In February, a judge from the Maricopa County Superior Court instructed county officials to comply with the subpoenas issued by the Arizona Senate. The judge asked officials to hand over the 2020 election materials to Senate Republican leaders in order for them to conduct an audit. Its aim is to ensure that the results are free from fraud and irregularities. In March, the Senate ordered the recount of 2.1 million ballots by hand. Now, the Republican-led Senate has appointed four companies to conduct a full hand recount and forensic audit of the election materials.
“The audit will validate every area of the voting process to ensure the integrity of the vote. The scope of work will include, but is not limited to, scanning all ballots, a full manual recount, auditing the registration and votes cast, the vote counts, and the electronic voting system… Because it is an independent audit, leadership will not be directly involved, and members do not expect to comment on any of the processes of the audit until the report is issued in about 60 days,” stated a press release from the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus.
The four companies hired to conduct the audit are:
- Cyber Ninjas from Florida that will be leading the audit. Focusing on application security, the company works across government and financial services sectors. The company will be paid $150,000 by the Senate for its work. The company has been tasked to examine precincts that have a high number of election anomalies and to collect information to check if specific individuals cast votes in the election.
- Digital Discovery, a cybersecurity company from Texas.
- CyFIR, a cybersecurity company from Virginia that provides forensic services.
- Wake Technology Services, an IT services company from Pennsylvania. It had performed hand recounts of 2020 election results in two states: Pennsylvania and New Mexico. The company has been involved in investigating cases of election fraud dating back to 1994 and has a history of working closely with the FBI.
The Senate leadership expressed hope that the audit will be conducted in a transparent manner. Senate President Karen Fann said that citizens need to be assured that the Arizona Senate and Maricopa County cooperate on the audit to bring “integrity to the election process.”
Members of the Democratic Party and leftist supporters oppose the measures to ensure election integrity. They have criticized Republicans for selecting four auditing companies that are aligned with their ideologies.
However, for an earlier audit, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors had hired firms with links to Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion is the company accused of election fraud that supplied equipment to the county.
Alexander Kolodin, an attorney who has been a part of several election integrity lawsuits, said that none of the four companies hired by the Senate for the audit has any prior business relationship with manufacturers who had supplied election equipment to the county.
“Dominion’s executives have made no secret of their political leanings. Democrats who never took issue with the fact that a company led by liberals was providing equipment used in Maricopa County’s elections have little ground to complain if a company with conservative leadership checks their work… This is a team that has the confidence of conservatives. Should their scope of work be as voters were promised, conservatives can have confidence in their findings,” Kolodin told Arizona Daily Independent.