Maricopa County election audits can last weeks longer than expected and are “indefinite”

Phoenix — The Arizona Senate’s ballot for the approximately 2.1 million Maricopa County general election could expand beyond the initial conclusion of May 14.

Senate Audit Liaison and former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said the audit “has no deadline” on Saturday, and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum has been booked to host several Phoenix High School graduation ceremonies. He said it might be necessary to suspend the recount on May 14th.

According to Bennett, audits headquartered in the Coliseum at the state trade fair will resume in about a week, and the Senate will discuss with state trade fair officials and allow them to use the space “as much as necessary.” He added that he was getting. graduate.

A retreat occurred shortly after Bennett told reporters that despite plans to increase the number of ballot counters and shifts from May 3, workers were confident that they would finish by May 14. I will.

Bennett was unable to provide an estimate of the number of ballots recounted as of Saturday.

Time-consuming process

The hand counter reviewed ballots at about 20 tables on Saturday.

One of the five tables (one put each ballot in turnstile, three counted, one removed each ballot) counted about 50 votes in 12 minutes.

In addition, the downtime to count the ballots was about 10-12 minutes. The next batch of about 50 votes took about 16 minutes to pass.

As a result, it took about 40 minutes for that particular table to pass 100 votes.

View of the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Coliseum Election Recount Floor on Saturday, May 1, 2001.

View of the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Coliseum Election Recount Floor on Saturday, May 1, 2001.

Bennett said staffing from temporary agencies should be placed on up to 46 counttables on May 3rd. This more than doubles the number of counters per shift from 60 to 138. According to Bennett, the counter fills three shifts instead of two shifts a day.

Bennett refused to estimate how long it would take to complete the recount after reaching staff level. “We have the time we need to do it right,” he said.

Election audit: Experts are calling on federal observers for violating voting law

A full audit includes approximately 2.1 million votes in the presidential and US Senate elections, analysis of voter information, and an audit of county voting skills.

Democratic Arizona and county overseer Steve Gallardo has filed a lawsuit to prevent recounting by Republican senators, violates election law, and lacks ballots and protection to protect voter privacy. He said he was doing it.

While the audit continued, a judge in the higher court ordered a private contractor overseeing the Senate audit to: We will disclose the policy and procedure.

On Saturday, two observers from the Secretary of State’s office were monitoring the process on the floor.

Unknown donor investing in audits

The Republican-controlled state legislature has hired Cyber ​​Ninja, a Florida-based technology company with unknown election audit experience, to oversee county audits.

Cyber ​​Ninja CEO Doug Logan History of posting unfounded claims of fraudulent elections onlineInitially said that the hand count took 16 days and expected to provide a complete report in 60 days.

Independent Election Audit Expert He told The Arizona Republic that timeframes and price tags were unrealistic.

Harri Hursti, a data security expert, hacker, and founding partner of Nordic Innovation Labs, said the range of state election audits involved in California and Ohio was narrow, costing $ 2 million each, about three. He said it took months.

Regarding the Arizona Senate audit, Hearsty said, “We cannot provide a high-quality, thorough investigation of these working hours and their costs.”

The Senate has paid Cyber ​​Ninjas $ 150,000 taxpayer money, but unknown donors are also spending money on audits.

Logan said the audit would cost more than $ 150,000, but didn’t say more or who would fund it.

new Recently, a private organization sprouted for $ 2.8 million For payment of the process. says it has already raised $ 1 million, but no donors are listed.

Prominent supporters of former President Donald Trump are also raising funds for audits.

Former Trump administration official and far-right One America News Network current broadcaster Christina Bob and former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell are soliciting donations from their followers.

Republic reporters Jen Fifield, Andrew Oxford, and Maria Poletta contributed to this article.

Please contact reporter Taylor Sealy at [email protected] or 480-476-6116. Follow her on Twitter @ taylorseely95 Or Instagram @ taylor.azc..

This article was originally published in The Arizona Republic: Maricopa County Election Audit Has “Indefinite”

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