GOP-Dominated Arizona Board Torches Trump-Backed Audit in Letter: ‘Grifters and Con Artists’


PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 04: A no voter fraud sign is displayed by a protester in support of President Donald Trump at the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 4, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The rally was organized after yesterday’s vote narrowly turned for Democrats in the presidential and senate races. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

All five members of the Board of Supervisors in Maricopa County, Arizona – four Republicans and one Democrat – have signed a letter denouncing the election audit of the 2020 presidential election currently being conducted in the county. Written to state Senate President Karen Fann, the letter calls on the Republican-controlled senate to end the audit and says it is a “spectacle that is harming all of us.” Moreover, it says, “Our state has become a laughingstock.”

The audit is being conducted by a Florida-based company called Cyber Ninjas, whose CEO has expressed support for conspiracy theories about the 2020 election on social media. Arizona’s Republican-controlled legislature authorized $150,000 for the firm to conduct the audit, during which auditors reportedly looked for evidence of bamboo fibers on ballots because, so goes a conspiracy theory, they were flown in from East Asia.

Maricopa County has already conducted multiple election audits, all of which confirmed Joe Biden won the county.

The letter – signed by Republican supervisors Steve Chucri, Bill Gates (no, not the one you’re thinking of), Clint Hickman, Jack Sellers and Democrat Steve Gallardo, as well as the Republican Recorder of Maricopa County, Stephen Richer and Democratic county sheriff Paul Penzone – blasts the audit and Fann for spreading misinformation.

We write in response to your May 12, 2021 letter. We also write in response to the May 12th social media post from the Twitter account, run by you or your designee/s, which accused Maricopa County of “deleting a directory full of databases from the 2020 election cycle days before the election equipment was delivered to the audit,” and went on to accuse the County of “spoliation of evidence.”

These accusations are false, defamatory, and beneath the dignity of the Senate. They are an insult to the dedicated public servants in the Maricopa County Elections Department and Office of the Recorder, who work incredibly long hours conducting the County’s elections with integrity and honor.

The baseless database claim was picked up by Donald Trump, who issued a statement Saturday saying, “The entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED!”

Richer, a Republican who maintains the voter database in Maricopa County, called the former president’s response “unhinged.”

“You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists,” the letter says. “The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.”

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