The Maricopa Board of Supervisors (BOS) met yesterday at 1 p.m. Two scorching letters sent in response to Senate President Karen Fann’s May 12 letter were published on the Maricopa County government website shortly after. The letters signed by the board members and attendees Recorder Stephen Richer, Sheriff Paul Penzone, Treasurer John Allen, Assessor Eddie Cook, and Superintendent Steve Watson showed a united front.
During the press conference that followed on Monday, the Supervisors indicated their wish to “draw a line in the sand” to stop “answering the same questions over and over again.” Another meeting has been called for Tuesday, May 18 at 1 p.m.
During the special meeting yesterday, Chairman Sellers stated that the audit and Fann’s letter are a “circus.” President Fann’s letter is just an “attempt to legitimize a grift disguised as an audit,” he stated in the meeting. The Supervisors threw out words like “lies,” “mockery,” “conspiracy and rumor” in reference to the audit and their perceived roles in it by some in the Senate and the public.
The full meeting can be viewed below:
The first 14-page letter was a narrative response to the specific questions posed by Fann last week in her letter. Reportedly, the letter was leaked to the media before it was sent to Fann. Bill Gates stated Fann’s letter was a “political letter.” The letter answered the questions in order and methodically, maintaining that no databases were deleted, chain-of-custody allegations are “demonstrably false” and show a “spectacular lack of understanding.”
The letter also explained that the broken seals at that point in the chain of custody were normal and “no law requires” the Election Department “to divide batches of ballots using the Early Voting Transmittal Slips.” Sealing ballots with regular tape is also “customary,” per the letter. In reference to the “slip logs” or, more precisely, the “Early Voting Transmittal Slips,” the letter is somewhat sarcastic in tone as it walks the reader through a brief tutorial on the subject since, as stated in the letter, “it is obvious that your contractors have no understanding of these matters.”
Regarding the admin passwords issue, the letter reiterated earlier statements that the BOS simply “cannot produce what we do not possess.” The letter states that the BOS has no intention to “provide your ‘auditors’ access to the County’s routers because to do so “could compromise the security of the County’s network, which in turn could compromise the security of sensitive, protected and critical data.” The “blueprint” falling “into the wrong hands” could produce a “catastrophic” result, they said.
The letter seemed to strongly indicate that the Supervisors do not think the audit is a serious one, and they say it should be ended because it is harming them and public confidence. They stated they will not attend the meeting on May 18.
A second more technical 17-page letter followed, showing images, examples, and exhibits that further substantiate the answers in the first letter. The technical letter purports to explain, among other things, the auditors’ poor understanding of the supposed database deletions. In fact, the letter explains, there were no deletions, but rather, “Microsoft SQL (MSSQL) Services will often change the ‘metadata’ (additional data on files such as creation date, access date, modified date, owner, etc.) on MSSQL database files based on MSSQL actions that are needed to run the databases.” In other words, the “deletions” can be explained by changes in metadata based on “MSSQL services shutdown time,” as different from when the files were created.
Two screenshots taken from the Arizona Secretary of State 2019 Election Procedures Manual captured in the Arizona Conservatives Take Action telegram room seem to indicate that valid questions about passwords and procedures persist and conflict with what is being presented by the BOS.
One of the rules states that the passwords must be changed regularly and “may not be a vendor-supplied password.” It is unclear from the reading whether the passwords referenced are admin passwords. The rules also state that there can be no “remote access software or any capability to remotely access the system,” which addresses the issue of router security. If there is mapping to protect, it would seem to follow that the routers must be connected to a remote access system.
Statements from officials were included in the technical letter. Chair Jack Sellers and Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone provided statements:
GOP Chair, Kelli Ward, was the featured guest on the Dark to Light Podcast with Frank and Beanz on Monday. She believes the audit is legitimate and unbiased. She stated that when Senate President Fann’s letter “hit the fan because there are so many egregious questions, questionable activity by the County…it was a stinging letter, but it was very professionally written. But what these guys, like Stephen Richer, the new recorder in Maricopa County, Jack Sellers…Arizona’s Bill Gates…They’ve been out there tweeting, trying to explain away their bad decisions that they made after this election, in my opinion.”
Ward also clarified that the “votED database is not the same as the votER database, and Stephen Richer was trying to equate the two. No one has made an accusation that the voter database has been deleted. The concern that Karen Fann raised is that the votED database and the tally that went along with that…appear[s] to be gone from the mainframe of this computer. And the reason she knows that is the client, the client servers—the other little computers that are a part of that network reference it, but it doesn’t exist on the big daddy main part of the computer.”
Cyber Ninjas CEO, Doug Logan who leads the audit, made an emotional appeal on the first day of the audit in April, saying that he “wants a transparent audit to be in place so that people can trust the results so we can get everyone on the same page. If we go through here and we don’t find any fraud, I’m going to be ecstatic.” Many have called him a conspiracy theorist, and he has consistently been a target of derision by the Board of Supervisors in Maricopa County.
CEO of Cyber Ninjas Doug Logan speaks out about the Maricopa County audit.
— Golden Advice 🇺🇸 (@RichardStiller4) April 23, 2021
Reportedly, the Arizona State Senate is now considering expanding their audit to include more than the Senatorial and Presidential races. According to the liaison for the audit, Ken Bennett, the expanded audit would be separate, looking only at the images of all 2.1 million ballots. The audit is on pause for a week because of previous reservations for using the Colosseum for graduation ceremonies this week.
The link to today’s live stream of the audit update meeting can be found in Ward’s tweet below:
Per Sen @FannKfann, TODAY 5/18, the AZ Senate will hold a hearing to get an update on the audit from the vendor, address the questions submitted to #AZSEN & the written response from Maricopa Co BOS. The meeting will start at 1 pm MT live streamed here:https://t.co/o4sjWgX6xR
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) May 18, 2021