Arizona Senate Secures Federal Election Recount – fr

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Arizona Senate Secures Federal Election Recount – fr


PHOENIX – The Republican President of the Arizona Senate said in a letter to the United States Department of Justice on Friday that the recounted ballots following the November presidential election are secure and that the department’s concerns about the The intimidation of voters is unfounded.

The letter from Senate Speaker Karen Fann came two days after the head of the department’s civil rights division asked the Senate for assurances that 2.1 million ballots from the most populous county in the State were secure, as required by federal law.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan also warned Fann that the Senate’s plan to have the contractor oversee the unprecedented election audit to contact voters could constitute unlawful voter intimidation.

Fann said in his response that the Senate determined several weeks ago that plans to contact voters directly to see if they actually vote were being postponed indefinitely. And Fann said that if the Senate ultimately decides to contact voters, the seller will implement detailed rules to ensure that contacts comply with federal and state civil rights laws.

The Justice Department letter said federal law required federal election ballots to remain in the control of election officials for 22 months, and Fann’s decision to hand them over to a contractor could violate that law.

Fann, a Republican, said in her response that security is tight at the state fairground site where teams of contractors recount the votes in the race won by President Joe Biden, and that the former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is on site daily to make sure this stays true.

She vowed that “not a single ballot was destroyed, degraded, lost or adulterated” and said she was convinced none would be.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Fann’s letter.

Voting rights groups last week called on the Justice Department to send monitors to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum to monitor the recount.

“We are very concerned that auditors are engaged in continuing and imminent violations of federal voting and election laws,” said the letter sent by the Brennan Center for Justice, the Leadership Conference and Protect Democracy.

The Senate is counting the Maricopa County ballots, which it obtained after a judge upheld a December subpoena issued by Fann because she wanted to do a separate audit of the results to ensure Biden did indeed won in Arizona. Fann said it was necessary to end concerns of former President Donald Trump and his supporters that he lost bets in Arizona and other battlefield states to fraud.

Multiple audits, a manual recount of a sample of Maricopa County ballots, and numerous lawsuits found no evidence of problems with the election.

In addition to the 2.1 million ballots, the county handed over its ballot compilation material, computer servers and other election-related equipment as well as a huge wealth of information, including its base. electoral data. None of the electoral equipment is ever connected to the Internet.

Jack Sellers, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said on Friday that the Senate was now threatening to issue a new subpoena to obtain the routers the county uses for all of its departments, including the sheriff’s office. The county refused to hand them over, saying it would cause major security concerns and cripple the county’s operations.

“We provided eight terabytes of data, ballots and election materials as ordered by subpoenas,” Sellers said in a statement. “Our efforts to cooperate while respecting the law have been rewarded with accusations, untruths and threats.”

Also on Friday, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs called on GOP Governor Doug Ducey to keep her safe. The request was granted.

Hobbs tweeted Thursday night that she had received multiple death threats because she was openly critical of the Senate’s unprecedented efforts to audit the 2020 election, which she and Ducey both certified last year and declared free and fair. She also complained that she was sued by a reporter for a right-wing website. Hobbs is the state’s top election official.

“The @ArizonaAudit and its far-right allies know their rhetoric will lead to this,” she tweeted. “They are accomplices.”

Ducey’s spokesman CJ Karamargin said the governor immediately attributed a detail from the Department of Public Safety to Hobbs.

“Threats of violence are totally unacceptable. We take them very seriously, ”said Karamargin.

Hobbs wrote a letter earlier this week to Bennett, outlining a series of concerns she had about the policies the contractor was using in the recount. Hobbs said the policies were “vague and insufficient to ensure accuracy and consistency.”

Bennett responded on Friday, saying Hobbs signed a court stipulation on Wednesday overturning any claims that the recount policies were “legally inadequate or inconsistent with federal and state statutory and constitutional laws and the EPM.” [elections procedures manual], including with regard to the security and integrity of ballots and election materials. “”

“With all due respect, this reads like a political press release intended to undermine a process that you have opposed since its inception,” in the letter from Bennett of Hobbs.

The recount that began on April 23 is proceeding extremely slowly, with only around 10% of ballots counted so far and only a week left on the Senate lease on the Colosseum.

Bennett said earlier this week that he hopes he can put the recount on hold while a series of high school diplomas is taking place and then restart it at the same site. The spokesperson for the fair’s board, however, said an extension was not possible.

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