Republicans in Arizona’s senate are about to conclude a two-month recount of votes cast in the 2020 election in Maricopa County, where strong Democratic turnout helped secure President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the state. Although previous audits found no evidence of fraud, the recount’s architects forged ahead. They took possession of 400 voting machines and 2.1 million ballots, hired a firm with no electoral experience to oversee the audit, and used dubious tactics to try to unearth wrongdoing.

Here’s what Katie Hobbs tweeted:

In what looked like a mad dash to clear out of the Coliseum today, observers reported that Cyber Ninjas have resorted to weighing stacks of ballots to fill out the official manifest of what is being returned to the county. Raising the question– do they even have an actual count?       

Senate President Karen Fann set the record straight and taught Hobbs how audits work.

They do have a count but double and triple checking to verify. That’s what audits do. They make sure their numbers are accurate

Here’s a lightly edited transcript of Hobbs recent interview with Tim O’Brien:

Tim O’Brien: Attorney General Merrick Garland recently said that the Arizona audit is simply a disinformation campaign that will undermine democracy. You have had a front-row seat. Do you share that opinion?

Katie Hobbs: Absolutely. We have known from the beginning that the folks involved in this exercise have a highly partisan agenda. The CEO of the company that was hired, Doug Logan, has said on the record that he believes Donald Trump won Arizona with no evidence at all to back that up. They have no election experience or auditing experience and they’re, they’re making this up as they go along. But they’re also using it to continue to spread disinformation about the 2020 election.

TOB: In that context, what do you think of some of the methods that have been used thus far in this audit?

KH: Well, I certainly don’t think highly of their methodology. Nothing that we’re seeing here inspires confidence that any results that they put out will be valid or credible. Starting with the highly partisan nature of the folks involved in running this. We had to go to court to force them to produce the procedures that they were following to conduct this so-called audit. We also had to force the level of transparency that exists with having independent election experts in the room to observe, as well as allowing reporters in there. And they’ve been touting this transparency with the 24/7 video access, but many parts weren’t on video. So the fact that the equipment was locked in a room that there was no video feed is problematic.

TOB: You’ve said you’re worried that voting machines will no longer be usable after this audit, correct?

KH: In general, if the chain of custody of election equipment is lost — and it has been irreparably lost in this situation — it shouldn’t be used in future elections.

TOB: And the auditors have also moved Maricopa County ballots out of state to Montana, right?

KH: It is unclear what is in Montana, but to my understanding, it’s not actual ballots. I believe it is hard drives with ballot images. Either way, it’s concerning. We don’t even know what security measures are in place to protect this data, wherever it is. We don’t know what they’re doing with it. There are so many concerns. It would take hours to list them all.

TOB: Where do you think the audit itself is going to end up?

KH: It sounds like they’re wrapping up the work and that they expect to have a report sometime in the next several weeks. What I can say with confidence is that they’ve created an atmosphere that’s prime for cooking the books. We believe that starting, they had an objective that they wanted to get to and that this audit will not produce a valid result.

TOB: And what is that objective?

KH: To continue to undermine the integrity of our elections. To perpetuate the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, which is damaging to our democracy in and of itself. It lays the groundwork for the loser in any election to demand this kind of audit. Even if you take out all of the dangers to democracy, this is consuming time and resources that right now should be focused on preparing for the 2022 election. I think it’s also so important to emphasize that we have post-election auditing already built into the process. There’s a period that people can bring evidence to court if they think something happened. And those periods have all passed and there was no evidence [of fraud] and the losers cannot just continue to do this. It’s like you lost the Super Bowl and kept trying to do replays after the game is over.

TOB: Do you think Republicans in other states are taking a look at Arizona right now with a mind to mounting their challenges?

KH: Absolutely. We have people who have hosted legislators and other officials from other states — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia. I think people from the state of Washington are here right now. I think the folks who spearheaded this effort we’re looking at where they could get a foothold, and Arizona happened to be the place that worked out for them. But they’re certainly writing the playbook here to bring this to other states. We’ve been having conversations at the national level with other secretaries of state and election officials who are very concerned about this and the ways that it will continue to undermine the public’s confidence in our elections. And how do we stop it?

TOB: Do you have confidence that the state legislature is going to be a reliable forum for addressing this issue?

KH: This so-called audit is being led by the Republican majority in our state legislature — 15 of the 16 senators in the majority voted to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt for not complying with the audit.

TOB: And that’s a Republican-dominated board.

KH: Yeah. They were voting to hold their Republican colleagues in contempt. And so, no, I don’t have confidence that the current legislature would pass any laws to make it harder to do this kind of partisan, post-election rehash.

TOB: The legislature has also taken steps to weaken your supervisory powers.

KH: There’s this overreach across the country of partisan legislatures against pretty much nonpartisan election officials doing their job, taking the election procedures out of their hands. But in my case, it’s even beyond that. It’s a blatant retaliatory attack on me and my office because the way it’s written in the bill that’s being debated right now is that it would end when my term ends.

TOB: You’ve also had protesters outside your home and you’ve received death threats. Does it surprise you that it’s gone that far, and how do you feel about your safety?

Just we thought that she convinced the County to scrap the corrupted machines that were used in 2020, but now she’s pushing lies about the ballot total because she knows it will not add up.

Hobbs is responsible to report accurate and fraud-free results. She must be scared to see what the real results are in Maricopa County.

Sources: The Gateway Pundit, Bloomberg

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