Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer Creates PAC to Back GOP Fraud-Deniers

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican who has been very public with his opinion that there was no voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, has formed a PAC to support Republican candidates who also believe there was no voter fraud. Called Pro-Democracy Republicans of Arizona, the only interview he appears to have given about it is to the far left Arizona Mirror. 

The Arizona Sun Times asked him why he was so opposed to investigating the 2020 election for voter fraud, and he responded, “I was consistently opposed to conspiracy theorist partisans with no election experience doing a review.” He referred The Times to a letter he wrote in August.

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Cyber Ninjas Must Turn over Records from the Maricopa County Ballot Audit, State Appeals Court Says

The Arizona Court of Appeals rejected a request from Cyber Ninjas, the company that audited Maricopa County’s ballots, to block a public records request by the media for records from the audit. Phoenix Newspapers Inc., which owns The Arizona Republic, asked for emails and other documents in its April request, which the lower trial court granted. Cyber Ninjas appealed the decision. The appellate court rejected the cyberfirm’s argument that opening its records up for public inspection would allow opening the records of any contractor that does business with the state. 

Jack Wilenchik, Cyber Ninja’s attorney, expressed his disappointment to Capitol Media Services, “The government cannot force private contractors to produce things the government does not own. He said it’s similar to a violation of the Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure.

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Maricopa County Audit Results Reveal Someone Was Caught on Video Illegally Deleting Hundreds of Thousands of Election Files the Day Before the Audit Started

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 on September 24 during a presentation, revealing findings that numerous election laws were broken and security measures breached. 

The most startling finding 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. 

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Threatens Maricopa County Supervisors with Loss of Funding If They Refuse to Comply with Election Subpoena

Following an investigation of the Maricopa County Supervisors refusing to comply with an election audit from the Arizona Senate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich determined that the supervisors violated the law and intends to tell the Arizona Treasurer to withhold their state-shared funds if they don’t comply. Senate Republicans are winding down an independent audit they ordered into the 2020 election investigating the results of Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in the presidential race and Mark Kelly defeating Martha McSally in the U.S. Senate race. The supervisors have fought the audit for months.

“We are notifying the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors that it must fully comply with the Senate’s subpoena as required by the law,” said Brnovich. “Our courts have spoken. The rule of law must be followed.” Brnovich said the supervisors’ “only response was that the Arizona Senate is not currently in session, so MCBOS could not be held in contempt.” The county could lose more than $700 million a year, over a quarter of its $2.7 million budget. 

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Report on Arizona’s Maricopa County Ballots in 2020 Election Delayed, Auditors Have COVID, Report

The report of ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election in Arizona’s Maricopa County has been delayed because the chief executive and two other employees of the audit team reportedly have COVID-19 and are “quite sick.”

A draft report of the findings was expected to be delivered Monday to Republicans in the state Senate, who hired the Florida-based firm Cyber Ninjas to conduct the audit.

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Senate Liaison for Arizona Audit Reverses Course on Stepping Down, Will Remain Under Certain Conditions

Ken Bennett

The former Secretary of State serving as the liaison for the Arizona State Senate Audit, will remain in his capacity as liaison after all. This is the second time that Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) has apparently walked Bennett back from the brink of walking away from the audit. Their latest agreement to keep Bennett on was less publicized than the first; no official statements have been put forth concerning the new terms of Bennett’s role. Per their agreement, Bennett will regain access to the building and may obtain information from the auditing company, Cyber Ninjas, upon request.

As The Arizona Sun Times reported on Thursday, Bennett has gone back and forth over his decision to bow out of the audit. Bennett relayed those sentiments twice this week: once on Monday, then again on Wednesday. Both times, Bennett discussed stepping down from his role with the radio host James Harris on morning episodes of The Conservative Circus. Both times, Bennett said he was liaison “in name only” because he was repeatedly excluded from overseeing critical aspects of the audit.

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Senate Liaison for Arizona Audit Announces He May Step Down

Ken Bennett

On Wednesday, the Arizona Senate’s audit liaison Ken Bennett announced he will step down from the audit. Bennett issued the announcement on Wednesday morning in a radio interview.

Bennett said it was “impossible” to function as liaison, and revealed that volunteer consultant Randy Pullen would be assuming his duties. He said he would be a liaison in name only. Bennett refused to approve any final report on the audit, since he wasn’t allowed inside any longer.

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Twitter Bans Official Arizona Audit Account and Other Audit Accounts

Twitter permanently suspended the account of the official account of the Arizona Legislature’s audit of Maricopa County ballots, along with several other audit accounts on Tuesday. The official account, @ArizonaAudit, is offline, with a message stating it is suspended, as is a second account that appears affiliated with the audit, @AuditWarRoom. 

Four more accounts associated with audits taking place in Wisconsin, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia were suspended, along with some accounts that were fundraising for the audit. One was run by One America News Network’s Christina Bobb. Voices & Votes raised $150,000 for the audit. Bobb tweeted, “They are blocking the release of audit information on Twitter.”

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Maricopa County Official Known for ‘Sharpiegate’ Donated to Democrat Mark Kelly’s U.S. Senate Campaign

Kelly Dixon, assistant director for the Maricopa County Election Department’s recruitment and training division, who admitted she knew there were “issues and concerns” with voters marking ballots with Sharpies, donated to Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ). She earmarked a $100 contribution to him through a donation she gave to the Democratic campaign fundraising organization ActBlue, Headline USA reported on Monday. 

Maricopa County voters complained about poll workers handing them Sharpies on election day that bled through the ballots. Dixon knew ahead of election day that using sharpies to mark a ballot was an issue. In an email dated October 22, she wrote “Starting tomorrow, 10/23, and through 11/2, we are asking the Clerks hand voters BALLPOINT PENS rather than markers.” However, she then said “We NEED to use markers on Election Day.” She did not explain why. Republicans voted on election day in huge numbers last year, driven by fears of voter fraud. A Gallup survey found that 62% of Democrats said they would vote early last fall, compared to only 28% of Republicans. 

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Election Auditors Report Surplus of over 74K Mail-In Ballots, 4K Voters Registered After Deadline, 18K Voters Removed from Rolls Following Election

During the Arizona Senate hearing on the election audit in Maricopa County Thursday morning, audit officials reported discovery of issues such as ballot duplicates and surpluses, voter roll data, and machine security. The audit officials testifying were Senate Liaison Ken Bennett, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, and digital security firm CyFIR founder Ben Cotton. Cyber Ninjas is conducting the audit.

The Arizona Sun Times checked the Arizona legislature website at 8 am MST. The website was down. All that was displayed was an error message that said service was unavailable. The website remained that way until sometime after the Senate hearing began. 

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House Oversight Committee Launches Investigation into Arizona Election Audit

Arizona Democrat Audit

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee announced on Wednesday that they are launching an investigation into the forensic audit of ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The group penned a letter to Douglas Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas Inc — the company hired by the Arizona State Senate to conduct the review of almost 2.1 million ballots.

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The Arizona Republic Sues State Senate, Cyber Ninjas for Election Audit Records

One of Arizona’s largest newspapers is suing the state Senate and the contracted company running the audit, Cyber Ninjas, for access to their election audit records and financial records. The Arizona Republic, part of the Gannett mass media company, filed a special action on Wednesday in the Maricopa County Superior Court – case number LC2021-000180. Reportedly, the Senate denied the paper’s request for access to the audit and financial records, saying they weren’t public record. The specific information they hope to obtain includes the process for the audit, businesses involved, funding sources, and all communications of those involved.

The plaintiffs in the case are Phoenix Newspapers and Kathy Tulumello, news director for The Arizona Republic. Including the state Senate and Cyber Ninjas, the other defendants named are Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott), Senate Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert), and the secretary for the Senate, Susan Aceves. 

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Arizona Election Audit Wraps Up Operations, Moves Out of Coliseum

The Arizona audit is wrapping up its operations and has moved out of its three-month home: the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. For about another week, audit workers will finish up in another building on the fairgrounds, the Wesley Bolin Building. Auditors will be able to use the building until July 14.

Although officials told The Arizona Sun Times that they would be finished by last Saturday, more work popped up after the county submitted additional resources that required review. Randy Pullen, a volunteer consultant to the Arizona Senate for the audit, estimated that they would be done sometime next week. He explained to The Sun Times that the slight delay occurred because the county submitted log reports on duplicate ballots last minute. Those logs showed how many from every batch were taken out by the county for duplication.

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A Recap in the Last Days of the Arizona Audit: Mainstream Media Meddling and ‘Blue Pen Jen’

PHOENIX, Arizona – The most eventful aspect of the Arizona audit appears to have had nothing to do with the audit itself – rather, it was antics from the mainstream media who came to cover it. Officials recounted to The Arizona Sun Times one incident in which several reporters left their designated seating, returned to the entryway, propped open the doors, and took pictures. Later, those reporters published stories claiming that the doors were left wide open during the audit.

After that, The Times was told, officials had to direct some of the Arizona Randers serving as security to escort media and ensure they didn’t roam freely.

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Trump Antagonist Opposes Arizona Election Audit as Justice Department Official

Polling station sign

A foe of former President Donald Trump is leading the Biden Justice Department’s push to discredit or halt an election audit in Arizona’s largest county—an issue that is heating up this week. 

Pamela S. Karlan, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, warned the leader of the Arizona state Senate that the audit of Maricopa County’s election results in November could run afoul of federal law regarding security of voter information and voter intimidation. 

President Joe Biden, who appointed Karlan, narrowly defeated Trump in Arizona, where Maricopa County was a crucial battleground. 

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