Zach Montellaro for Politico:
The controversial Arizona 2020 election review is almost over, but top officials in the state’s largest county and secretary of state’s office aren’t waiting for the conclusions, launching a pair of preemptive strikes against a report that could land as soon as next week.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, released a prebuttal laying out all of her office’s criticisms of the so-called election “audit.” She detailed the pre- and post-election testing election equipment underwent in Maricopa County and called the state Senate-led effort “secretive and disorganized” that routinely discarded best practices of an actual audit.
“All credible audits are characterized by controls, access, and transparency that allow for the processes and procedures to be replicated, if necessary,” Hobbs’ office wrote. “As this report has described, the review conducted by the Senate’s contractors has consistently lacked all three of these factors.”
And Stephen Richer, the Republican county recorder in Maricopa County, on Thursday issued a lengthy report of his own, in the form of an open letter to state Republicans, challenging the credentials of the reviewers and defending his own Republican bona fides.
“I will keep fighting for conservatism, and there are many things I would do for the Republican candidate for President, but I won’t lie about the election, and I will not unjustifiably turn my back on the employees of the Board of Supervisors, Recorder’s Office, and Elections Department — my colleagues and friends,” he wrote.
The process was initially supposed to take 60 days, but has stretched on well past that. Julie Fischer, a “deputy Senate liaison” for the effort, told POLITICO that the contractors’ report — the firm leading the effort is called Cyber Ninjas — is expected to be submitted to the state Senate on Monday, and a hearing will be scheduled after that.