By Isabel Van Brugen
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said on July 13 that the number of ballots counted in the audit of the 2020 general election differs from the tally by Maricopa County officials, and that the discrepancy has prompted the election review team to acquire new machines to recount the ballots.
“They haven’t released a number yet,” Fann, a Republican, told KTAR Radio. “However, we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point.”
Jack Sellers, the chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that he wasn’t surprised by the claim.
“While experienced professionals at the County used the latest certified tabulation technology and established processes to count almost 2.1 million ballots in accordance with Arizona law, the Senate contractors have taken a different approach,” he said. “They’ve cycled through processes and procedures, chasing conspiracy theories while volunteers with no elections experience tried to accurately count votes as they spun by on turntables.
“Elections experts from across the country have said this method is flawed and will produce incorrect results.”
The Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus also pushed back against Fann’s remarks, writing in a Twitter post, “This is a lie.”
The caucus didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
According to Maricopa County’s official canvass (pdf), there were 2,089,563 ballots cast in its 2020 general election.
Fann’s remarks come as the ballots cast in Arizona’s largest county in the 2020 election were set to be counted for a third time on orders from the state’s Senate.
The ballots submitted in Maricopa County for the presidential contest were tabulated, as normal, by election officials. They were recounted by hand by audit teams hired by the state Senate in a process that was completed late last month.
The Senate was set to conduct its own recount, which will provide a number to compare with those from the county and from the auditors, and focuses on the number of ballots and not the actual votes, unlike the first two tabulations.
The Senate is using two counting machines that it purchased to complete the count.
Maricopa County officials oppose the audit. The county Board of Supervisors called for it to end in May. County officials announced recently that they would replace all of the election machines afterward because of concerns about the equipment being probed by auditors.
Fann told conservative radio host Mike Broomhead that the new count would begin on July 13.
She defended Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, which was hired to lead the audit team and which critics say has insufficient audit experience.
“I’m confident because it’s not just them,” said Fann. “Everybody keeps just counting on them, when actually they are working with a number of other contractors that have experience in audits and in their expertise in their own fields … This is a joint effort.”
Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the Senate’s audit liaison, didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.