An “emergency meeting” in Maricopa County on Thursday prompted suspicion from Arizona Republicans eager for an audit of the 2020 election.
The Arizona Republican Party and its chairwoman, Trump ally Kelli Ward, issued snarky responses to the announcement that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors would be seeking legal advice one day after the Republican-led state Senate announced that it hired four auditing firms to recount 2.1 million ballots.
“Update: I certainly hope that this 10AM ’emergency session’ of the BOS called after 4PM yesterday is to use the Maricopa Tabulation Center & allow the subpoenaed documents, technology, & information to be fully audited there. But I doubt it will be…,” Ward said in a tweet.
“All of these closed ’emergency sessions’ should be open to the public. Government behind closed doors doesn’t work,” the Arizona GOP account said in response.
The county’s attorney, Stephen Tully, issued a letter afterward saying there is no deal to have the audit take place at their facility.
“There is no agreement regarding performing the audit at Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (‘MCTEC’) and the request to perform any audit, recount or other related activities at MCTEC is beyond the scope of the subpoenas issued,” he wrote.
He further wrote that the county is “prepared” to talk about the delivery of the materials to the senators’ custody at a non-county-owned location of their choosing. Tully also said the Senate has yet to provide information about the audit and those who are conducting it.
UPDATE After ’emergency meeting,’ Maricopa County tells Senate Republicans: Tell us where to deliver ballots & election equipment, b/c there’s no deal to do audit work in our building. (Nothing on issues with audit leader). LETTER https://t.co/WPh1TicAKk pic.twitter.com/yvKP26CJcn
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik)
April 2, 2021
The partisan audit, opposed by Democrats as a “dangerous fishing expedition,” comes nearly five months after the 2020 election. Allies of former President Donald Trump are still fighting to investigate possible issues with the contest, even with election officials stressing no widespread issues and the courts rejecting a slew of election fraud lawsuits.
Weeks after receiving a favorable ruling from a judge in the face of opposition from the GOP-led Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Senate President Karen Fann revealed on Wednesday the hiring of “a qualified team consisting of Wake Technology Services, Inc., CyFIR, LLC, Digital Discovery, and Cyber Ninjas, Inc. to conduct the audit.”
According to a document obtained by NBC affiliate 12 News, the GOP Senate’s audit with Cyber Ninjas will cost $150,000. The source of the funding was not immediately clear. Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan has reportedly been an active promoter of unverified claims alleging widespread election fraud in the general election last year.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has already conducted two separate forensic audits of the 2020 election, though the Senate GOP contends it needs to conduct its own separate audit with a trusted group in order to restore faith in the voting system among constituents.