September 25, 2021
The Arizona audit of the 2020 election found that Maricopa County officials deleted election-related computer data the day before the voting machines were handed over to the audit team.
Digital forensic expert and analyst Ben Cotton reminded the audience at the audit presentation that election materials are federally mandated to be preserved for 22 months, but some of the materials examined in the audit showed they were either tampered with or deleted entirely.
“First and foremost, we need to remember that we do have that 22-month federal mandate,” Cotton said. “So it’s clear that at least what existed on the EMS when we received it as part of this audit we did not have the time period covered by that federal mandate as it was supposed to be covered.”
Cotton then explained how his team identified the time stamps for when the files were deleted and altered by Maricopa County officials.
“We have captured screen shots of Maricopa County people at the keyboards during those time periods,” Cotton said, adding he also examined video feeds showing exactly when these Maricopa County officials were at the computer tampering with election data.
Cotton’s revelation was met with applause from the audience during the hearing.
Arizona Rep. Warren Petersen (R) noted the audit “numbers don’t reconcile” with the certified election results, and said it appears Maricopa County “broke the law with duplicate ballots.”
“Where do we go from here? I think there’s legislation and law enforcement that needs to be involved,” Petersen said.
“What I found the most unsettling through this whole process is the obstruction that we have seen from the county. The failure to comply with the auditor, of the brazen willingness to violate a legal subpoena – our Attorney General said that was against the law – it’s truly alarming.”
"Law enforcement needs to be involved"
Sen. Petersen says "the numbers don't reconcile"
"It appears they broke the law with duplicate ballots"
Deleted election data
Board of Supervisors obstruction
Broken chain of custody
Time for criminal investigations! pic.twitter.com/fuS9ORswKg
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) September 24, 2021
“Furthermore, their willingness to expend significant resources, human capital, you name it, to block and to stop this audit…how much money have they spent trying to stop our audit? It has to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he continued.
“It appears they broke the law with duplicate ballots. That’s a huge deal. That needs to be resolved. We need to get to the bottom of whether that law was broken, how to prevent it in the future, hold people accountable that did it this time,” he added.
Senate President Karen Fann also sent a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Friday calling on him to examine the audit results to make a determination about opening a criminal investigation.
Senate President Karen Fann’s letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning the Maricopa County Forensic Audit pic.twitter.com/TYOb1zRiEr
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) September 25, 2021
As we reported, the Arizona audit results found thousands of discrepancies, including 17,000 duplicate ballots and fraudulent mail-in ballots and ballot envelopes in the state Joe Biden supposedly won by 10,500 votes.