PHOENIX — Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and six other members of her audit team presented the results of a partisan audit into Maricopa County's 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election that began back in April.
The final audit report released Friday shows Joe Biden did win Maricopa County.
The audit's lengthy review process has been riddled with political infighting, lawsuits, and criticisms from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Despite the unsubstantiated claims made by national figures, Gov. Doug Ducey certified Arizona's results of the 2020 election, much to Trump's disappointment.
Florida-based Cyber Ninjas was picked by the Senate to conduct the unprecedented recount in the nation's second-largest voting jurisdiction.
The audit team is still in the midst of reviewing the county's computers routers which required the Senate to file subpoenas for them to gain access to the hardware. The county has recently agreed to grant a third-party "special master" access to the routers on behalf of the Senate.
Friday's proceedings included comments from state Sen. Warren Petersen, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, audit spokesperson Randy Pullen, and audit liaison Ken Bennett.
Timeline of Friday's presentation:
4 p.m. Closing statements are being delivered.
Sen. Karen Fann said she's delivered a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asking him to open an investigation.
"We do have some work to do here," Fann said. "We need to do audits. We need to do audits on every election."
State Sen. Warren Petersen calls out the "obstruction" from Maricopa County in not complying with the subpoenas. He said law enforcement will likely be getting involved to investigate the audit team's claims.
"The numbers don't reconcile," said Petersen, remarking on how the audit team's count differed from the certified results.
3:45 p.m. Audit team claims there were "missing batches" in the boxes.
Ken Bennett, a liaison for the audit team, said Maricopa County could be subject to legal liability for duplicate ballots, missing chains of custody for ballots, and allowing ineligible people to vote in 2020.
Maricopa County has previously refuted suggestions it violated the state's election procedures.
"At no point were illegitimate ballots duplicated or inserted into the duplication process," the county said.
3:30 p.m. Doug Logan is now providing his legislative recommendations to the Senate. He said Arizona should consider routinely comparing voter rolls to other databases of information.
"It is very important our voter rolls remain clean," Logan said.
Other legislation should be introduced to protect voting machines from connecting to the internet, Logan added.
Arizona should have a statewide audit department that can routinely review how elections are conducted in all of the state's counties, Logan said.
Legislation should be considered to penalize anyone who purposefully interferes with a legislative investigation, Logan said.
Logan said he advocates for ending mail-in ballots.
3 p.m. Cotton alleges there is evidence of general election results getting purged in February before the audit started. His revelation was met with cheers from the crowd in the Senate gallery.
Maricopa County adamantly refuted Cotton's allegation.
Cotton said this audit is about "accountability" and insisted the county made mistakes in cyber security.
2:30 p.m. Ben Cotton, founder of a digital forensics firm called CyFIR, starts his presentation. Cotton criticizes Maricopa County for not providing access to computer routers. The county has repeatedly said opening up access would be a security risk.
Cotton faults the county for failing to follow cyber security protocols. Maricopa County says it is always preparing for potential issues that could impact elections.
"In advance of the 2020 general election, our Information Security Department implemented additional security controls to both prevent and detect unauthorized access to our website," the county has said.
Furthermore, the county says their tabulation equipment is never connected to the internet.
Cotton said there was a failure in "hardware configuration."
2:15 p.m. Logan confirms their count showed Joe Biden as the winner in Maricopa County. He claims 50 ballots may have been run through the tabulation machine twice.
Logan details numbers suggesting that more ballots were cast in Maricopa County than the list of people who were shown to have cast a vote. Maricopa County disagreeing with how Logan characterizes these numbers as discrepancies.
Logan suggested there were several "integrity issues" in Maricopa County's voter data. He claimed that up to 282 "potentially deceased" people voted in the election and 198 people cast ballots despite registering past the state's deadline.
Logan said they found 393 people in the county's voter lists had incomplete names. Maricopa County said this is a rare situation.
2 p.m. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan is now giving a presentation on the security measures followed during the review process. Logan said they conducted background checks on individuals who participated in the audit.
Before Logan's presentation, Karen Fann suggested the county stopped checking signatures before canvass was complete. Maricopa County said this is false.
1:50 p.m. Ayyadurai ends by calling the county's signature verification process unverifiable and said a full audit of the verification process is necessary. He goes over his qualifications and experience in pattern recognition classification.
Maricopa County already has a response to the anomalies described by Ayyadurai:
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, casts some doubt on the "blank" signatures highlighted by Ayyadurai as one of the anomalies he presented.
1:15 p.m. Shiva Ayyadurai is called to testify. He will be presenting on voter signature verification and the "anomalies" he found during the review process.
Ayyadurai notably attended a "Stop the Steal" event in Phoenix last November that was led by Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's lawyer.
More than 1.9 million ballot envelopes were returned to Maricopa County in 2020. Ayyadurai presents on "pattern recognition classification" of signatures.
"We were not hired to do signature verification," Ayydurai clarified.
He shows a chart explaining the difference between signatures, scribbles, and blanks.
Maricopa County reported 587 envelopes with "bad signatures" and Ayyadurai said their analysis turned up 2,580 "bad signatures." He additionally pointed out how Maricopa County rejected many more signatures in the 2016 election.
Maricopa County has previously defended its voter signatures verification process and insisted it did not relax standards.
"At no point during the 2020 election cycle did Maricopa County modify the rigorous signature verification requirements. Any suggestion to the contrary is categorically false," the county wrote in a statement.
Maricopa County follows rigorous state signature verification guidelines and staff receives training prior to elections to ensure compliance.
1 p.m. Arizona Senate President Karen Fann has arrived in the Senate chambers. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, CyFIR founder Ben Cotton, and Randy Pullen have also arrived. Fann thanks her supporters and the 1,500 volunteers who assisted in the review process.
"This has never been about overturning an election," Fann said.
The Republican senator emphasized how the audit's goal was to maintain "election integrity" in Arizona.
12:35 p.m. Media and the public have been allowed into the Senate chambers.
9 a.m.: 12News' Hunter Bassler says outside of the Arizona State Senate a group has gathered for an anti-vaccination rally.
8 a.m.: Former President Donald Trump released a statement calling into question the draft of the audit report that shows Biden won Arizona in the 2020 election. Trump also said he wants action from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
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