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Katie Hobbs: This so-called audit is nothing more than a political stunt

"Our voters deserve leaders who will step up for them and our democracy."

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Secretary Hobbs Signing

The views of this opinion article do not necessarily reflect the views of Arizona’s Family. 3TV/CBS 5 is publishing this article as a service to the community. 

It’s been over six months since Arizona held its 2020 General Election, but there are some politicians who still refuse to accept the results, simply because they do not approve of the outcome. The election results were certified months ago, and the Senate’s “audit” will do nothing to change it.

This entire exercise is a political stunt that has only served to cast doubt on the integrity of our elections. Even worse, it has turned into a huge money-making venture, with funds pouring into a 501(c)(4) organization, meaning it will be impossible to know who is funding the operation or where the funds go, and the longer this continues, the more money they’ll be able to raise.

Let me be clear: I have no opposition to a valid and reliable recount/audit using best practices. Elections are complicated, which is why we have laws and rules in place to ensure that election processes, including recounts and audits, are done in a way that is uniform, consistent and accurate.

That’s why in March, when it became apparent that this runaway train would not be stopped, my office offered to enlist national experts to help craft procedures and offer support. It took litigation to get election experts involved as observers, and what they have seen confirms my worst fears - ballots being left unattended on tables during the counting process and stored in areas that are not adequately secured, Wi-Fi capable routers near servers with voter data, changing procedures and a lack of training. All of which confirm that this is not an audit in any sense of the word. The perpetrators of this farce have chosen to write the playbook as they go along.

Katie Hobbs

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

The lack of clear procedures means we don’t know how they are actually conducting their audit. Since we don’t know what they are doing or why they are doing things the way they are, we will not be able to replicate and confirm their conclusions. We will never be able to determine what exactly Cyber Ninjas did to Maricopa County’s voting machines, and because of the lack of transparency regarding where the machines were taken, who was allowed near them, or what kind of security was in place, no one can ever be certain that the machines weren’t somehow modified or tampered with. Because of this, the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency believe it is not recommended that these machines be used for future elections. My office has communicated our agreement with this assessment with Maricopa County, and while we know that this is a difficult decision due to the tremendous cost to the county, and ultimately to taxpayers, the lack of security and transparency surrounding the equipment makes this an easy choice.

Senate President Fann said during her recent hearing that legislators in other states are calling her for advice on how to copy what Arizona is doing so that they can bring this circus to other counties across the country. What is happening in our state is setting up a bad precedent for future elections locally and nationwide. Before, during, and long after the 2020 General Election, I have had to fight to preserve the rights of our voters, and to defend the integrity of our elections. My commitment to the truth has led to threats on my life, as well as my family’s. I refuse to back down from the role I was elected to serve, and I certainly won’t lie to the American people.

The silence from statewide leaders, both then and now, is deafening, especially in the wake of more threats of violence that many have endured as a direct result of trying to hold the “auditors” accountable for the ballots in their custody.

This is dangerous to people’s safety and to the integrity of our democracy. Our state conducted the most secure election in history. We witnessed record turnout, even in the face of a pandemic. Our voters stepped up for democracy last year, and now Arizonans deserve leaders who will step up for them.


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