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Audit of Maricopa County election equipment approved Wednesday

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Posted at 11:29 AM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 00:28:29-05

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Elections Department says the Board of Supervisors has approved an audit of tabulation equipment following the 2020 election.

The decision was made with a unanimous vote during a formal meeting held on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

The "multi-layered forensic audit" will include a software, hardware, and financial review of the systems. According to information from the meeting, it will analyze vulnerabilities, check for malware and internet communications, and confirm that no vote-switching occurred.

The information also shows that it will verify State and County procurement code for the equipment's lease.

The Board of Supervisors says the county will hire two independent firms, Pro V&V and SLI Compliance, both certified by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, to do independent audits.

Officials also say a "reputable Certified Public Accountant firm" will review county contracts with Dominion Voting Services.

The first audit will begin on Feb. 2, and the second audit will begin on Feb. 8.

Maricopa County election officials say multiple steps were taken throughout the year "to ensure the integrity of the November General Election in Maricopa County." The county website details eight different dates and major actions taken, ensuring the integrity of the election.

Eleven different complaints were brought against the board after the November election, and "each case was dismissed by the courts or withdrawn by the plaintiffs," the county said.

"Prior to November, there were no complaints about the accuracy of the county’s tabulation equipment, which was also used in elections in March, May and August," according to officials.

Allegations of voter fraud were rampant following the November election, but no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could have changed results of the election was detected.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer released a statement regarding the forensic audit, saying in part:

"To this end, since taking office just three weeks ago, I've worked with my partners in election administration, the Board of Supervisors, to design a forensic audit of the election tabulation equipment and software. The Board has statutory authority over the tabulation equipment, and it is therefore ultimately the Board's decision on whether or not to proceed. But I fully support the audit as designed; I applaud the Board's decision to hold a vote, and I will direct the Recorder's Office to assist with the audit where possible.

Such an audit is not required by law. Additionally, no significant problems have been identified by the numerous lawsuits filed and already-performed audits. In fact, the hand count audit of approximately 47,000 votes yielded a 100% match with the machine-tabulated results.

Nonetheless, I believe the Board's audit is needed to build confidence in the election process and to further improve election administration in our county, which is the second largest voting jurisdiction in the United States."