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Arizona auditors backtrack, say no election data destroyed

Maricopa County election audit
Posted at 4:37 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 01:50:00-04

PHOENIX — Of all the claims and accusations flying between the Arizona State Senate and Maricopa County one has stood out; the viral claim made on social media that the county deleted databases associated with the 2020 election. A claim former President Donald Trump picked up on.

The Maricopa county board of supervisors aggressively pushed back, releasing a technical explanation that refutes the claims made by the audit’s social media account. Today at a hearing presided over by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, the subcontractor tasked with the forensic audit of election data admitted that the forensic image of the server was not properly configured, which caused the data to appear deleted.

Ben Cotton founder of digital forensic firm CyFIR testified that while bit by bit copies of the hard drives were successfully made, the firm did not know the RAID configuration of the drives and the county did not provide it. RAID or Redundant Array of Independent Disks is a data storage technology that is commonly used by servers to combine multiple hard drives into one. This way, if a hard drive were to fail it can simply be swapped out and no data loss would occur. There are at least 10 types of RAID configurations.

Cotton continued to refer to the directory and files as deleted, calling the matter a “moot point” since he was able to “recover all those deleted files and I have access to that data.”

Maricopa county’s Twitter account countered Cotton’s claims, pointing out that auditors “recovered” the files a day after they released their technical explanation.

Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the company hired to do the audit said that they would have all 2.1 million ballots counted by the end of June.