PHOENIX — Observers working for Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) are keeping tabs on a mounting number of security flaws and procedural violations committed by ballot counters hired by the Republican-controlled state Senate to conduct an audit of votes cast in Maricopa County last year.
In notes maintained over the past week, the observers noted confidential documents left in the open, a security gate that was left unlocked for several days and, at one point, a software update that was so riddled with errors and bugs that the cybersecurity company overseeing the audit was forced to roll back to an earlier edition.
Auditors hired by the Republican state Senate say they have counted about half the 2.1 million ballots cast last year in Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest. President Biden won Maricopa by 45,000 votes, and he became the first Democrat to win Arizona’s electoral votes since former President Clinton.
But Republicans and former President Trump cried foul over the results, alleging unsubstantiated and easily disproven conspiracy theories in the weeks and months after Hobbs certified the state’s election results.
The state Senate hired a Florida-based firm, Cyber Ninjas, to conduct an audit of Maricopa County’s votes, over the objection of the Republican-controlled county Board of Supervisors and the Republican county recorder, in charge of overseeing election administration, who won his seat over a sitting Democrat in the same election Trump alleges was stolen.