IN DEPTH: Experts raise concerns about processes, transparency as election audit begins

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

As the Arizona Senate’s historic recount and audit of the 2020 general election in Maricopa County kicked off, outside the watchful eye of journalists who were banned from attending, election integrity experts raised a number of concerns about what they deemed an alarming lack of policies or knowledge of proper procedures by the auditing team.

After months of legal battles and various other setbacks, the Senate on Friday morning began its long-promised probe into the 2020 election, which Senate President Karen Fann ordered in December. 

No credible evidence has ever emerged indicating fraud, malfeasance or inaccurate counts in the election in Maricopa County. A partial hand count of about 8,100 ballots in November showed a perfect match with the results from the county’s tabulation machines, a forensic audit the county ordered of its machines showed no problems and more than a half dozen lawsuits challenging the election results were rejected by state and federal judges.

Nonetheless, some GOP lawmakers, activists and others espousing baseless claims that the election was rigged against former President Donald Trump — President Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Arizona’s electoral votes since 1996 — demanded that the state investigate the results.

On Thursday night, the head of Fann’s audit team spoke with the media for the first time. The press briefing by Doug Logan, the head of the Florida-based cybersecurity company Cyber Ninjas, and former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is serving as the Senate president’s spokesman and liaison for the audit, left more questions than answers. 

Related: Arizona Democrats call on Ducey, Brnovich to investigate Senate audit  

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