Over 60% of Arizona's population lives in Maricopa County. State Senate Republican leaders refused to accept that Biden had won the county by 45,000 votes, thus giving him a 10,00-vote victory statewide. Election results were audited twice with no evidence that there had been a significant error in the original count and no evidence of chicanery, but state Republican officials still refused to accept the results. They refused to accept the results, even though the Maricopa County Recorder and four of the five members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (MCBS) were Republicans. The state Senate Republicans sued the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to force them to hand over their voting machines and ballots so that they could hire their own auditors to do a forensic analysis of the machines as well as a hand recount of all the votes. The State Senate won their lawsuit and the clown show officially known as the Arizona audit was off to the races.
I will discuss why we should view the audit as a clown show in more depth in another column. For now let's just say that it isn't just the Democrats who see it that way. The Maricopa County Republicans wrote a blistering letter on May 17 to the Arizona State Senate President, Karen Fann that made it clear that they thought the audit was a circus. Much of that letter is technical and will be of little interest to the average reader. I know few people will read the entire 13-page letter, so here are the highlights in their raging glory.
Response to an Accusation That the County Board of Supervisors
Deleted a Directory of Databases
First, the MCBS was outraged that Fann had publicly accused them of "spoliation of evidence" and of "deleting a directory full of databases from the 2020 election cycle days before the election equipment was delivered to the audit." They responded:
We demand that you immediately rescind your false and malicious tweet asserting that Maricopa County “spoiled evidence” in the days before we provided the server to the Senate. Your tweet, which relies on the “modified date” shown in the screenshot as evidence of wrongdoing, is demonstrably false; the only thing it does demonstrate is your auditors’ incompetence. Their stunning lack of a basic understanding for how their software works is egregious and only made worse by the false tweet sent defaming the hardworking employees of Maricopa County.
That the Senate would launch such a grave accusation via Twitter not only before waiting for an answer to your questions, but also before your so called “audit” demonstrates to the world that the Arizona Senate is not acting in good faith, has no intention of learning anything about the November 2020 General Election, but is only interested in feeding the various festering conspiracy theories that fuel the fundraising schemes of those pulling your strings. You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call “kinematic artifacts” while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled. . . .
Regardless, the failure of your so called “auditors” to locate data files on the copy they made of the County’s server speaks more to their ineptitude than it does to the integrity and actions of our dedicated public employees who effectively and accurately run the elections in the fourth largest county in the United States. (Emphasis added)
We Can't Give You Passwords. Your Auditors are Unaccredited
Next, the MCBS answered Fann's request for passwords for the vote tabulators by responding that Fann will have to get them through Dominion Voting Systems since they don't have them. They then note that Dominion is not likely to give them the passwords because the auditor that Fann chose is not accredited.
Next, let’s consider the County’s two separate forensic audits conducted in February of this year. You suggest that the Dominion proprietary password would have been necessary to conduct those audits. You are correct: it was. The forensic audit firms that the County hired, Pro V & V and SLI Compliance, are both accredited by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission as voting system testing laboratories. Because of that accredited status, signifying that these firms are specialists who have expertise with voting systems and understand how to audit them, Dominion Voting Systems provides Pro V & V and SLI Compliance with the necessary passwords to audit their machines.
Your chosen “auditors,” the Cyber Ninjas, are certainly many things. But “accredited by the EAC” is not one of them. Regardless, we cannot give you a password that we do not possess any more than we can give you the formula for Coca Cola. We do not have it; we have no legal right to acquire it; and so, we cannot give it to you.
Routed on Routers
"The county has, for whatever reason, also refused to produce the network routers. We want the routers, Sonny, Wendy, we got to get those routers, please. The routers. Come on, Kelly, we can get those routers. Those routers. You know what? We're so beyond the routers, there's so many fraudulent votes without the routers. But if you got those routers, what that will show, and they don't want to give up the routers. They don't want to give them. They are fighting like hell. Why are these commissioners fighting not to give the routers?"
The MCBS explained that they could not possibly turn over the County's routers without jeopardizing the county's, and even the nation's, security. Their explanation is a little lengthy so I will not cite it here, but you can find it on pages 11 - 12 of their letter. (It is worth reading, if only for the fact that they mention that the contractors had locked out Ken Bennett, the liaison between the State Senate and the auditors, from the audit's official twitter account.)
We Will Not Attend Your Meeting on May 18, 2021
The MCBS explained why they would not be attending a meeting with State officials on May 18.
In your letter, you invite us to attend a meeting at the Arizona State Capitol on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., and you request that we bring Election Department officials who would have knowledge of our elections procedures. We will not be attending. We will not be responding to any additional inquiries from your “auditors”. Their failure to understand basic election processes is an indication you didn’t get the best people to perform in your political theatre. We have wasted enough County resources. People’s tax dollars are real, your “auditors” are not.
Your "Audit" is Harming All of Us, and We Ask You to End It.
Finally, we express our united view that your “audit”, no matter what your intentions were in the beginning, has become a spectacle that is harming all of us. Our state has become a laughingstock. Worse, this “audit” is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic.
Your “auditors” began the “audit” unaware that using blue pens on ballots could harm them, and apparently would have distributed blue pens to those conducting the recount of ballots had a reporter not informed them. It has gone downhill from there. Your “audit,” which you once said was intended to increase voters’ confidence in our electoral process, has devolved into a circus.
You are using purple lights and spinning tables. You are hunting for bamboo. These are not things that serious auditors of elections do.
You are photographing ballots contrary to the laws that the Senate helped enact, and you are sending those images to unidentified places and people. You have repeatedly lost control of your twitter account, which has tweeted things that appear to be the rantings of a petulant child—not the serious statements of a serious audit. . . .
Regardless of your intentions when you decided to subpoena our equipment and ballots, this cannot really be what you envisioned. You, Senate President Fann, are the only one with the power to immediately end it. We implore you to recognize the obvious truth: your “auditors” are in way over their heads. They do not have the experience necessary to conduct an audit of an election. They do not know the laws, nor the procedures, nor the best practices. It is inevitable that they will arrive at questionable conclusions.
It is time to end this. For the good of the Senate, for the good of the Country and for the good of the Democratic institutions that define us as Americans.
The letter was signed by the following officials. I have added the party affiliation along with a link to a brief biography of each of the signatories since it is not included in the letter.
Jack Sellers, Chairman
Supervisor, District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Bill Gates, Vice Chairman
Supervisor, District 3
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Supervisor, District 2
Supervisor, District 4
Supervisor, District 5
Maricopa County Recorder
Maricopa County Sheriff