Arizona’s top elections officer Katie Hobbs on Wednesday alleged multiple points of concern regarding the forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election currently underway in Maricopa County.
In a letter (pdf) to former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican who is the state Senate’s liaison for the audit, Hobbs outlined 13 points of concern over how the audit is being run. This included seven points of concern over counting procedures that the state Senate and audit contractor Cyber Ninjas disclosed, as well as six points of concern over what her observers saw at the audit site.
Under terms of a lawsuit settlement filed on Wednesday, defendants Bennett, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, and the lead auditor, Florida-based Cyber Ninjas have 48 hours to respond to Hobbs’ concerns. If the concerns are not addressed, Hobbs could take them back to court for breach of contract.
The audit began on April 23 and continues at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, a venue the auditors have booked and secured until May 14.
Hobbs, a Democrat, alleged that the procedures governing the audit do not ensure accuracy, security, and transparency.
“I’m not sure what compelled you to oversee this audit, but I’d like to assume you took this role with the best of intentions,” she told Bennett in the letter. “It is those intentions I appeal to now: either do it right, or don’t do it at all.”
The Arizona Democratic Party filed a last-minute lawsuit against state Senate leadership to try to stop the audit from going ahead but their bid to immediately halt it was rebuffed by a judge. The settlement means the case has concluded.
“The settlement in ADP v Fann requires the Senate to have procedures to protect our ballots, election equipment, and data. Today, I put the Senate on notice that security shortfalls remain and must be addressed under the agreement,” Hobbs said in a statement.
The official Twitter account for the audit, run by Bennet’s team, said late on Wednesday that Hobbs “continues to make baseless claimes [sic] about this forensic audit but has never led an election audit in her entire career.” The message declared, “The audit continues!”