Arizona election auditors claim to have made a disturbing discovery in their inspection of Maricopa County’s voting machines: Deleted election databases.
Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann has summoned Maricopa County election officials to a meeting next week to “constructively resolve” shocking irregularities uncovered in the election audit thus far, including the deletion of a ‘main database’ in the Election Management System (EMS).
“We have recently discovered that the entire ‘Database’ directory from the D drive of the machine ‘EMSPrimary’ has been deleted,” Fann wrote to Jack Sellers, chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “This removes election related details that appear to have been covered by the subpoena.”
Fann’s letter also claims the EMS was missing the “Results Tally and Reporting” database.
“This suggests that the main database for all election related data for the November 2020 General Election has been removed,” Fann continued. “Can you please advise as to why these folders were deleted, and whether there are any backups that may contain the deleted folders?”
Fann then invited the election officials to come to the Arizona State Capitol on May 18 to address the missing EMS files as well as other issues “without recourse to additional subpoenas or other compulsory process.” The Arizona State Senate president further highlighted election data irregularities.
“The audit team has encountered a significant number of instances in which there is a disparity between the actual number of ballots contained in a batch and the total denoted on the pink report slip accompanying the batch,” Fann told Sellers. “In most of these instances, the total on the pink report slip is greater than the number of ballots in the batch, although there are a few instances in which the total is lower.”
The Maricopa County election officials claim to not have the passwords to the voting machines. Furthermore, the election officials refuse to turn over the routers to the machines due to alleged security concerns involving law enforcement. Just the News reported on the matter on Thursday.
“Officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County are withholding materials subpoenaed by the state legislature as part of its audit of the county’s 2020 election, claiming that surrendering them would constitute a security risk for both law enforcement and federal agencies,” the report stated.
“A Monday letter sent from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to Ken Bennett, the former Arizona secretary of state and the liaison between the state Senate and the auditors, said the county had elected not to turn over ‘several routers’ requested by the legislature due to an alleged ‘significant security risk to law enforcement data utilized by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as well as numerous federal agencies’,” the report continued.
“We had previously believed that the risk would be eliminated by redacting the law enforcement data on the routers and not producing it,” Bennett’s letter states. “But we were informed that redaction did not eliminate the risk.”
Fann has proposed sending auditors to inspect the routers and other election equipment on site, while noting auditors are not seeking non-election-related data.
“Such an arrangement would permit Maricopa County to retain custody and monitor the review of router data, while ensuring that the Senate may access the information it requires—and to which it is constitutionally entitled—to successfully complete its audit,” Fann noted.
The Arizona State Senate called an emergency session on Friday to issue a warning to stalling Maricopa County election officials that they must provide missing passwords to voting machines that they claim they ‘do not have,’ and also the withheld routers that obstructing officials claim could ‘allow access to sensitive law enforcement data.’
“The emergency is due to the Senate indicating that they would take action against the County and Supervisors if the County does not provide passwords it does not have, and routers that could allow access to sensitive law enforcement data, as well as protected health information and personal data of county citizens,” the statement on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ website read.
The recent finding of deleted election databases would futher escalate the confrontation between the Arizona State Senate and Maricopa County’s election officials, who appear determined to prevent auditors from completing a truly independent audit of the 2020 election.