The trucks that haul voting machines arrived on Wednesday, April 21, for the election audit, which is set to begin on Friday, the Washington Examiner reported.
The audit resulted from months of fighting by Arizona’s Republican-controlled Senate to launch a full-scale review of ballots cast in Maricopa, the populous county that included Phoenix, where President Joe Biden won by just over two percent of the vote.
The long-awaited hand count and forensic audit of the election in Maricopa County starts Friday. Process will be live-streamed nationally @OANN observers will be non-partisan for full transparency. Glad to support @AZSenateGOP in their efforts. #ElectionIntegrity pic.twitter.com/nqRgyPVuaN
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) April 21, 2021
This is not, however, a recount. Instead, this is a forensic audit that will look at all of Maricopa County’s ballots and voting machines.
The ballots and computers are now in the hands of the Arizona State Senate.
After supporters of former President Donald Trump in the state repeated his allegations that the election was stolen from him due to widespread fraud, the state’s Senate President Karen Fann said the forensic audit would be done independently and would be an open mechanism aimed at restoring voter confidence.
Senate subpoenas to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for information and resources required to conduct the audit have been pending since December 15, 2020. A judge upheld them on February 25.
In mid-March, the state Senate announced that Republicans would conduct a “large and thorough” analysis of Maricopa’s ballots, which would include “testing the machines, scanning the ballots, performing a full hand count, and searching for any IT breaches,” among other things.
According to Fann, the state’s Senate had to fight a legal battle to continue with the audit, which eventually favored Arizona Republicans.
“It’s taken the Senate two and a half months to win in court to uphold our right to issue subpoenas for election materials,” she said, “and another 6 weeks of researching to select the audit team to perform the full forensic audit.”
State Republicans had been subjected to “sabotage” by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Fann added.
Cyber Ninjas was the leading company among a group of firms performing various aspects of the audit.
According to a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner, the company’s CEO Doug Logan thanked the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Arizona Senate for allowing the audit to take place, adding, “I look forward to showing the media that this process is fully accountable and will yield results the public can have confidence in.”
On Wednesday, the Arizona Republican Party declared that the audit process would be observed by “non-partisan for full transparency.”
According to a study released on Wednesday, members of the press who wanted to cover the audit on Friday must work a six-hour shift as an observer.
A reporter with the Arizona Mirror who spoke with former Arizona Senate President and Secretary of State Ken Bennett said a press member must send three letters of recommendation via a sign-up page to become an observer, and no photographs or note-taking will be permitted in the facility beginning Friday. Bennett is the audit’s liaison.