Politics Arizona GOP Audit Director Barred From Recount After Sharing Data Supporting Trump Loss

22:21  24 july  2021
22:21  24 july  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Arizona election auditors seek more records, voter canvass

  Arizona election auditors seek more records, voter canvass PHOENIX (AP) — Contractors hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to oversee a partisan review of the 2020 election said Thursday that they don’t have enough information to complete their report, and urged legislators to subpoena more records and survey voters at home. Leaders of the GOP audit described a wide variety of reasons their review is taking months longer than the 60 days initially planned, including confusion about damaged ballots and a lack of access to certain data. They described the delays during a meeting livestreamed at the Capitol Thursday and watched by thousands.

The Republican overseeing the controversial GOP-backed election audit in Arizona has reportedly been banned from entering the building where the recount process is ongoing, after he shared some data with experts that showed the results match the officially certified numbers in Maricopa County.

a blurry image of a person: Arizona's former GOP Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is the © Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images Arizona's former GOP Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is the "director" of the controversial Republican-backed audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County, was reportedly barred from the building where the recount is moving forward. In this photo, a contractor working for Cyber Ninjas, which was hired by Arizona State Senate Republicans, transports ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Arizona Republic reported on Friday evening that Ken Bennett, Arizona's former Secretary of State who has been described as the audit's "director," was barred from entering the building on the state fairgrounds where the audit is moving forward. The newspaper reported that Bennett had shared some of the audit data with outside experts showing that the ballot recount was tracking "very closely" with Maricopa County's certified results.

Senate candidates walk Trump tightrope as he returns to Arizona

  Senate candidates walk Trump tightrope as he returns to Arizona Former President Donald Trump will return Saturday to Arizona, where Republicans are looking to rebound after losing both of the state’s Senate seats in the past two elections. Unlike candidates in other states with contested Senate GOP primaries, the top four Republicans vying to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly next year are embracing Trump’s […] The post Senate candidates walk Trump tightrope as he returns to Arizona appeared first on Roll Call.

Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based company conducting the audit on behalf of the state's Senate Republicans, told the publication that state Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, made the decision to block Bennett from the building. Newsweek reached out to Fann for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Ryan Randazzo, a reporter for the Arizona Republic, summed up the situation in a Friday evening tweet: "The liaison for the Arizona election audit gave some data to outside experts who want to check the Cyber Ninjas' work, and then he was locked out of the audit. Also it looks like the ninjas miscounted and the roof on the budget building is leaking."

Officials in Maricopa County—the most populous in Arizona—completed a formal audit of the results last November without uncovering any discrepancies. But GOP lawmakers in the state have pushed forward with their own audit because of former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" or "rigged" for President Joe Biden.

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Earlier this month, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan briefed some Arizona state senators on the progress of the audit. He argued, along with Fann, that more information was needed from Maricopa County. Jack Sellers, a Republican who chairs the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, strongly criticized the claims made by Logan and Fann. Sellers has criticized the audit process throughout, reiterating repeatedly that there is no evidence of fraud.

Trump blasted GOP Gov. Doug Ducey during Arizona rally: 'He doesn't do a damn thing'

  Trump blasted GOP Gov. Doug Ducey during Arizona rally: 'He doesn't do a damn thing' At the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" in Phoenix, Trump thanked conservative Arizona state senators for proceeding with a Maricopa County audit.At the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" in Phoenix, Trump thanked the "brave and unyielding conservative warriors in the Arizona state Senate" for proceeding with the partisan audit, which is examining the results in Maricopa County, the most populous jurisdiction in the state.

"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," Sellers said in a July 15 statement released in response to the briefing. "In some cases, they dropped bombshell numbers that are simply not accurate."

Sellers condemned the "incompetence" of the Cyber Ninjas auditors. "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," the GOP official said.

Although Trump and many of his Republican allies continue to claim that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election, they have not provided evidence to substantiate this extraordinary allegation. On the contrary, dozens of election challenge lawsuits have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans have rejected the often bizarre claims.

Arizona Senate leaders issue new subpoenas for Maricopa County routers amid ongoing audit

  Arizona Senate leaders issue new subpoenas for Maricopa County routers amid ongoing audit The subpoenas come just days after Donald Trump espoused debunked conspiracy theories about the county's routers during a speech in Phoenix.On Monday, more than three months into the review that began in April, state Senate President Karen Fann, who has spearheaded the controversial effort since its inception, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen demanded the Republican-controlled county hand over its routers as well as envelopes from all mail-in ballots and detailed voter registration records.

Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely seen as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, said in December that there was "no evidence" to support the claims of widespread voter fraud. Meanwhile, audits and recounts in key battleground states, including in areas where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans, have reaffirmed Biden's victory.

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Arizona Senate liaison granted 'full access' to Maricopa audit .
Ken Bennett will continue to serve as Arizona Senate liaison to the Maricopa County 2020 election audit after coming to an agreement that will allow him full access while a report is put together. © Ross D. Franklin/AP FILE - In this Thursday, April 22, 2021, file photo, former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett arrives at a news conference to talk about overseeing a 2020 election ballot audit. (AP Photo/Ross D.

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