“Election Experts Send Letter to the Department of Justice on Arizona Audits”

Letter: (Brennan Center, Protect Democracy, and Leadership Conference)

We write to request that you deploy federal monitors to the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where agents of the Arizona Senate are reviewing ballots as part of a so-called audit of votes cast for federal office in the 2020 general election in Maricopa County. This work is being conducted by Cyber Ninjas, a firm retained by the state senate, along with its subcontractors, as part of a review of election results, or “audit,” commissioned by the state senate. It includes the handling and review of approximately 2.1 million ballots and other election materials, which a court compelled Maricopa County election officials to transfer into the senate’s custody after the senate issued a subpoena for them.

We are very concerned that the auditors are engaged in ongoing and imminent violations of federal voting and election laws. Specifically, we believe that the senate and its agents, including Cyber Ninjas, are violating their duty under federal law to retain and preserve ballots cast in a federal election, which are and have been in danger of being stolen, defaced, or irretrievably damaged. They failed to ensure the physical security of ballots by keeping doors unlocked and allowing unauthorized persons to access the ballot storage facility. They also risk compromising the integrity of the ballots themselves, using materials and technologies that will cause the ballot paper and marks to deteriorate, such as holding ballots to ultra-violet light without gloves. And, by restricting access to the audit by nonpartisan observers, election administrators and voting machine experts, they are failing to ensure that the audit is transparent….

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