Maricopa County announced on Monday that it will no longer use the election equipment currently being audited by the Arizona Senate.
County officials maintain the equipment “has been compromised” by the election auditors and therefore cannot be used in any future elections.
The equipment — all of which was seized during the Republican-ordered audit — includes nine tabulating machines, 385 precinct-based tabulators, as well as nearly 2.1 million ballots.
The Republican Senate received the machines after issuing subpoenas in regards to concerns over the integrity of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
They were then handed off to third-party contractors to determine whether or not the equipment had been hacked or manipulated in any way during the election.
“The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the County will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections,” the county said in a statement as reported by The Washington Post.
“As a result, the County will not use the subpoenaed equipment in any future elections.”
Replacing the equipment may cost as much as $6.5 million according to KNXV-TV.
County officials argue that, once custody of the machines was handed over the third-party auditors — such as lead auditor Cyber Ninjas — those machines’ integrity could no longer be ensured.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) June 27, 2021
In a May 20 letter sent to Maricopa County leaders, Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs argued as much, adding that experts from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told her office that “once machines leave the custody of election officials there’s no way to ensure they are safe to use again,” KTAR-FM reported.
Hobbs further noted that her concerns are only in regards to the machines themselves rather than the Dominion voting system those machines use.