Arizona Senate President Karen Fann sent a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday highlighting discrepancies and other “serious issues” the 2020 election audit has uncovered to date.
Some areas of concern Fann identified were with regard to the ballots.
“The audit team has encountered a significant number of instances in which there is a disparity between the actual number of ballots contained in a batch and the total denoted on the pink report slip accompanying the batch,” she wrote to the board.
“In most of these instances, the total on the pink report slip is greater than the number of ballots in the batch, although there are a few instances in which the total is lower. What are the reasons for these discrepancies?” Fann asked.
Breaking Update: As we open boxes of ballots delivered by Maricopa County, we are discovering significant discrepancies between the number of ballots therein and the batch reports included in the boxes.
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) May 13, 2021
The Senate president also had questions regarding the handling and storing of the ballots by election officials.
“The County has not provided any chain-of-custody documentation for the ballots. Does such documentation exist, and if so, will it be produced?” Fann asked board Chairman Jack Sellers in her letter.
She noted that batches of ballots were not sealed, but broken seals could be found in ballot boxes.
Further, “Most of the ballot boxes were sealed merely with regular tape and not secured by any kind of tamper-evident seal. Is that the County’s customary practice for storing ballots?”
? WOW! Letter from Senate President @FannKfann to BOS regarding significant “irregularities” in Maricopa County. #AmericasAudit will help to restore #ElectionIntegrity & #VoterConfidence! ? pic.twitter.com/12RE2k2ZXk
— Dr. Kelli Ward ?? (@kelliwardaz) May 13, 2021
Beyond the physical ballots themselves, the audit team uncovered election databases had been deleted. According to the official Maricopa Arizona Audit Twitter account, the deletions occurred just days before the election equipment audit was delivered for the team’s review.
“We have recently discovered that the entire ‘Database’ directory from the D drive of the machine ‘EMSPrimary’ has been deleted,” Fann wrote.
“This removes election related details that appear to have been covered by the subpoena. In addition, the main database for the Election Management System (EMS) Software, ‘Results Tally and Reporting,’ is not located anywhere on the EMSPrimary machine, even though all of the EMS Clients reference that machine as the location of the database,” she continued.
“This suggests that the main database for all election related data for the November 2020 General Election has been removed. Can you please advise as to why these folders were deleted, and whether there are any backups that may contain the deleted folders?”
Breaking Update: Maricopa County deleted a directory full of election databases from the 2020 election cycle days before the election equipment was delivered to the audit. This is spoliation of evidence! pic.twitter.com/mY0fmmFXAm
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) May 13, 2021
Fann also pressed Maricopa County officials why passwords the audit team requires to conduct their review of the Dominion Voting Systems machines used in November’s election have not been turned over.
“Maricopa County has refused to provide the passwords necessary to access vote tabulation devices,” she wrote.
“Its attorneys’ insistence that the County does not have custody or control of this information is belied by the County’s conduct of its own audits, which, if they were as comprehensive as they purported to be, almost certainly would have entailed use of the passwords to examine the tabulation devices, and it strains credulity to posit that the County has no contractual right to obtain (i.e., control of) password information from Dominion.”
The Board of Supervisors released findings of the audit it commissioned of the Dominion Voting machines in February, finding that no tampering had occurred and the machines tabulated accurate counts.
I got a tour of the #ArizonaAudit today and was impressed by the multiple layers of security and by how well organized, professional, and transparent everything was thanks to the leadership of about the most honest man in politics I’ve ever met, @BennettArizona. pic.twitter.com/zZR4zojK6O
— Matt Braynard (@MattBraynard) May 7, 2021
Former President Donald Trump responded in a Thursday statement to the Senate president’s inquiry, saying, “A devastating letter written by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann on voting irregularities, and probably fraud, in Maricopa County during the 2020 Presidential Election. Even the database was illegally deleted after the subpoena to produce the information.”
“The Fake News and Lamestream Media [are] doing everything they can not to cover this major story,” he added.
“They just refuse to talk or report about it. They don’t want the United States or World to see what is going on with our corrupt, third world election.”
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) May 13, 2021
At the close of her letter, Fann requested that the Board of Supervisors and any other election officials or employees who have knowledge concerning the issues she raised meet with her, Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen and Senate Audit Liaison Ken Bennett on Tuesday, May 18.
A spokesperson for Maricopa County told The Western Journal that the board, County Recorder Stephen Richer and legal counsel planned to meet on Thursday afternoon to discuss the next steps.
The audit will pause next week to allow previously scheduled high school graduations at the venue to take place. Work will resume the week of May 24.