By Mary Jo Pitzl & Ronald J. Hansen | Arizona Republic
Maricopa County’s vote-counting machines were not connected to the internet during the 2020 election, an independent review has found, further undercutting claims by former President Donald Trump and his allies that the results were “rigged.”
A trio of technology experts overseen by an impartial special master found no evidence of an internet connection, according to results of the review released Wednesday.
That echoes the county’s long-standing position as well as the findings of independent audits the county conducted a year ago. It also dispels unproven theories from election deniers that the tabulation machines were hooked up to the internet and therefore susceptible to hacking to throw the election to Joe Biden.
Biden won Maricopa County by 45,109 votes, according to the official results.
In a statement, Bill Gates, a Republican who chairs the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said “the unanimous conclusions of this expert panel should be a final stake in the heart of the Senate’s so-called ‘audit.’
“Whenever impartial, independent and competent people have examined the county’s election practices, they have found no reason to doubt the integrity of those practices. The Board of Supervisors remains committed to free and fair elections that conform to federal and state laws.”
Senate President Karen Fann, a Prescott Republican who helped negotiate a settlement that allowed scrutiny of the county’s routers, said she had not read the report as of early Wednesday evening and could not comment.
However, she noted that this is not the final chapter of the Senate’s scrutiny of the 2020 election. The Senate is still waiting for Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office to finish his investigation, based off the findings of the Senate’s contractor, the Cyber Ninjas.