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Maricopa County Elections:

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    The Arizona Senate-ordered independent Maricopa County ballot audit of the 2020 presidential election revealed questionable findings, including a Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) employee captured on video deleting – or what officials stated later was archiving – hundreds of thousands of files from an election server the day before that server was to be turned over to the audit. Investigative journalist Lara Logan and technology expert Matt Van Bibber stated at a recent election security forum hosted by We the People AZ Alliance that the employee has been identified, along with a couple of his co-workers who allowed him access into the election server room. Van Bibber, who discovered the information through viewing videos and matching what he saw against server room logs, said the employee was Brian Ramirez, a database administrator at MCED. Van Bibber said Ramirez did not have the required credentials to enter the server room where the computer was, so two other employees gave him access with their card keys. One was Kristi Passarelli, assistant elections director, and the other was an employee named Charles Cooley, who appears...
    In an email exchange with The Arizona Sun Times this week, a Maricopa County Recorder’s office spokesperson may have unwittingly admitted that the county mishandled thousands of ballots from the 2020 general election that one watchdog groups says were accepted after the legal deadline. Megan Gilbertson, the communications director for the Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) – a department of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office – said that the department processed ballots by scanning them into the tabulating machines at MCED before transferring their custody the next day to Runbeck Election Services, which verifies their legitimacy with signature verification. She stated, “Due to the large volumes of early ballots received Election Day, we are scanning in early ballots received by 7 p.m. on Election Day well into the next morning, which is why a transfer of custody document would have a date after Election Day.” In an earlier email, Gilbertson noted that “early ballot envelope signatures that are cured would also be tracked and scanned after Election Day until the curing deadline. None of these ballots would be marked as...
    As ongoing threats by Trump loyalists to subvert elections have dominated the political news, other Republicans in two key states—Florida and Arizona—are taking what could be important steps to provide voters with unprecedented evidence of who won their most close and controversial elections. In both battleground states, in differing contexts, Republicans are lifting the curtain on the data sets and procedures that accompany key stages of vetting voters, their ballots and counting votes. Whether 2020’s election-denying partisans will pay attention to the factual baselines is another matter. But the election records and explanations of their use offer a forward-looking road map for confronting the falsities that attack election results, administrators, and technologies. In Republican-run Florida, the state is finalizing rules to recount votes by incorporating digital images of every paper ballot. The images, together with the paper ballots, create a searchable library to quickly tally votes and identify sloppily marked ballots. Questionable ballots could then be retrieved and examined in public by counting boards to resolve the voter’s intent. “The technology is so promising that it would provide the hard...
    (CNN)Maricopa County officials on Wednesday undercut nearly every claim that cast doubt on the validity of ballots in an error-plagued report that Arizona Senate Republicans had commissioned of the 2020 election.The officials issued a 93-page rebuttal to the claims made by Cyber Ninjas, the company that state Senate Republicans had hired to conduct the election review, and its subcontractors."The truth is the Maricopa County 2020 election was not stolen from Donald Trump," said County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican elected in 2020 who has defended the integrity of an elections office that was overseen by the Democrat he defeated. Its the same story: Wisconsin Republicans secretive review of 2020 election takes lessons from Arizonas conspiracy-laden processPresenting the rebuttal to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in a four-hour meeting Wednesday, county elections officials said that 76 of the 77 claims made in the Cyber Ninjas report were false or misleading.They confirmed one error that Cyber Ninjas had identified: Fifty ballots had been double-counted. They were scanned and tabulated twice by a temporary employee who was among many hired to help...
    Two of Arizona’s top election administrators have issued scathing indictments of a contractor who audited millions of ballots cast in the state’s largest county. The two officials are seeking to undercut a final report from Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired by Arizona’s Republican-controlled state Senate, that they say will be marred by deep flaws. Cyber Ninjas is expected to deliver its initial report Monday on the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in last year's presidential election. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (R) in separate reports castigated the inspection itself as deeply flawed — so much so that Hobbs argued it did not even merit the term “audit.” “Despite frequent refernces to this review as an audit, the exercise undertaken by the Arizona Senate’s Florida-based contractor, Cyber Ninjas, fails to meet industry standards for any credible audit, much less for an election audit,” Hobbs’s office wrote. “The Senate’s contractors demonstrated a lack of understanding of election processes and procedures both at a state and county level.” Hobbs detailed alleged flaws in...
    Maricopa County should “never have approved” the election machines that were subpoenaed in the audit of the county's 2020 election if such an audit review found the machines couldn’t be reused, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said Tuesday. Fann cited the county's previous audit efforts to push against the county’s decision on Monday that election machines subpoenaed as part of a Republican-led state Senate audit will not be reused in future elections over concerns expressed by officials, including Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, that their security has been compromised. “Maricopa County hired firms to perform audits after the 2020 election and relied on their Logic & Accuracy tests (L & A) to declare equipment safe to use and tamper free,” Fann said in the statement. “The County can now use those same L & A tests after the Senate audit. If it can’t, their L & A tests are invalid. And if their machines can’t undergo a forensic audit to verify what happened in an election, then it never should have approved those machines to be used...
    Officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, said Monday that the state's most populous county will replace the voting equipment that was turned over to private contractors for an audit of the 2020 election.  The Republican-led state Senate took control of the county's 2.1 million ballots and voting equipment by subpoena earlier this year. In May, Arizona's Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs urged the county "not to redeploy any of the subpoenaed machines that it turned over to the Senate in any future elections" because it's not clear what procedures were in place "to ensure physical security and proper chain of custody." Maricopa County attorneys said Monday that the Republican-dominated county Board of Supervisors shares Hobbs' concerns. It is not clear at this point how much it may cost to replace the machines or who will pay for the replacements.  "The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the County will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections," Maricopa County said in a statement. "As a result, the County will not use the subpoenaed...
    Maricopa County announced Monday it would replace all of the voting machines used in the 2020 Republican-led election audit due to concerns the handlers of the equipment were allegedly “not certified” and that the systems could be “compromised.” “The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the County will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections,” the county said in a statement. Maricopa County will never use compromised equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections. As a result, the County will not use the tabulation equipment subpoenaed by the Arizona Senate in any future elections. Read more: https://t.co/47bg4J00MG — Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) June 28, 2021 Democratic Arizona Sec. of State Kate Hobbs sent a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in May expressing concerns about the election equipment that was subpoenaed by the state. “I have grave concerns regarding the security and integrity of these machines, given that the chain of custody, a critical security tenet, has been compromised and election officials do not know what was...
    (CNN)Maricopa County, Arizona, announced Monday that it will not reuse any of the voting equipment that was in the hands of the contractors hired by the Republican-controlled state Senate to conduct its so-called audit of the 2020 presidential election results. In a letter sent to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on behalf of the Maricopa County Supervisors, the county attorney said they shared Hobbs' concerns about the "future use by Maricopa County of the election equipment that was subpoenaed by the Arizona Senate, because they placed it under the control of persons not certified to handle election equipment in the United States, such as the Cyber Ninjas and others." "The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the County will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections," reads a statement posted on Maricopa County's website, "As a result, the County will not use the subpoenaed equipment in any future elections." Neither the letter nor the statement mention the potential cost of replacing the machines or who would be responsible for covering it. Maricopa...
                        FRANKLIN, Tennessee — Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-District 11) told a group of nearly 100 gathered in middle Tennessee that it has been revealed that our elections have been open to manipulation and for much longer than we knew, long before November 2020. Finchem said that “while many might think it’s a curse, America has been given a gift.” “Had the puppet masters not miscalculated in their manipulation of elections on such a massive scale, and had they not had such a bitter hatred for Donald J. Trump, we might never have known about the pervasive, systemic failures of election systems that we trusted to deliver free and fair elections. That, my friends, is the gift,” said Finchem. Finchem is the Arizona House member who spearheaded the investigation into Maricopa County’s November 2020 election, which began with a 10 ½ hour hearing held on November 30, 2020, the video for which is remarkably still available on YouTube. Finchem was invited to speak at the Nashville Sentinels‘ monthly...
    Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, sent a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Thursday warning that she may decertify the election machines used by the county in the 2020 election that were turned over to the organization conducting the Arizona State Senate audit of those election results. Hobbs wrote in her letter: I am writing to express my concerns about Maricopa County’s election equipment that was turned over to Senate President Karen Fann and Senator Warren Petersen and their agent, Cyber Ninjas, pursuant to the January 12, 2021 subpoena, including components of the certified Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5B voting system. I understand Cyber Ninjas has begun returning the election equipment to the County. I have grave concerns regarding the security and integrity of these machines, given that the chain of custody, a critical security tenet, has been compromised and election officials do not know what was done to the machines while under Cyber Ninjas’ control. Indeed, such loss of custody constitutes a cyber incident to critical infrastructure—an event that could jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, or...
    Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs Arizona Senate Republicans intended their fake “audit” of Maricopa County’s 2020 election to carry costs in voters’ confidence in elections and to undermine the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s win in the state. But it will carry major financial costs for the state as well. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has now told Maricopa County that all of the voting equipment seized for the “audit” should be replaced, due to serious security concerns. In a Thursday letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Hobbs wrote, “I have grave concerns regarding the security and integrity of these machines, given that the chain of custody, a critical security tenet, has been compromised and election officials do not know what was done to the machines while under Cyber Ninjas’ control.” Given that the head of Cyber Ninjas has publicly embraced “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theories and retweeted predictions that recounting Arizona would deliver Donald Trump hundreds of thousands of extra votes, it’s not a stretch to worry about what the company is doing intentionally to the machines—to say nothing of the...
    The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors refused an invitation to meet with the Arizona State Senate to discuss how to resolve issues surrounding a State Senate authorized audit of the November 3, 2020 election results in Maricopa County in a sharply worded letter sent on Monday. “We will not attend your meeting on May 18, 2021,” the supervisors wrote. “In your letter, you invite us to attend a meeting at the Arizona State Capitol on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., and you request that we bring Election Department officials who would have knowledge of our elections procedures,” they continued. “We will not be attending. We will not be responding to any additional inquiries from your ‘auditors.’ Their failure to understand basic election processes is an indication you didn’t get the best people to perform in your political theatre.” “We have wasted enough County resources. People’s tax dollars are real, your ‘auditors’ are not,” the supervisors asserted in the letter. As Breitbart News reported last week: The president of the Arizona State Senate asked the chairman of the Maricopa Board of...
    Savannah Rychcik May 18, 2021 0 Comments The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, led by Republicans, in Arizona says the state Senate’s audit of its 2020 presidential election results is “harming” them and should be brought to an end. “We express our united view that your ‘audit’, no matter what your intentions were in the beginning, has become a spectacle that is harming all of us,” officials wrote in a letter. They added, “Our state has become a laughingstock. Worse, this ‘audit’ is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic.” The officials accused the state Senate of repeatedly losing control “of your twitter account, which has tweeted things that appear to be the rantings of a petulant child — not the serious statements of a serious audit.” They continued, “None of this is inspiring confidence. None of this will cause our citizens to trust elections. In fact, it is having the opposite result.” Claiming the “auditors” do not “have the experience necessary to conduct an audit of an election,” the officials also...
    The consulting firm picked to lead the GOP-led Arizona Senate's recount of 2.1 million ballots from the 2020 election in Maricopa County released its privacy policies for ensuring voter privacy in compliance with a court order. Florida-based Cyber Ninjas released three documents on Thursday, one day after county Judge Daniel Martin denied its request to keep the documents sealed as part of a lawsuit brought by Arizona Democrats. Martin offered one day for an appeal, but lawyers representing the firm declined, the Associated Press reported. The company said, "Our goal is for the public to be able to read the documents themselves and see that the process and the procedures are sound," according to a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner. The three documents include an overview of procedures for hand recounting Maricopa County’s ballots, collecting and handling digital evidence, and securing the county ballots and tabulation machines at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the audit is being conducted. Attorney Dan Barr said Cyber Ninjas withheld one document, Exhibit D9, which reportedly contains "sensitive security information" and was...
    A surveillance video shows people rummaging through dumpsters outside of a tabulation and election center as Arizona's Maricopa County insists that its 2020 election materials are safe and in storage. The fourth-most populous county in the United States, which has been a hot zone for audits and recounts over concerns about voter fraud, is preparing 2020 election materials for an independent forensic audit to be conducted by the Arizona State Senate's Republicans, who first demanded materials in subpoenas filed in December. With plans for how that audit will proceed still in flux, and conspiracy theories spreading in right-wing circles about illegally shredded ballots being found in the dumpsters, the Maricopa County Elections Department released a video on March 9 of the dumpster divers in action. The footage taken Friday afternoon shows two women at the main entrance of the building. One of the women took photos and is seen talking to someone inside. She is handed a piece of paper, which elections officials said was a voter registration form. DUMPSTER DIVE PROMPTS MARICOPA COUNTY TO TRASH CLAIMS OF ILLEGALLY SHREDDED...
    The Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, found that the state's Senate Republicans' subpoenas of election materials and equipment are "legal and enforceable." "The Court finds that Subpoenas are legal and enforceable. There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas," Judge Timothy Thomason said Friday in a readout following a Thursday hearing on the issue. "The Subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas. The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections," the court's conclusion added. The GOP-backed county board requested Thomason to nullify the subpoena issued by the Senate. They argued the ballots are sealed under laws the Legislature passed and the Senate does not have a right to access them, claiming it would be illegal. "The Arizona legislature clearly has the power to investigate and examine election reform matters. Accordingly, the Senators have the power to subpoena material as part of an inquiry into election reform measures," the judge said in his review. The Senate's subpoenas did not violate the separation of powers principles and subpoenaed materials would not...
    By BOB CHRISTIE, Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors asked a court late Friday to quash a state Senate subpoena that seeks access to 2.1 million ballots from November's election and access to its elections equipment, calling the effort by the Senate a sham. The move comes as the Republican-controlled Senate is poised as early as Monday to find the five members of the GOP-dominated Board in contempt. They would then be subject to arrest and could conceivably be jailed until the end of the legislative session. The developments follow Senate efforts to continue pushing reviews prompted by the many Republicans who subscribe to unfounded claims that President Joe Biden won Arizona because of problems with vote counting. GOP senators say they're just trying to boost voter confidence in elections. The board has already turned over a massive amount of data requested by the Senate as it seeks to perform an outside audit of the election that saw former President Donald Trump lose in the state. Republicans continue to raise unfounded claims of potential fraud...
    PHOENIX (AP) — A Wednesday hearing has been scheduled for a judge to hear arguments in the Arizona Republican Party’s lawsuit seeking to change how Maricopa County conducts a hand-count audit of a sampling of ballots as a quality control measure. The party wants the sample measured on a precinct level, rather than among the county’s new vote centers, which let people vote at any location across the county. The county is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the audit has already been completed, the GOP waited too long to file their challenge and warned it would be time consuming to open bags of ballots to figure out the precincts in which they were cast. While Maricopa County faces a Nov. 23 deadline for certifying its elections results, GOP lawyers argue the certification could be postponed until its issues are resolved. Maricopa County plans to certify its results on Thursday or Friday. In a separate case in Maricopa County, a judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday in a lawsuit that asks a court to let one voter recast her...
    Getty Infowars founder Alex Jones speaks into a bullhorn at the Texas State Capital building on April 18, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Alex Jones is the conspiracy theorist who appeared at a rally in support of Donald Trump at the Maricopa County Elections Department on November 5. Jones, 46, the Texas-based founder of InfoWars, has been an outspoken supporter of Trump ever since the president announced his candidacy for president in 2015. Speaking to NBC Phoenix, multiple protesters that they are seeking for election officials to be held “accountable” for their actions. At the time of writing, both Fox News and the Associated Press have called Arizona for former Vice President Joe Biden. On November 5, Biden’s lead in the state decreased. Neither Fox News and or the AP have rescinded their calls. Alex Jones leading the chant, “BIDEN FOR PRISON” outside the Maricopa County election center pic.twitter.com/QTbEoDCCJi — Tristan Justice (@JusticeTristan) November 6, 2020 November 5 marked the second day of protests outside of the counting facility. Around 10 p.m. Eastern Time, Twitter users...
    ARMED #SharpieGate conspiracy theorists stormed polling stations in Arizona claiming they were given the wrong pens invalidating their ballots. Trump supporters reportedly claimed that Maricopa County gave voters Sharpie markers to interfere with their ballots. 6Trump supporters gather to protest the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on Wednesday nightCredit: Getty Images - Getty 6Eliza Luna, a ballot designer with the Maricopa County Elections Department, counts ballotsCredit: Reuters 6Maricopa County Elections Department said they provided the felt pens as they have the fastest drying ink Some MAGA fans claimed they were targeted because they supported the Republican nominee but election officials pointed out that using a felt tip pen would have no effect on a person's vote. Pictures and videos showed armed MAGA supporters protesting the election results at the Maricopa County Elections Department office in Phoenix, Arizona. The protest event was organized after yesterday's vote narrowly turned for the Democrats in the presidential and Senate races. Things got so heated, reporters at the Maricopa vote were reportedly evacuated and the facility was forced into lockdown. Despite the protest, Maricopa County Elections Department said...
    Voters in Maricopa County, Arizona, showed up on November 4 to protest at the Maricopa County Elections Department office as allegations of election fraud and irregularities circulate following the November 3 presidential election. About 150 voters, and potentially more, arrived at the election office to protest. They broke out in chants of “Fox News sucks!” and “Shame on Fox!” after the Fox News Channel called the state of Arizona for Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden. There remain more than 600,000 votes still uncounted in Arizona, according to state election officials, and Trump only trails Biden by about 14,000 votes. The Trump campaign has said they are confident outstanding votes will help them take the state from Biden. Voters are planning to gather in multiple swing state counties — including Atlanta, Georgia; Phoenix, Arizona; Detroit, Michigan; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — demanding open, transparent, and accurate counts of votes. Trump supporters are outside of the Maricopa County Elections Department demanding to be let inside as ballots are being counted. #azfamily #Election2020 pic.twitter.com/HjyN7ufy23 — Kim Powell (@KimPowellTV) November 5, 2020 Just walked out...
    Dozens of pro-Trump protesters marched outside the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix after tension arose over the results from the presidential election. Reporter Justin Lum of KSAZ-TV posted video of the peaceful demonstration on Wednesday. Trump supporters waved American flags and Trump campaign signs while chanting "four more years," in support of the re-election campaign. Other video showed them chanting "shame on Fox!" which could have been in reference to controversy over the Fox News channel declaring Arizona a victory for Joe Biden. Pro-Trump rally starting at Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. At least one guy wielding military-style rifle. Some chanti… https://t.co/EMCpdPWnQ1 — Simon Romero (@Simon Romero)1604543025.0 Protesters then marched to the Maricopa County Recorder's building where officials were still counting the ballots from the election.About 200 people now gathering in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department. #AZ2020 https://t.co/HF8MAzdhKB — Gadi Schwartz (@Gadi Schwartz)1604546695.0Outside the building, speakers encouraged Trump supporters and mocked the media. Image Source: YouTube screenshot Police officers guarded the front of the building to keep protesters...
    The Republican Attorney General's Office in Arizona is investigating complaints from some Maricopa County voters that their ballots may have been discarded because they were filled out with a Sharpie, a brand of permanent marker that President Trump is famous for using. In a Wednesday letter from Deputy Solicitor General Michael S. Catlett to Scott Jarrett, the Maricopa County elections director, the prosecutor's office requested information on the validity of ballots filled out with the markers by Thursday, Nov. 5. BALLOTS TAKEN FROM MAILBOXES IN ARIZONA FOUND BY FARM WORKER, OFFICIALS SAY The discarding of such ballots would take on heightened importance in Arizona, a traditionally red state that Fox News called for Trump's Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, placing him closer to the White House. The president's reelection campaign has maintained that Trump can win the state and called for heightened transparency into the counting of ballots there. Maricopa is the largest county in Arizona, home to the state capital of Phoenix and 62% of its 7.28 million residents. "We have received hundreds of voter complaints regarding the use of Sharpie brand markers ('Sharpies') to fill out ballots on...
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