Senate President Karen Fann wants Maricopa County officials to meet with her next week to “constructively resolve” several issues related to the Senate’s ongoing election audit, including whether someone at the county deleted a main database from the Election Management System (EMS) last month.
“We have recently discovered that the entire ‘Database’ directory from the D drive of the machine ‘EMSPrimary’ has been deleted,” Fann wrote on Wednesday to Jack Sellers, chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “This removes election related details that appear to have been covered by the subpoena.”
That subpoena was issued to the county board and elections officials in January as part of the Senate’s efforts to conduct a forensic audit of how the county handled the 2020 General Election. Fann’s letter also alleges the EMS was missing a “Results Tally and Reporting” database.
“This suggests that the main database for all election related data for the November 2020 General Election has been removed,” Fann wrote to Sellers. “Can you please advise as to why these folders were deleted, and whether there are any backups that may contain the deleted folders?”
Fann then proposed all the key parties sit down at the Arizona State Capitol on May 18 to address the EMS files as well as other issues “without recourse to additional subpoenas or other compulsory process.” The meeting will be livestreamed so the public can watch, she noted.
Those other issues mentioned by Fann include concerns that many of the boxes which contain nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in the election were allegedly turned over by the county without tamper-evident seals or without the ballots first being sealed in bags. And there are questions about ballot batch counts, Fann noted.
“The audit team has encountered a significant number of instances in which there is a disparity between the actual number of ballots contained in a batch and the total denoted on the pink report slip accompanying the batch,” Fann told Sellers. “In most of these instances, the total on the pink report slip is greater than the number of ballots in the batch, although there are a few instances in which the total is lower.”
Although the database and ballot box issues had not been publicly disclosed until Wednesday, another topic Fann intends to discuss on May 18 is the county’s admitted non-compliance with one of the items on the subpoena. That item is the computer routers which service the Elections Department’s internet use.
Fann noted county officials previously said the routers had already been disconnected from the network and were ready to be delivered to the Senate. But the county later refused to release the routers due to claims it posed a risk to “the lives of law enforcement officers, their operations, or the protected health information and personal data of Maricopa County’s citizens” because multiple county departments use the same routers.
Sellers also issued a statement earlier this month asserting it would cost taxpayers up to $6 million to turn over the routers to be audited.
The letter from Fann offers to have technicians for subcontractor CyFIR go to a Maricopa County facility to review virtual images of the relevant routers under the observation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
“Such an arrangement would permit Maricopa County to retain custody and monitor the review of router data, while ensuring that the Senate may access the information it requires—and to which it is constitutionally entitled—to successfully complete its audit,” Fann noted, adding that neither the Senate nor the auditors have any interest in viewing or taking possession of any information unrelated to the 2020 general election.:
There was no response from Sellers or other Maricopa County officials as of press time.