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A top Arizona Republican rebuked media outlets reporting the Maricopa County 2020 election audit being interwoven with conspiracy theories and the people who perpetuate them.

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Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, who helped spearhead the effort to make the controversial review a reality, addressed on Tuesday the wave of negative press coverage surrounding the process that is now the subject of a lawsuit filed by Democrats concerned about adherence to election security laws.

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“Some of the media that’s been out there are trying to connect everything with ‘Stop the Steal’ and ‘QAnon’ and all those other things, which has never ever been the situation,” Fann told Mike Broomhead on his morning KTAR news show.

The audit has been underway at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix since Friday, with auditors recounting the roughly 2.1 million ballots cast in the county and examining the voting machines that were used.

The audit will not change the results of the presidential election, as elected officials in the state previously certified President Joe Biden’s victory there.

Fann reaffirmed in her interview Tuesday that the purpose of the audit is to reestablish voter confidence in the county’s election handling after many supporters of former President Donald Trump shared his unsubstantiated sentiments the November election was rigged in favor of Biden.

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“When you’ve got half of the people that do not trust the electoral system anymore, rightly or wrongly so, if they have questions, who is responsible for answering these questions? How do we put election integrity back into our system? And that’s only what this has been about.”

The Arizona Senate Republicans issued a subpoena to apprehend the ballots from the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which already commissioned two separate audits that found no irregularities with the results that led Biden to victory by a nearly 2% majority.

The state Senate GOP hired Florida-based Cyber Ninjas to lead the latest review, and much of the media focus has been placed on the consulting firm’s CEO, Doug Logan, over his promotion of voter fraud allegations and “Stop the Steal” posts on social media, which have since been deleted.

A hearing took place on Tuesday morning concerning a lawsuit Arizona Democrats filed on Thursday to stop the audit from taking place.

Judge Daniel Martin, who was assigned to the case on Monday after the first judge recused himself, said the hearing would resume on Wednesday, noting there would be no pause to the audit.

Fann argued on Tuesday the county-approved audits consisted of “two firms who are not certified; they don’t do forensic audits.”

According to Maricopa County, the firms used in the previous audits were Pro V&V and SLI Compliance, which “are certified Voting System Test Laboratories and their certification is in good standing with the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.”

Many skeptics of the Senate-led audit question the integrity of the process at the coliseum after one journalist spotted auditors with blue pens on the floor of the stadium, which can be used along with black ink to mark a ballot. Arizona’s election procedures manual requires only red pens to be used during audits. The blue pens were reportedly swapped out for green and red pens after the issue was addressed and before ballots made it to the auditing floor.

Red is required for auditing to prevent against any slip of a pen marking a ballot.

Megan Gilbertson, communications director for the Maricopa County Elections Department, told the Washington Examiner that tabulator machines used by the county can detect shades of green ink along with black and blue shades.

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The Maricopa County Elections Department also sent out a press release on Monday to squash conspiracy rumors about alleged “watermarks” on Maricopa County ballots, saying: “There are NO watermarks on Maricopa ballots. There are many security measures in place when creating and printing ballots, but there are no secret markings on the ballot.”

Tags: News, Arizona, Arizona Senate, Republicans, 2020 Elections

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: Arizona Senate president dismisses media reports tying Maricopa County election audit to conspiracy theories

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