Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, launched another attack on the Republican-controlled Arizona State Senate’s audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results Monday, and complained election officials in other states are concerned they may soon be subject to similar audits.
The audit, which began on April 23 in the Phoenix Memorial Coliseum, resumed on Monday after a one-week hiatus because the facility was used for high school graduations during that time.
“We have election officials across the country that we’re talking to that are very concerned about this coming to their states, and are looking at Arizona to see how they might be able to stop it if it does,” Hobbs told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Monday.
Hobbs criticized the way ballots were stored during the hiatus in an article published at the Hill on Tuesday:
“Where the ballots were being stored, it was not a facility that was suitable for storage, because everything was exposed to heat and also humidity because of the method of cooling in the building,” Hobbs said in an interview Monday, as auditors resumed their process. “Any time you’re doing any process like this, the idea of having to start and stop, that interruption, we were already concerned that there were a lot of procedures that were changing and errors that were happening, and I think this increases the chance for those errors.”
Randy Pullen, a former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party who is handling media requests for the audit team, said storing ballots in trailers had been the team’s plan from the beginning.
“The reason we had them in the trailers was because they had really good air conditioning in there,” Pullen said. “It’s water-cooled air conditioning, so that puts a little more humidity in the air than normal. But it wasn’t a lot of humidity, we were checking it.”
In an op-ed published at Azfamily.com on Monday, Hobbs continued her criticism of the Arizona State Senate’s audit of the Maricopa County 2020 election results:
This entire exercise is a political stunt that has only served to cast doubt on the integrity of our elections. Even worse, it has turned into a huge money-making venture, with funds pouring into a 501(c)(4) organization, meaning it will be impossible to know who is funding the operation or where the funds go, and the longer this continues, the more money they’ll be able to raise.
Let me be clear: I have no opposition to a valid and reliable recount/audit using best practices. Elections are complicated, which is why we have laws and rules in place to ensure that election processes, including recounts and audits, are done in a way that is uniform, consistent and accurate.
That’s why in March, when it became apparent that this runaway train would not be stopped, my office offered to enlist national experts to help craft procedures and offer support. It took litigation to get election experts involved as observers, and what they have seen confirms my worst fears – ballots being left unattended on tables during the counting process and stored in areas that are not adequately secured, Wi-Fi capable routers near servers with voter data, changing procedures and a lack of training. All of which confirm that this is not an audit in any sense of the word. The perpetrators of this farce have chosen to write the playbook as they go along. The lack of clear procedures means we don’t know how they are actually conducting their audit.
The Arizona State Senate’s audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County, where two million of the the state’s million votes were cast, has been contentious since it began, as Breitbart News reported:
The audit of Maricopa County’s November 2020 election results ordered by the Arizona State Senate began on April 23 and . . . has been vigorously resisted by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and election officials, all of whom refused to attend a hearing to which they were invited [in a May 13 letter] and asked to address election audit issues on Tuesday [May 18] presided over by Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann. . .
The meeting was held on Tuesday, despite the failure of any Maricopa County officials to attend.
“We hoped that this meeting would have been a little bit different today, because we had so many questions, you had questions. Unfortunately, the [Maricopa County] Board of Supervisors did not want to join us,” Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann said to open the meeting at the Arizona State Capital on Tuesday.
On Friday, “[l]egal counsel for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors sent a ‘litigation hold and preservation notice’ letter to Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann.”
As Breitbart News reported:
President Joe Biden was certified the winner of Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes in the November 2020 election over former President Donald Trump by a margin of fewer than 11,000 votes out of 3.3 million votes cast.
Two million of those votes were cast in Maricopa County, where Biden’s margin over Trump was a little more than 45,000 votes.
Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election when a joint session of Congress convened on January 6-7, 2021, and counted 306 Electoral College votes for Biden and 232 for Trump.
Had Trump won Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes (where Biden’s margin of victory was less than 11,000 votes), Georgia’s 16 electoral college votes (where Biden’s margin of victory was less than 12,000 votes), and Wisconsin’s 10 electoral college votes (where Biden’s margin of victory was less than 21,000 votes), the Electoral College contest would have been a 269 to 269 tie, which would have thrown the election into the House of Representatives, where each state delegation has one vote.
Political leaders and activists in several other states where Joe Biden narrowly defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 election are now pushing full or partial audits.
In Georgia, for instance, Breitbart News reported that on Friday, “A Georgia judge is allowing officials to audit roughly 145,000 absentee ballots cast in Fulton County in the 2020 election, attempting to ensure the integrity and security of the state’s elections.”
Last week former State Rep. Vernon Jones, a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Georgia, called for a full forensic audit of 2020 election results in that state.
Sources tell Breitbart News that Republican state legislators in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, are considering similar calls for forensic audits of 2020 election results in their states.