Democratic officials in Arizona are sweating over the upcoming results of the 2020 election audit, and have launched a pair of preemptive strikes against a report that could come as soon as next week according to Politico.
In a Thursday rebuttal, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) tried to poke as many holes as possible in the audit - while also trying to reassure people that ballot equipment was tested before and after the election.
Hobbs called the GOP Senate-led effort "secretive and disorganized," and claimed that they routinely failed to follow best practices for an audit.
"All credible audits are characterized by controls, access, and transparency that allow for the processes and procedures to be replicated, if necessary," reads the rebuttal. "As this report has described, the review conducted by the Senate’s contractors has consistently lacked all three of these factors."
One Republican, Maricopa County recorder Stephen Richer, joined Hobbs with a lengthy rebuttal of his own - an open letter to state Republicans casting doubt on the credentials of the auditors, while also defending his own reputation.
"I will keep fighting for conservatism, and there are many things I would do for the Republican candidate for President, but I won’t lie about the election, and I will not unjustifiably turn my back on the employees of the Board of Supervisors, Recorder’s Office, and Elections Department — my colleagues and friends," he wrote.
Since late April, contractors hired by the Republican-controlled state Senate have been reviewing all the ballots cast in Maricopa County, which President Joe Biden won en route to flipping the state, along with examining election equipment.
The process was initially supposed to take 60 days, but has stretched on well past that. Julie Fischer, a “deputy Senate liaison” for the effort, told POLITICO that the contractors’ report — the firm leading the effort is called Cyber Ninjas — is expected to be submitted to the state Senate on Monday, and a hearing will be scheduled after that.
Election officials in the state have opposed it nearly every step of the way, including Richer, Hobbs and the GOP-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. -Politico
"The only thing that has been consistent about this endeavor has been missed deadlines and having to walk back statements," said Richer at a Thursday presser, adding "Please look into it before taking whatever the Cyber Ninjas produce as gospel."