Arizona audit spreading mistrust in election process across the country, officials warn

Florida-based firm Cyber Ninjas has been ordered to make public all documentation regarding its audit of Maricopa County’s Nov. 3 presidential ballots. /Photo courtesy of Maricopa County Elections Department

By Sara Edwards | Cronkite News

Mistrust in Arizona’s Nov. 3 presidential election and the months-long audit it spawned have spread across the country, with politically driven efforts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Texas, the executive director of Secure Democracy said Wednesday.

Secure Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to improve U.S. election integrity, held a virtual press conference the day after the Arizona Supreme Court ordered that all audit documents be made public. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer provided further insight into the audit process and Cyber Ninjas, the Florida company the state Senate hired to run the “forensic audit” of more than 2 million ballots.

“Twenty-five state legislatures have introduced legislation allowing the legislature and other partisan actors to exert greater control over the conduct of elections,” said Sarah Walker of Secure Democracy. “The threat of financial or criminal sanctions will certainly and likely deter local officials from taking necessary actions to ensure voter freedom and ensure that voters have sufficient access in our democratic process.”

The Arizona audit has captured the attention of former President Donald Trump and his allies, who – despite any proof – continue to claim the Nov. 3 election was stolen from him.

This is the third audit of Maricopa County votes. Although the first two found no issue with the total vote count, the state Senate insisted on conducting another.

Walker said Secure Democracy will continue to work with state-level allies to stop election subversion efforts across the country, which she said are wildly unpopular with voters.


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September 2021