The newly elected GOP House Conference chair, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, offered her support for the 2020 election audit taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona.
“Election integrity and election security is a top priority for the American people. And it should matter to you whether you’re Republican, Democrat or independent,” Stefanik told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo over the weekend.
“This is why you’re seeing state legislatures like Florida, like Arizona, taking action to address and strengthen their election systems,” she added.
Stefanik, who replaced Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as Republican Conference chair last week, listed issues like voter identification laws and reforms related to absentee ballots that must be addressed.
The lawmaker contended House Resolution 1, the For the People Act, would work against voter integrity, noting it eliminates voter ID requirements and calls for taxpayer-funded political campaigns.
Stefanik labeled HR 1 — which passed the House in March with no Republican support — the “For the Politicians Act.”
Asked specifically about the Arizona audit, the Republicans’ third-ranking House leader told Bartiromo she is for it.
“I support that audit,” Stefanik said. “Transparency is important for the American people and, again, this should be a nonpartisan issue, whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, independent, or conservative.”
“And the audit was passed by the Arizona state Senate. The Biden Department of Justice is trying to block that audit,” she continued.
“That is unconstitutional from my perspective,” Stefanik argued. “Our states constitutionally are responsible for writing their states’ elections law so the American people deserve to get those answers when it comes to the Arizona audit.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors announced Monday that it would not attend a meeting requested by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann for the following day to answer questions raised to date by the election audit of Arizona’s most populous county.
In fact, the board took it a step further and called for the audit to end. Chairman Jack Sellers declared he would not be answering any more questions raised by the audit regarding November’s election, which the board helped oversee.
“As chairman of this board, I just want to make it clear, I will not be responding to any more requests from this sham process. Finish what you’re calling an audit and be ready to defend a report in a court of law. We all look forward to it,” Sellers said at a Monday meeting of the board.
In a letter to the board last week, Fann highlighted “serious issues” that the audit, which began April 23, has uncovered thus far.
They included “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.”
Additionally, Fann noted that auditors had found a database drive from the election server had apparently been deleted prior to it being delivered to the Arizona Senate.
Ben Cotton — the founder of CyFir LLC, a digital forensics and cyber risk solutions company — told Fann and Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen at a Tuesday Senate meeting that he discovered the missing file directory while reviewing the Master File Table.
The MFT, Cotton explained during a special meeting of the state Senate, is a “record of all of the directories and the files that are contained in that partition and a pointing — and a pointer to where that data resides on the hard drive.”
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
“All of this, however, may be a moot point because subsequently, I’ve been able to recover all of those deleted files. And I have access to that data,” Cotton said.
The audit paused at the end of last week to allow previously scheduled high school graduations at the venue to take place. Work will resume the week of May 24.
Auditors are expected to complete their work by the end of June.