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County To Deliver Ballots To Fairgrounds For Senate Audit

Associated Press | Matt York

Maricopa County will deliver its election equipment to Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday and then cart 2.1 million ballots from the November election to the site Thursday so Republicans in the state Senate can recount the ballots and audit the tabulation machines.

The delivery will kick off weeks of counting at the site rented by the Senate. The county refused to allow the Senate to use its facilities after losing a court fight set off by a Senate subpoena for the election materials.

The county announced it would deliver the materials over two days because of the volume involved. The Senate will use the former Phoenix Suns arena to store election equipment and the 2.1 million 2020 ballots.

Republican Senate President Karen Fann has hired Florida-based Cyber Ninjas — a firm led by a backer of unfounded election fraud theories — to oversee the audit, including a hand recount of ballots.

The Senate will pay only for electricity and personnel at the Coliseum, which it is renting for four weeks beginning on Monday. It also must provide security.

Supporters of President Donald Trump have cast doubt on the Maricopa County election results since Joe Biden’s narrow win last year. But there has been no evidence of widespread fraud. Judges rejected several lawsuits alleging irregularities in the count.

Last month, the county released the results of two new audits of its equipment that showed no malicious software or incorrect counting equipment and that none of the computers or equipment were connected to the internet.

Election administration and security experts said in a letter to Fann early this month that they were “deeply disturbed” by the decision to hire Cyber Ninjas for the audit. The election was conducted securely, and the audit could undermine confidence in U.S. elections, they said.

Cyber Ninjas chief Doug Logan has said his personal views are irrelevant because he intends to conduct a transparent audit.

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