Maricopa County in Arizona will not reuse most of the voting machines subpoenaed by the Republican-led Arizona Senate in its audit of the 2020 presidential election, county officials said.
“The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the county will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections. The County recognizes Secretary Hobbs’ authority … to certify equipment for use in Arizona’s elections. As a result, the county will not use the subpoenaed equipment in any future elections,” the officials said Monday, according to Yahoo News.
The announcement comes after Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs advised county attorney Allister Adel to replace the machines in a letter dated May 20.
Hobbs said she was worried the “security and integrity” of the machines were compromised in the audit conducted by the company Cyber Ninjas because it was “not certified to handle election equipment in the United States.”
According to the statement, the county was made aware of potential dangers to voting equipment as a consequence of the audit in February.
“We asked numerous times for this audit to be performed jointly with Maricopa County, at their facility, selecting a mutual auditor, and did not want the ballots or machines moved from their facilities,” Fann contended, referring to the legal tug-of-war between the state Senate and Maricopa’s executives.
Karen Fann described Maricopa County’s letter as yet another “attack on the audit,” saying that the machines weren’t tampered with during the weekslong process.
“If their experts can’t prove the machines have not been tampered with,” she asked, “then how does the [Secretary of State’s office] or County Elections certify the machines before every audit to make sure the machines haven’t been tampered with?”
And several Republicans praised the move to do away with the machines—but not for the reasons offered by Hobbs or the county officials.
“No more machines,” wrote Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers on Twitter, alleging in another tweet that the machines are easily compromised. “Go back to the old way,” she also wrote in concurring with a tweet issued by GOP state Sen. Kelly Townsend.
The cost of replacing the equipment to taxpayers is unclear. Maricopa County is approximately halfway through paying off its $6.1 million lease with Dominion Voting Systems for the equipment, and it is unclear whether the county will be required to pay the remaining balance.
Statement from Chairman Jack Sellers: Why We Need New Election Equipment
Maricopa County announced this week that it will comply with the Secretary of State’s direction and replace the tabulation equipment that was subpoenaed by the Arizona Senate Republican leadership and provided to an uncertified contractor. This follows the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency stating the equipment the Senate took from the County must never be used in any future election.
Counties are in the business of running elections according to the laws written by the State Legislature. Yet, Senate Republican leadership continues to ignore the law and suggest it doesn’t apply to them when it comes to procurement, public records and accounting for dollars spent for a public purpose. They decided to hire uncertified novices to inspect expensive election equipment. The suggestion that we can now run a few Logic & Accuracy tests and call equipment good is wildly naïve but not surprising. Maricopa County already hired two certified voting system laboratories to conduct true forensic audits of the tabulation equipment. Those audits proved during the 2020 General Election the tabulation equipment wasn’t connected to the internet or capable of vote switching.
Calling what has happened under the Senate contractor in the Coliseum an “audit” insults the voters’ intelligence and fuels the imaginations of those who wish to tear our democracy apart. Senate Republican leadership continues to complain that the County would not allow the circus into our secure election facility. They apparently know so little about the scope of work of their contractor, that they think the act at the Coliseum would fit into a building a fraction of the size. They also ignore the fact the County needed the building to conduct statutorily mandated jurisdictional elections in March and May.
The contractor for the Senate “audit” is also a known election conspiracy theorist who reportedly appears in a new movie to outline his partisan beliefs.
Many of the subcontractors hired by the conspiracy theorist remain a mystery. Why?
Those who are being paid to count the ballots remain a mystery. Why?
And the people paying for and profiting from this misguided exercise remain a mystery. Why?
Would this even be happening if there wasn’t money to be made?
No person affiliated with the “audit” is in any position to lecture the Board about election security, accountability, or honesty. Release the report and be prepared to defend it.