Arizona’s Senate president on Friday told the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that a plan by election auditors to verify the validity of certain voters is on hold indefinitely.
“If and to the extent the Senate subsequently decides that canvassing is necessary to the successful completion of the audit, its vendor will implement detailed requirements to ensure that the canvassing is conducted in a manner that complies fully with the commands of the United States Constitution and federal and state civil rights laws,” Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, told Pamela Karlan, a DOJ official, in a letter.
Karlan, principal deputy assistant attorney general with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, raised concerns earlier in the week with the plan by Cyber Ninjas, the company leading the audit for the state Senate, to verify the validity of certain voter registrations with questionable addresses by dispatching people to verify whether the voter lived at the address on the registrations.
Such an effort could constitute voter intimidation, according to Karlan.
“This description of the proposed work of the audit raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters,” she wrote to Fann, citing the Cyber Ninjas scope of work agreement with the Senate.
Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican who the state Senate appointed as a liaison for the audit, said at the audit site in Phoenix on Friday that he was not in on the decision.
Fann also told Karlan that the 2020 election audit is protected by “thorough protocols.”
“After some early and well publicized challenges, the security protocols at the audit site have been made very strong,” she said.