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First look at draft of election audit report ahead of Friday release

Maricopa County election audit
Posted at 6:49 PM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 18:07:32-04

PHOENIX — Nearly six months after it started, and at a cost of $5.7 million, the findings of a forensic audit of the 2020 Maricopa County presidential election were released Friday.

FULL COVERAGE: Arizona 2020 election audit

Watch auditors present their findings in the State Senate in the player below.

Some details from a draft copy of the audit report dated September 23 began circulating Thursday. ABC15 obtained the draft copy through a public records request to the Secretary of State’s Office, which matched multiple copies our station received independently.

The draft of the forensic audit’s hand count totals of paper ballots was not substantially different than Maricopa County’s official numbers. In both counts, Biden wins.

The report addresses other concerns about whether voters may have voted twice or if people were not using their current address to vote. It also makes suggestions on how to make improvements to Arizona’s election system. The report found no evidence of some of the claims, like bamboo paper ballots coming from China.

The auditors continued to take issue with Maricopa County not providing all of the elections computer server information they requested.

'Democracy can be messy', Governor Ducey says ahead of audit report

The release of the findings comes nearly a year after President Biden won the 2020 election.

Following the news of the draft, Maricopa County Chairman Jack Sellers released the following statement:

You don’t have to dig deep into the draft copy of the Arizona Senate/Cyber Ninja audit report to confirm what I already knew – the candidates certified by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General – did, in fact, win.

This means the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters. That should be the end of the story. Everything else is just noise.

But I’m sure it won’t be. Board members told the truth in the face of angry phone calls and emails fueled by a coordinated campaign to shake Americans’ faith in the power of their vote. Will they accept the truth now?

Tomorrow I suspect we will be accused once again of not cooperating, failing to fill holes in the knowledge of the Senate’s chosen contractor. How could we cooperate with an inquiry that was led by people who have no idea how to run any election, let alone one in the second largest voting district in the United States? The Board approved the election plan, we hired and supported our election experts, and they produced a well-run and accurate election in accordance with Arizona law.

Those experts will digest this draft and eventually the final report. As we have done before, we will correct their errors and misrepresentations about the processes they don’t understand. I hope those holding on to their anger for the past ten months will see the truth and put their energy into supporting the democratic process instead of trying to tear it down.