Maricopa County, Arizona is recounting ballots for the 2020 election. The hand audit of more than 2 million was scheduled to have begun Friday.
Materials and equipment, including 385 tabulators, were delivered and unloaded at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on April 21, while boxes of the ballots began arriving early on April 22.
Maricopa County officials arranged for the deliveries, which took several trips and were supported by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office personnel, to comply with subpoenas from the state Senate.
Officials who had sought to resist the subpoenas were overruled by a judge in February.
The independent audit will be conducted by four out-of-state companies; Wake Technology Services, CyFIR, Digital Discovery, and Cyber Ninjas. A report is expected to be released in about 60 days, a statement from the state Senate says. Workers from the four companies will conduct the audit of 2.1 million ballots. They’re receiving $150,000. One America News host helped raise at least another $150,000 for the effort.
The audit will be streamed live on One America News Network; people also can watch the audit online.
Auditors will examine the state’s system that checks voters in at polling sites, inspect and hand-count ballots, and review the electronic voting system. They will produce a report detailing all their findings in about 60 days.
The Senate said Florida-based cybersecurity company Cyber Ninjas will be leading the audit, noting that it focuses on computer application security for financial services and government clients.
Wake Technology has performed hand-count audits in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, the Senate said, while CyFIR focuses on computer forensics and cyber attacks. According to Texas-based Digital Discovery’s website, it focuses on digital forensics.
“The audit will validate every area of the voting process to ensure the integrity of the vote,” the Senate wrote. “The scope of work will include, but is not limited to, scanning all the ballots, a full manual recount, auditing the registration and votes cast, the vote counts, and the electronic voting system.”
It isn’t clear how long the audit will take. The agreement giving auditors use of the arena runs through May 14.
Phones and recording devices aren’t allowed into the observation area, where observers from all political parties, and independents, will watch the ballot counting.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office personnel will provide security for the audit.
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, said last month that the audit will provide assurance that the 2020 results were accurate. Jack Sellers, the Republican chairman of Maricopa County’s Board of Supervisors, said on March 31 that two extensive and independent audits the month prior “showed no evidence of equipment malfunction or foul play.”
Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has asserted that the audit will be “biased.”
Biden was the first Democratic presidential nominee to win Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, in decades. Polls prior to the election had shown him trailing Trump by several points.