Arizona Senate Republicans issued the results of the independent ballot audit they conducted of the 2020 presidential and U.S. Senate election in Maricopa County Friday during a presentation, showing findings that numerous election laws were broken and security measures breached.
One of the most startling findings came from Ben Cotton, the founder of CyFIR. He said hundreds of thousands of election files — which the Maricopa County Supervisors refused to allow the auditors to examine — were deleted the day before the audit began, a violation of federal law which requires federal election records to be retained for 22 months. Although the name of the account that deleted them was not tied to a specific election worker, Cotton said there is video of the person who accessed those servers at that time.
Cotton said the flaws in security were so serious that the voting machines could have been hacked within minutes. “The vulnerabilities that exist on these systems would take an average script kitty less than ten minutes to get access to these systems,” Cotton said. “Our election systems were not secured, I assure you.”
The audit report consisted of an analysis of voters’ signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes, a report from Cyber Ninjas focusing on duplicate ballots and extra ballots, CyFIR’s report on security problems, the results of the ballot hand count, and an analysis of which laws were broken.
Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) and Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) conducted the proceedings. Petersen pointed out that while it’s the largest audit of its kind ever, it’s “not a complete audit due to the lack of cooperation and obstruction from the county.”
Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai of EchoMail presented the analysis of signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes. He painstakingly showed how the acceptance rate of ballots with questionable signatures got increasingly sloppier as the days went on leading up to the election and afterwards, until it was clearly violating the law as to what ballots were being accepted.
He found that 17,126 voters had their votes erroneously recorded twice — but the official Maricopa County results showed no record of that. Notably, there was a huge surge of these duplicate ballots accepted in the four days after the election. Joe Biden won the presidential election in Arizona by just over 10,400 votes. Ayyadurai’s 99-page report ended with listing several anomalies, and demanding answers from the Maricopa County Supervisors regarding them.
Doug Logan, the CEO of CyberNinjas, discussed several discrepancies, including around 9,000 more ballots received than had been mailed out, and about 255,000 early votes that had no corresponding entry in the system.
Cotton’s presentation on cybersecurity was next, where he went over a long list of security breaches, including shared accounts, shared passwords, and remote access. He said he could not make a full determination on many of the discrepancies, such as atypical anonymous logins, because the Supervisors refused to turn over key logs. Some of the deleted files included presidential votes. He found that contrary to the Supervisors’ claims, the machines were used to access the internet — thousands of times. There were bootable hard drives that hadn’t been approved, which contained election information from other states, Washington and South Carolina.
Former Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen, an accountant, said the hand count came up with close to the same results as the official count. Biden ended up with 99 extra votes and Trump 261 fewer votes.
Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the official liaison between the Senate Republicans and the independent audit, explained how various laws were violated, including A.R.S. 16-550, which states that an election worker “shall compare the signatures” on the envelope returning a ballot with the voter registration records for that voter. Maricopa County did not provide a chain of custody for the ballots as required by A.R.S. 16-621(E). Approximately 2,500 duplicated ballots did not contain a discernible serial number, violating A.R.S. 16-621(A). There were also laws violated with duplicate ballots, accepting ballots that were not signed, and voters who were ineligible casting ballots.
Fann ended the session saying she had turned over the evidence to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Brnovich issued a statement immediately in response, “I will take all necessary actions that are supported by the evidence and where I have legal authority. Arizonans deserve to have their votes accurately counted and protected.”
Watch the full presentation:
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