(Republican Insider) – The Arizona State Senate is apparently considering signing a deal to complete another 2020 election audit in Maricopa County after some reports have come through stating that some of the individuals who are overseeing the current audit are not satisfied with the process.
According to a piece published by The Washington Examiner, the current audit, which is a total review of 2.1 million ballots that were cast in the state back in the November election, has been underway since April 23 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum located in Phoenix.
The audit is being led by a firm called Cyber Ninjas. Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is currently the audit liaison, spoke with a reporter from CBS5 News Thursday that hand counters had already gone through 800,000 ballots thus far. Organizers of the audit stated that they hope to have the project completed by the end of June.
“But the GOP-led state Senate is already eyeing another recount that would be entirely electronic, running digital images of ballots through a program to count all votes cast for every race on the county’s ballot, according to the Arizona Republic. Bennett told the outlet they are considering a California-based election transparency nonprofit group called Citizens Oversight for the job, and the results from both audits could be compared to one another,” the Washington Examiner said.
Ray Lutz, the founder of Citizens Oversight, spoke with local media in Arizona stating this group has never been hired to do an election audit, adding that technology currently being pitched for the process has not, up to this point, been used to conduct an official election audit.
“I would say absolutely this is a grand test,” Lutz said to folks over at the Arizona Republic. “I think it is certainly a big test for me because I have put a lot of work on it for the last year and a half or so. We have enhanced it to the point now where I believe we can do a lot to provide information about how well (this election) went.”
“The second recount would not disrupt the current audit at the coliseum — which has been praised by former President Donald Trump but widely criticized by election experts and officials concerned about the process — because it would use digital images of each ballot,” the WE report continued.
One of the big differences between the two audits, if the second one happens, is that the scope would not be limited to just the presidential election, but every race held in the state back in November.
The voting machines that were built for this election create digital images of every ballot that is fed into them. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has already handed over these images to the state Senate as part of the subpoena that a judge ruled back in February was “legal and enforceable.”
“Lutz told the Washington Examiner he would prefer to receive the election data directly from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in order to separate the copies of election information used in the Cyber Ninjas audit from the information Citizens Oversight would be processing for its own recount. He noted he recently visited the site of the present Maricopa audit,” the report added.
Lutz was then asked if he was confident that his system could accurately audit the county’s election. He responded by stating that his team sometimes sees “mistakes that are made on our side.”
He then went on to discuss the issue with the Washington Examiner where he said, “Of course it’s computer evaluation which is really really good.” He then added, “Our computer evaluation, when we disagree with a [election] vendor, We’re 97% right.” Lutz also said he has “observed many many audits, probably in the hundreds.”
Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann has previously rejected the idea of hiring Clear Ballot, a firm that is believed to be one of the few that exists which can digitally re-tabulate other company’s ballots with accuracy, using a method that is very close to Lutz’s.
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