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Politics Arizona election audit takes wild turn: Voter data is transported to a "secret" lab in another state

22:56  18 june  2021
22:56  18 june  2021 Source:   salon.com

OAN correspondent who is covering the Arizona election audit has been aiding the effort since at least December, documents show

  OAN correspondent who is covering the Arizona election audit has been aiding the effort since at least December, documents show The Trump-approved network has also been given primary access to livestream the much-maligned audit.Audit-related documents requested and published by The Center for Public Integrity and watchdog We Are Oversight reveal that Christina Bobb, host of "Weekly Briefing" on OAN was supplying Arizona Senate President Karen Fann with witness declarations, statements, and expert testimony in early December to help bolster the Republican-led effort to undermine election results in Maricopa County, where President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by 45,000 votes.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Donald Trump; mail in ballot © Provided by Salon Donald Trump; mail in ballot

Donald Trump | mail in ballot Getty Images/Salon

The Republican-led Arizona audit being conducted by the Florida-based tech company Cyber Ninjas took an unexpected turn after voter data was transported to a mystery "lab" in Montana to be "forensically evaluated" by a third party.

At some point during the audit, CyFIR — a digital security firm subcontracted by Cyber Ninjas — was enlisted to examine ballots. But it wasn't until Arizona Republic reporter Jen Fifield started digging through a state-run "SOS" website posting audit updates that she noticed "copies" of data were being "sent to a lab in Montana."

The Lab-Leak Trap

  The Lab-Leak Trap Recent coverage has ensnared readers in semantic quibbles, side points, and distractions. To focus better on what really matters, watch out for these traps:The No-Evidence TrapIt would be confusing—merely confusing—if no one could agree on the strength of the evidence for a laboratory accident. But certain pundits have suggested that we’re still completely in the dark.

Upon further research, the Arizona Republic traced the data's whereabouts back to a Montana property whose owner was listed as CyFIR CEO Ben Cotton on public records.

Cotten is also the CEO of Cyber Technologies (CyTech), the parent company of CyFIR. Both companies are based out of Virginia, but they also share the same northwest Montana "Bigfork" address on documents.

At the time, Ken Bennett, an audit official, informed the Arizona Republic that he wasn't aware of how the data in the hands of Cotton and his firms was being kept safe. Weeks later, Bennett told CNN that CYFIR was allowed to send copies of voter data to Montana on a truck.

"Bennett tells us he doesn't know where the so-called 'lab' is," CNN reporter Gary Tuchman said during the televised report. "It is apparently a secret."

Arizona election audit draws Republican tourists

  Arizona election audit draws Republican tourists The hottest new destination for political tourists this summer is a barren and crumbling arena surrounded by an empty parking lot, where off-duty law enforcement officials providing security lounge under a flimsy plastic tent to escape the punishing sun and triple-digit heat radiating off the cracked asphalt. © The Hill Arizona election audit draws Republican tourists Inside Phoenix Memorial Coliseum, a parade of Republican legislators from across the nation have come to observe an audit of the more than 2.1 million votes cast last year in Maricopa County, an examination ordered by the Republican-controlled Arizona state Senate.

A request by Salon for comment from CyTech President Timothy Poole and Cotton went unreturned.

While local news reports on the matter have been circulating over the past few weeks, the story didn't catch wind until Tuchman took viewers to Cotton's Montana address on Wednesday.

While the CNN reporter got within eye-shot of a cabin on the Montana property, he could not walk beyond that point due to a "private property" sign that warned against trespassing.

According to additional reporting conducted by CNN, the sprawling property owned by Cotton has numerous structures on site. It remains unclear whether the "lab" is actually located on the property — or if it even exists.

Arizona auditors near finish of hand recount as out-of-state GOP pilgrimages continue

  Arizona auditors near finish of hand recount as out-of-state GOP pilgrimages continue Arizona's problem-plagued audit has finished its hand recount of most of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County last November, with just braille ballots and those that had to be duplicated because they were damaged left to count, an audit spokesman said Monday. © AZaudit.org Arizona mail in ballot audit Randy Pullen, a spokesman for the audit commissioned by state Senate Republicans, said auditors are now looking for an attorney who can read braille. About 50,000 braille ballots were cast in last year's election.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs shared the feature report, which has since caught the attention of many on social media.

"You can't make this stuff up," Hobbs told CNN. "If it wasn't happening right in front of our eyes, we wouldn't believe it was happening."

You can watch more below via Twitter:

Ariz. 'audit' becomes campaign stop, fuels conspiracy that election can be overturned .
Politicians have been trekking to Phoenix to visit the election "audit" in Arizona. Experts said they are perpetuating a disinformation campaign. Officials claim that the point of the "audit," which was mandated through subpoenas issued by the Republican-controlled state Senate, is simply to put worries about a stolen election at bay. But rhetoric is dominated by calls to decertify the election -- which is impossible -- and renewed conspiratorial claims that the election was stolen.

usr: 77
This is interesting!