Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sent a letter today claiming the election machines that were audited by the Cyber Ninja team these past few weeks should never be used again.

Katie Hobbs, sent a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors claiming the voting machines audited by Cyber Ninja’s were tainted from their work. She recommends not using these machines in the future.

In the letter, Hobbs said her office “consulted with election technology and security experts, including at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, regarding the appropriate next steps, and each unanimously advised that once election officials lose custody and control over voting systems and components, those devices should not be reused in further elections.”

Katie Hobbs says the loss of custody could jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of digital information and information systems. The Secretary of State’s office consulted with election technology and security experts, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Hobbs’ office was advised that once election officials lose custody and control over voting systems and components, those devices should not be reused in future elections. Cyber Ninjas is currently in the process of returning election equipment to Maricopa County.

“Unfortunately, after a loss of physical custody and control, no comprehensive methods exist to fully rehabilitate the compromised equipment or provide adequate assurance that they remain safe to use,” Hobbs explained. “While the machines could be put through an intensive and costly forensic examination by an accredited, national forensics laboratory, even after such forensic examination, machines are generally not recommissioned given that the forensic analysis cannot be guaranteed to locate all potential problems.”

Sec. Hobbs says considering the potential impact, her office is recommending decertification of the subpoenaed equipment. She claims given the circumstances and ongoing concerns regarding the handling and security of the equipment, she believes County officials can agree “this is the only path forward to ensure secure and accurate elections in Maricopa County in the future.”

At the end of the letter, Hobbs advises county election officials that should they chose to reuse the equipment, they will begin the de-certification process.

Maricopa County’s election equipment was first used in 2019 for a Madison School District election. When they performed as expected, they were leased to the county shortly afterward for the cost of $6.5 million.

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