The totally unnecessary hand recount of ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, Arizona has been completed, but the results of the “fraudit” won’t be released until August. On Monday, however, fallout from the operation became evident when the county announced it will not reuse the hundreds of voting counting machines seized by the state’s Senate Republicans out of concern they have been compromised by the company conducting the recount.
The county’s Board of Supervisors wrote to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs yesterday that it shares her concerns about whether the machines that they had to give the Senate’s contractor are safe to use, in part because the company, Cyber Ninjas, is not certified to handle election equipment in the United States.
How much the GOP blunder of hiring an unqualified contractor will cost taxpayers is not yet known. The county leases the machines from Dominion Voting Systems and still owes the company a little over $3 million on the contract, which doesn’t expire until December 2022.
The recount has been widely criticized as sloppy and insecure. The most vocal critics of it have been the Republican leadership of the county, which includes Phoenix. Last month all seven of the county’s elected officials sent a letter to the state Senate labeling the audit a “sham.”
“Our state has become a laughingstock,” they wrote. “Worse, this ‘audit’ is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic. Your ‘audit,’ which you once said was intended to increase voters’ confidence in our electoral process, has devolved into a circus.”