Maricopa Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers says his board is tired of the “lies and half-truths” about the 2020 election audit after the Arizona Senate president’s letter complaining about “serious issues” with the ballot review.
“After reviewing the letter with County election and IT experts, I can say the allegations are false and ill-informed,” Mr. Sellers said late Thursday.
“At the same time, the Senate’s audit Twitter account accused County election officials of deleting files from a server before it was delivered. That would be a crime — and is not true,” he said. “I demand an immediate retraction of any public statements made to the news media and spread via Twitter.”
Sen. Karen Fann, the Arizona Senate president, wrote the four-page letter to Mr. Sellers on Wednesday, saying the county won’t hand over internet routers for inspection during the Senate’s audit, which were used during the general election.
The county has also refused to provide passwords that are needed to enter vote tabulation devices, according to the letter. And there have been issues raised by the Senate’s contractors about “apparent omissions, inconsistencies, and anomalies relating to Maricopa County’s handling, organization, and storage of ballots.”
Lastly, Ms. Fann‘s letter said they have discovered one database directory from a machine had been deleted, removing election-related details.
Ms. Fann told The Washington Times she is raising questions that the Senate discovered during its audit.
“This letter is not accusing anyone of wrongdoing. We are merely seeking answers to continue the audit properly,” she said.
The audit began last month, launched by the Republican-majority legislature. Roughly 250,000 ballots out of 2.1 million have been processed.
Democrats have blasted the audit as a partisan effort and an assault on democracy. They have raised questions about the contractor chosen to do the audit and who will be responsible for the cost of the efforts.
Mr. Sellers said the contractors are “not auditors and they are not certified by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.”
“It’s clearer by the day: The people hired by the Senate are in way over their heads. This is not funny; this is dangerous,” he said.
The Maricopa Board of Supervisors will hold a public meeting on Monday to further refute accusations of wrongdoing.
The recount has drawn media attention with colorful headlines about election conspiracy theories.
It comes after the state’s Republican governor certified the 2020 election results in November where Mr. Biden won the state by 10,500 votes.
Critics say the audit revives former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of a stolen election.
But the former president has been praising the GOP-led recount, and on Thursday he said Ms. Fann‘s letter was “devastating.”
“The Fake News and Lamestream Media is doing everything they can not to cover this major story. 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,” Mr. Trump said.
Ms. Fann requested that the Board of Supervisors answer the questions at a public hearing on May 18.
• Seth McLaughlin contributed to this report.