AZ SENATE HEARING: Live Blog of the Audit Hearing (VIDEO)

By Joe Hoft Published July 15, 2021 at 12:29pm

The Arizona Senate Hearing on the Maricopa County forensic audit opened today at 1 PM eastern.

Here again, is the live-stream video.


Here is a summary of the items shared today by the Arizona Senate in regards to their audit of the 2020 Election results in Maricopa County.

Senator Karen Fann led the meeting.

She started by noting that some people are not able to get to the site because of high traffic and offered alternatives to watch the meeting.

The meeting is an update and a briefing of the results.

The guests were as follows:

  • Doug Logan from Cyber Ninjas
  • Ken Bennett – former Arizona Secretary of State
  • Ben Cotton – cyber expert

Logan started and shared what will be presented then shared a video about the audit.

An audit expert reported on the audit and shared it is the most transparent and efficient and best chain of control in an audit ever.  A number of individuals participated in completing the audit.  They insured no issues with COVID and people were required to wear masks when on the floor.  They had first aid stations available.  Traning was essential and everyone was trained in their position.  There were microscopes and camera technology in examining audits.

The culture was excellent.  The chain of custody was excellent.  The ballots in ballot boxes were examined and put back in the same order in which they were reviewed.   The team attempted to design the audit so that it was beyond reproach.

Many volunteers gave up hours.  Over 1,500 were involved in the process.  Over 80,000 hours were given to get to this point.

Have tallied all the ballots.  Now working through evaluation to ensure results are perfect.

Then Fann shared that the entire audit was voted on by the Republicans in the Senate to ensure the electoral process is working.  A number of people believed there were problems with the election and so the Senate listened so they could go back to polls in the future and know the election is free and fair.  Fann explained how the audit was the senate’s responsibility to prove to the Arizona public that their ballot is sacred.

Next Ken Bennett spoke and thanked those who helped him.  He spoke to the chain of custody.  There was continuous and complete chain of custody while everything was in their possession.  Every box was signed for when taken out and when returned to ‘the corral.  There were over 1,600 boxes that were reviewed.  Boxes will be resealed before being returned and in the same order, they were found.

One of the items subpoenaed and has not been provided.  Chain of custody reports were requested from the County related to the ballots in their custody.  The documents of the chain of custody were not provided from the County.  The County will not provide any more.

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Bennett noted that in the boxes ballot batch sheets were to be provided in each box of ballots but some batches were only for one ballot and others had multiple.  Seals were cut in some boxes.  Ballots handled at the central office from the mail were over 1 million ballots were processed through the mail.  Some sheets were not provided from the County but one entity requested some info via an FOIA request and they used that data (sheets).

We discovered that more effort and training are necessary to address process issues that could be improved.  There was almost one whole pallet with duplicate ballots.  They found thousands of duplicate ballots missing serial numbers missing on them.  Thousands of ballots where a serial number was on, the numbering was difficult to read making it difficult to match with an existing ballot.  All the ballots have been filmed.  If anyone tries to open these boxes they can tell because the ballots were filmed when being resealed.

Cotton was next.  He walked through his process and standard of care.  There were zero changes to any of the machines.  They completed forms when auditing machines and used a write block device was used to prevent any modification of original evidence on the machines.  They then copied each digital device.  If anyone changes the evidence file they will now know.  They then created examination copies and the original copies are in safekeeping.  Not a single bit of data was tampered with or damaged on any machines that were examined.  They did not modify or change any chips.  Any changes to the machines would have been done by the County.

Senator Fann noted Secretary of State Katie Hobbs claimed a few weeks ago that the machines used were tampered with and could no longer be used.

Cotton reiterated that there were cameras over their work 24 hours a day.  Anything would have been caught on video.  Nothing they did would have impacted the machines at all.  The position that the County must replace all voting machines is at odds with the audits performed earlier this year – that they could determine that nothing was changed.

The IT team received over 300 tabulators, the county EMS server, physical devices correlating to EMS adjudication function, 11 hard drives with cloned data (which was provided but altered by their cloning process).  They created a forensic copy of all the items received.  They looked for any Internet connections.

The auditors have not received the router config files and router data, they had talks and negotiations but still not provided.  They know an element of the election system was breached during the election.  The registration center database was breached because the County or state sent letters to individuals with data on the files noting there was a breach.

There are severe problems with how the voter information was maintained. The system is not patched regularly.  The last time an antivirus was updated on the systems was August 2019.  This creates a tremendous vulnerability to the systems. The auditors still need to see the routers.  The County’s concerns with the auditors receiving the routers are not valid.  There is no personal information included with the router data.

Cotton talked about ‘splunk logs’ and tokens. He noted that there were 37,000 queries done on March 11 alone.   But they didn’t receive data before this date which didn’t allow them to see data back on Election day.

Dominion has access to Admin of the machines but the County does not.  How can the County know if the systems are eligible to record votes?  The County officials do not have the ability to verify the functionality of the systems without Dominion.  They are dependent on Dominion.  The state should have functionality that is greater than Dominion, not less than.

Fann asked why the County’s audits performed by Pro V&V and SLI didn’t capture this issue.

Cotton replied that those auditors possibly did not address the items found in this audit.  Then he mentioned some additional data needed.

Logan then answered about the hand count of ballots.  The County has not been helpful in working with the auditors.  Next, he went over the duplicates reviewed.  It took so long because the County refused to help explain how the ballots were duplicated and reported.

Next Logan discussed paper examination review using kinematic tools to review.  Some ballots were out of calibration by 1900%.  The ballots were as far off-center as more than 2000%.  This still needs to be reviewed and finalized.  The paper stock was also out of compliance leading to bleed-threw of ballots.  This is related to ‘sharpy gate’.  This may have caused the votes to be miscounted by tabulators.  This is likely caused by printer calibration.  Roughly 168,000 ballots were from primarily election day ballots.

The ballot paper is to be safeguarded.  The auditors can request info.

Voter data analysis was next discussed.  This included canvassing.  74,000 ballots had no record of ballots being sent to individuals but were received.

Logan again noted how unhelpful Maricopa County personnel were with the audit team.  Even policies and procedures were not provided.

Next Logan started closing statements.  The County is not helpful at all.  They need the chain of custody and router data.  They also need the tokens to the machines to see how they were configured.  Right now administration resides with a third party.  The auditors also need envelopes for the mail-in ballots.

Fann then shared they will request the additional information and adjourned the meeting.

Finally, as shared by a reader –  1) 3,900 votes received from unregistered voters (needed to be registered by 10/15 and weren\’t) and 2) 18,000 votes counted in the election but voters were removed from the voter role by 12/4. (Click to Source)

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