Arizona Senate president says 2020 election audit’s ballot count differs from Maricopa tally
By Daniel Chaitin | Washington Examiner
Ballots counted in the Arizona Senate’s audit of the 2020 election differs from the tally by Maricopa County officials.
That’s what Senate President Karen Fann said in an interview on Tuesday, in which she also noted the discrepancy prompted the state Legislature to acquire new machines — “not Dominion’s, separate ones” — to recount the ballots.
A canvass report released by the county, which includes Phoenix, said 2,089,563 ballots were cast in November’s election. Fann said she did not know the size of the discrepancy.
“They haven’t released a number yet,” Fann told conservative radio host Mike Broomhead on KTAR. “However, we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point.”
President Joe Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes out of more than 3.3 million cast across the state. His lead of roughly 2 percentage points was due partly to his advantage in Maricopa County, where the Democrat scored nearly 45,000 more votes than former President Donald Trump.
Trump and his allies claim the 2020 contest was stolen, even though election officials have denied seeing evidence of widespread fraud and have heralded the Maricopa County audit as a means to undergird their allegations after courts around the country rejected lawsuits challenging the results.
The remaining count of ballots in Maricopa County will not be a recount of the election contests. A hand recount of votes in the presidential and U.S. Senate races, all won by Democrats, has already been completed, and officials involved in the audit have predicted a report will be released later in the summer.
Maricopa County officials, who opposed the Arizona Senate’s audit in court until a judge ruled its subpoenas were “legal and enforceable,” previously authorized two election machine audits that found no irregularities in the county’s 2020 election. There was also a recount of a sample of ballots that did not turn up any problems.
Jack Sellers, the GOP chairman of Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors, told the Arizona Mirror in a statement he was not surprised the state Senate’s “woefully underqualified” audit team came up with a different ballot tally than the “experienced professionals” in his county’s elections department.
Maricopa County officials announced last month their voting machines subpoenaed for the audit would be removed from service after Arizona’s Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, threatened to decertify the equipment, citing concerns with the methods of Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm hired to lead the review.
Fann defended Cyber Ninjas, which has been criticized for lack of prior audit experience.
“I’m confident because it’s not just them,” she said. “Everybody keeps just counting on them when actually they are working with a number of other contractors that have experience in audits and in their expertise in their own fields … This is a joint effort.”