Maricopa County Audit Report Expected in August
Maricopa County Audit Report Expected in August

By Zachary Stieber

The final report for the 2020 election audit taking place in Arizona’s largest county is not expected to be out until August, an official involved with the work says.

Led by Cyber Ninjas, which was hired by the Arizona Senate, auditors are working on evaluating ballots after finishing their ballot recount, save less than 100 braille ballots.

The ballot evaluation is supposed to wrap up by the end of June—the Senate is slated to vacate the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the audit is taking place, by July 1—but there will be a few weeks worth of additional work after that, Ken Bennett, a former Arizona Republican secretary of state, told The Epoch Times.

“We’ve got the remainder of June to do what we’re doing here at the coliseum. Then there’s a few weeks probably of work on checking the envelope signatures, and looking at voter registration anomalies, and this work that we want to do on the retabulation, so maybe that takes up some or most of July, and then the auditors are going to need a few to several weeks to put the report together,” said Bennett, the Arizona Senate’s liaison for the audit.

Cyber Ninjas, which has not returned requests for comment, said in documents sent to the Senate that it estimated the audit would take approximately 35 days, followed by a five-day period to produce the final report.

Auditors were set to start their 34th day of work on Friday. The audit started on April 23 but the teams had to leave the coliseum for approximately 9 days in May as high school graduations took place. Auditors resumed work on May 24.

No details about the final report are included in the documents from Cyber Ninjas. Bennett said the report would be “massive.”

“It’s going to very in-depth,” he added.

Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 6, 2021. (Matt York/AP Photo/Pool)

It’s not clear how much extra funding will be needed due to the audit running over the original projected period of time. Private money is helping fund the audit.

Arizona lawmakers are waiting for the results of the audit to inform future election-related bills.

People involved in the audit are not sure yet where the work in July will take place, according to Bennett. A large building like the coliseum is not needed for the type of work being planned.

Randy Pullen, a former Arizona Republican Party chairman who is acting as a spokesman for the audit, told reporters at the coliseum that data from the election machines will be analyzed in Washington at the offices of CyFIR, a subcontractor working on the audit. Some data will be reviewed at the Cyber Ninjas’ offices in Florida.

One potential expansion of the audit is still being considered.

The Arizona Senate is still mulling whether to hire a California nonprofit called Citizens’ Oversight to run a computer retabulation of ballot images. That count would then be compared with the numbers the audit teams come up with and the original tabulation.

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