PHOENIX – Technology consultants hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to probe the 2020 election have finished counting and photographing nearly 2.1 million ballots from Maricopa County.
A final report of the findings is still weeks to months away, said Ken Bennett, a former Republican secretary of state working on the effort. But the milestone marks an end to the most visible portion of the election audit, which saw teams of people recruited by supporters of former President Donald Trump working through dozens of pallets of ballots on the floor of a former basketball arena.
The audit can’t change the election results. But it’s being carefully watched by Trump and some of his most ardent supporters who believe it will turn up evidence to support fraud claims.
“Audit Update: Paper examination and counting are finished today,” the audit team wrote in a post on Twitter. “Thank you to all the amazing Arizona volunteers who made this audit possible!”
To lead the audit, GOP Senate President Karen Fann hired Cyber Ninjas, a Florida cybersecurity firm.
Bennett said other audit work is ongoing, including the evaluation of data from election servers and voting machines. He said he expects a final report by Labor Day, but it could come as soon as late July.
“I think too much emphasis has been put on the tasks that are happening here at the Coliseum, but these are not the only two tasks of the audit,” Bennett said.
Fann has said the audit is not meant to overturn the 2020 election but rather to see whether laws need improvement and instill confidence in elections.