Fann Sends Letter In Arizona As Audit Begins To Check Duplicate Ballots

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

A scathing letter from Senate President Karen Fann was sent to Maricopa County on Wednesday seeking "assistance and cooperation" concerning certain routers and passwords associated with the November 2020 election that were not provided to the county's auditors. Both items were under subpoena, ordered to have been delivered at the beginning of the audit on April 23rd, as reported by UncoverDC.

Fann's letter lays out her request to examine the routers and questions where the truth lies with regard to the county's claims that the routers hold sensitive law enforcement information. Fann offers that worries over protecting sensitive information on the routers may belie "lax data security practices" but have nothing to do with legislative requests for the routers under subpoena. She also questions the claims of a costly transfer of the routers to the colosseum ("up to $6,000,000"), saying it "seems at odds with Deputy County Attorney Joseph La Rue’s prior representation to Audit Liaison Ken Bennett that the routers already had been disconnected from the County’s network and were prepared for imminent delivery to the Senate."

Fann proposes that the "agents of CyFIR" be allowed access to review the virtual images of the routers in the offices of Maricopa County with Maricopa County Sheriff's Office employees present to oversee the work.

The missing admin passwords are also addressed with skepticism in the letter.  Fann states:

"Its attorneys’ insistence that the County does not have custody or control of this information is belied by the County’s conduct of its own audits, which, if they were as comprehensive as they purported to be, almost certainly would have entailed use of the passwords to examine the tabulation devices, and it strains credulity to posit that the County has no contractual right to obtain (i.e., control of) password information from Dominion."

The letter also indicates that the post-election auditors have found issues with chain of custody and ballot organization—issues that have not been discussed publicly until Wednesday. The issues bring into question the procedures and documentation related to the sorting, organizing, and packaging of ballots. According to the letter, issues like broken seals on ballot bags, missing documentation for chain-of-custody, the use of regular tape and "not tamper-evident seals" used to secure ballot boxes, and discrepancies in the counting and accompanying "pink report slips" for the ballots.

Steve Bannon and Boris Epshteyn broke down "receipts" for the audit today. It is a "quagmire for the Democrats," said Epshteyn. The sad thing is that in Arizona, this is an "absolute disaster" and "this is only 20 percent of the audit so far!"  he added. Epshteyn added that this election wasn't even one of the swing state "elections that we understood to be one of the worst!"

Dominion responded to the request for passwords by saying that Cyber Ninjas is "unaccredited" and has "already demonstrated bias and incompetence." 

Most alarming seems to be the deleted databases found, all of which were evidently covered in the subpoenas. An entire 'Database' directory is missing from the "D drive of the machine 'EMSPrimary.'" The "main database for 'Results Tallying and Reporting'" is also missing.

A live-stream hearing has been set for May 18 at 1:00 p.m. to resolve the above-mentioned issues.

Accusations are flying daily. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs claims her observers "discovered a WiFi router connected to the 'audit' routers." GOP Chair, Kelli Ward, replied that the county and Hobbs are "trying to discredit the audit process even as they discredit themselves." And the Maricopa Audit account on Twitter sent a post saying that they already explained to Hobb's observers that "no wireless was ever enabled."

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone also jumped in with his criticism of the request for the routers, saying it was "reckless and irresponsible."

The independently-run forensic audit began on April 23. As of May 11, about 330,000 of the 2.1 million ballots have been counted. There have been issues with staffing due to the need to vet workers carefully. Some observers report that, at times, only about half of the counting tables are being used.

Today, the Arizona audit has reached a critical point. They are now recounting the duplicate ballots, as reported by OAN news. There could be as many as 213,000 ballots, or "roughly 12 percent of the entire vote that was duplicated or adjudicated by someone other than the voter—the highest percentage of adjudicated ballots in the history of Maricopa County." The county had expected closer to 6 percent adjudication. Importantly, the auditors do not yet know whether "the duplicate ballots were properly stored together with the original ballot cast by the voter."

Duplicate Ballots/OAN

An agreement was also reached on the storage of the ballots during the week the auditors are not allowed to use the Colosseum because of graduation ceremonies that were previously booked for the week. The Arizona Senate Republicans extended the audit for now through June 30 per the letter below:

Storage and Extension/Maricopa Audit

In other Arizona election integrity news, SB1485 has been signed into law by Governor Ducey, as explained by AZ GOP 1st Vice Chairwoman Pam Kirby. She tells viewers that the new bill "protects Arizonans and streamlines the way elections are conducted." It cleans up voter rolls with regard to voters receiving early voter ballots. It asks voters to confirm they want an early mail-in ballot before elections and cleans up the unnecessary early mail-in ballots in circulation.

Finally, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors called a closed door meeting for today at 4 p.m. MST. GOP Chair, Kelli Ward updates Arizonans each day about the progress of the audit. Her May 13 update can be found below.

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