The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to authorize a forensic audit of ballot tabulation equipment used in the 2020 elections. The audit is the culmination of a year-long effort by Maricopa County to ensure the accuracy of the federally- and state-certified hardware and software used to count votes (see 2020 Elections Fact Sheet or multimedia page).
“Maricopa County elections were administered with integrity throughout 2020. That’s a fact. Multiple audits to date have proved as much, and multiple court rulings have concurred,” said Chairman Jack Sellers. “It’s also true that a significant number of voters want the additional assurance that a full forensic audit of tabulation equipment might bring, especially given all the misinformation that spread following the November 3 election. This audit shows our commitment to providing that assurance.”
The multi-layered forensic audit will dive into the tabulation equipment to analyze its hacking vulnerability, verify that no malicious malware was installed, and test that tabulators were not sending or receiving information over the internet.
As an added layer of assurance, the county will hire two independent firms certified by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, to each independently audit the tabulation equipment: Pro V&V and SLI Compliance.
The first audit will begin on February 2, and the second audit will begin on February 8.
“We’re doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way,” said Vice Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. “The audit will be conducted in a way that safeguards private voter information and protects the investment made by county taxpayers in the tabulation equipment. My hope is that the audit results will ensure the residents of Maricopa County have the same confidence in our elections system that we have.”
“While I'm confident we ran good elections, I have been passionate about doing this audit,” said Supervisor Clint Hickman, District 4. “Every election-related decision and safeguard this Board has made over the past year has had voter and election integrity in mind. The upcoming forensic audit of election equipment will be no different, and I hope it puts to rest the notion that somehow we’ve got something to hide.”
In addition to the software and malware tests, one firm will also perform a logic and accuracy test of the county’s tabulation equipment to ensure it accurately counted ballots and confirm that no vote switching occurred.
As an added measure of transparency, the Board hired a reputable Certified Public Accountant firm to review county contracts with Dominion Voting Services and verify that the county leased the tabulation equipment according to state and county procurement regulations.
“I have been publicly supportive of an audit for over a month now and am glad to have this much needed vote,” said Supervisor Steve Chucri, District 2. “Elections are the foundation of our democracy and the most important right we hold as Americans. It is paramount that the public has trust in our elections systems and equipment and that is why I wholeheartedly support an audit to ensure this equipment is above reproach. This thorough audit is what many of my constituents have been asking for. I am pleased we are conducting it and look forward to sharing the results.”
Community stakeholders will be an important part of the forensic audit process. Leadership from both the House and Senate, members of all three political parties, and representatives from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and Attorney General’s Office will be invited to observe. We will also provide availability for media members as well, so they can fulfill their role informing the public.
“It’s normal for people to complain about elections when they don’t like the results, but people took it a step further this year. They spread lies and conspiracies about how our elections were conducted in an effort to overturn the will of the people,” said Supervisor Steve Gallardo, District 5. “I know for a fact we ran three great, safe, and secure elections in 2020. I expect this audit to be the final word.”
The results of the forensic audit will be shared publicly.