PHOENIX – Arizona Republicans have signed a lease to continue their review of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County through the end of June.
The state Senate and contractors rented the Veterans Memorial Coliseum until Friday, when they had to leave the old basketball court due to a reservation for high school graduation next week.
Republicans have hired Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based cybersecurity firm, to oversee an unprecedented 2020 election review in Arizona’s largest district. They are working on a total of 2.1 million ballots and considering unfounded conspiracy theories suggesting a problem with the election popularized by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Under a new lease signed on Wednesday, ballot papers, desk computers and related equipment will be stored elsewhere at the state fair next week. The Senate will reach the Coliseum again on May 23 and remain open until the end of June.
The effort was much slower than expected and only a fraction of the ballots were counted. The inspections must stop Thursday evening, then containment will begin and continue on Friday, Ken Bennett, a former Republican secretary of state who serves as Senate liaison with inspectors. Auditor said
Democrat, the state̵7;s top election official, Katie Hobbs has asked the Senate to detail a plan to keep ballots safe while they are filing.
Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Karen Fann sent a letter to Jack Sellers, chairman of the Republican-controlled Maricopa County supervisory committee, asking district officials to answer publicly at the Senate on Tuesday. But she stopped harassing a subpoena.
Fann reiterated Senate’s call to access administrator passwords for scoring machines and internet routers. County officials said they had changed all the passwords they had and refused to give up the router, saying it would weaken sensitive information, including law enforcement information held by the sheriff’s office.
Fann suggested that contractors view data from routers at a county facility supervised by the sheriff’s office. “The Senate has no interest in viewing or possessing any information unrelated to the administration of the 2020 general election,” she wrote.
The county said the password the Senate was searching for was maintained by Dominion Voting Systems Inc., the maker of the counting machines and leasing to the county, the company said in a statement on Thursday it was cooperating with investigators. That has been endorsed by the U.S. Electoral Assistance Board and has performed it for two previous audits of the 2020 results in Maricopa County, but will not work with Cyber Ninjas.
“Releasing Dominion’s intellectual property to unapproved, biased and clearly unreliable performers such as Cyber Ninjas would be negligent, causing irreparable damage to the commercial interests of the company. “No company should be forced to engage in such irresponsible conduct.”
Fann’s letter also raised questions about county records recording the ballot control chain and accused field officials of wiping out the data.
In a statement, Trump called it “Destructive letters” and said, “Fake News and Lamestream Media are doing everything they can’t cover up on this important story.”
A panel of supervisors met privately late on Thursday, after which the seller released a harsh statement denying any information was removed, calling Fann’s allegations “false and uninformed” and called. Request for retraction
“It gets clearer day by day: the people the Senate hires are over their heads,” Sellers said. “It’s not funny, this is dangerous.”
He did not directly respond to Fann’s request for district officials to answer questions at the Senate on Tuesday. But said the county would hold its own public meeting the day before. “To refute lies and make facts about them”