing a full hand count and checking for any IT breaches,” among other approaches.
Legislators have been working to hammer out the specific details of the audit in the weeks since. State Senate President Karen Fann tells Just the News that the actual audit process will begin within the next week.
The state Senate faced a battle in court in order to proceed with the audit, Fann noted, one that ultimately went in favor of Arizona Republicans.
“It’s taken the Senate two and a half months to win in court to uphold our right to issue subpoenas for election materials,” she said, “and another 6 weeks of researching to select the audit team to perform the full forensic audit.”
Fann claimed that state Republicans have faced “sabotage” from Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors.
“The Maricopa BOS has refused to allow us to perform the audit at their facilities,” she said, “and has gone so far as to refusing to even answer simple questions such as ‘how are the ballots sequestered?'”
The Senate recently “secured a 20,000 + square foot facility known as the Coliseum at our state fair grounds to perform the audit,” Fann said. Officials have “arranged for 24 hour physical and live streaming security,” she added, and “the audit teams are assembling and transporting the equipment and personnel to Arizona with an expected start date of April 22nd.”
Asked what the Senate hopes to find, Fann denied any presumptions on the part of legislators as to how the audit will go.