Republican Arizona election official slams audit as 'adventure in never-never land'
‘If you haven’t figured out that the election in Maricopa County was free, fair, and accurate yet, I’m not sure you ever will.’
The chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has had enough with the Republican-led audit of Arizona’s 2020 election results.
On Monday, he slammed the effort as an “adventure in never-never land” as he refused to comply with a subpoena for more records.
“It is now August of 2021. The election of November 2020 is over. If you haven’t figured out that the election in Maricopa County was free, fair, and accurate yet, I’m not sure you ever will,” Jack Sellers, a Republican and the chair of the Maricopa County Supervisors, wrote to Republican state senators.
The audit, which kicked off in April, has been panned as disorganized and chaotic, and election experts and public officials alike have expressed concern that it has not adhered to election law or procedures.
Still, last week, Republicans on the Arizona state Senate subpoenaed even more records as part of the audit.
But Sellers has defied the request, writing in a letter that, “The Board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-never land.”
“Please finish whatever it is that you are doing and release whatever it is you are going to release,” he added. “I am confident that our staff and volunteers ran the election as prescribed by federal and state law. There was no fraud, there wasn’t an injection of ballots from Asia nor was there a satellite that beamed votes into our election equipment.”
Among the subpoenas was a call for testimony from a Dominion Voting Systems representative. The election technology company was also asked by GOP state senators to provide “all user names, passwords, pins and/or security keys or tokens required to access, or otherwise relating to any and all ballot tabulation devices.”
Dominion’s attorney argued that the request was a violation of the company’s constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure.
The audit has been dragging on for months, far longer than the 60 days it was initially slated to take. And it’s been plagued by reports of incompetence and mismanagement — so much so that the U.S. Department of Justice has warned that the entire endeavor may have run afoul of federal election law.
Congress’ House Oversight Committee is now investigating whether the audit is legitimate or merely “an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories.”
The audit was launched in the wake of false ex-President Donald Trump’s lie that the election was stolen. It’s being run by Cyber Ninjas, a firm owned by a Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist, who was part of the effort to try to overturn Trump’s loss with lies of voter fraud.
Doug Logan, the president of Cyber Ninjas, has even appeared in a movie promoting the audit, which was filled with baseless lies and conspiracy theories.
Even some GOP lawmakers in the state have condemned the effort — despite some initially supporting it. As far back as May, one Republican state senator who at first backed the audit said the effort made them “look like idiots.”
Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who has pushed for voter suppression legislation, denounced the audit last week.
“I wanted to review our election processes and see what, if anything, could be improved,” she tweeted on July 24. “Sadly, it’s now become clear that the audit has been botched.”
It’s unclear when Cyber Ninjas will release a report from the review. To date, the counting process has been completed and the ballots and equipment — including millions of dollars worth of voting equipment that will now be scrapped due to the audit’s lack of security — have been returned to Maricopa County.
Sellers urged the GOP state Senate to hurry up and release the report.
“It’s time for all elected officials to tell the truth and stop encouraging conspiracies,” Sellers wrote in his letter. “Please release your report and be prepared to defend any accusations of misdeeds in court. It’s time to move on.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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