The Senate’s “audit” team presented its report on Sept. 24, 2021. L to R: Ben Cotton of CyFIR, Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas, Randy Pullen. /Photo by Jeremy Duda / Arizona Mirror
By Mary Jo Pitzl and Jen Fifield | Arizona Republic
The Maricopa County election review hit a crescendo Friday when its results were presented to the Arizona Senate Republicans who ordered it in the heated aftermath of last year’s presidential election.
It was a major milestone — if not the end — of the nearly 10-month odyssey pushed largely by election conspiracists loyal to former President Donald Trump, who believed a thorough review would show county elections officials didn’t get it right.
But any hopes for such a conclusion were dashed early by Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, who confirmed in her opening remarks what draft versions of the reports leaked to journalists the day before said: The hand recount of ballots showed Joe Biden won the election in Maricopa County, cementing his win in Arizona.
“That is a true statement. Truth is truth, numbers are numbers,” Fann said as a packed audience in the Senate gallery listened quietly. She added, though, that she believed there were “broken statutes” and flawed election procedures — issues that she would turn over to Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate.
Fann had said from the start of the effort that the goal was only to further election integrity, not overturn the outcome from last November.
The presentations made to Fann and Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, treaded lightly on the actual vote counts and instead focused on issues that the auditors said raised questions about the election process and voter integrity.