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Arizona Senate GOP to conduct full hand recount, machine audit of 2020 election results in Maricopa County

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'We are negotiating final details on the execution of the audit'

Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Republicans in Arizona's state Senate have announced that they are set to conduct a full review of 2020 election results in Maricopa County — including a machine audit and a hand recount of all 2.1 million ballots cast there — to ensure that President Joe Biden's victory was legitimate.

In a news release posted on the group's website last Thursday, the state Senate's Republican caucus announced that it had selected a forensic team to conduct the audit and is now finalizing details on how the review would be executed.

"As thousands of our voters continue to call for a thorough audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, I am pleased to report we have narrowed it down to a preferred forensic audit team. We are negotiating final details on the execution of the audit and hope to have an announcement soon," wrote Senate President Karen Fann in the news release.

"We've been reaching out to experts on election processes in Arizona and around the nation and hope to have the best and brightest involved in the audit," she continued, noting the audit "will be broad and detailed."

She further specified that the review will include, but is not limited to, "testing the machines, scanning the ballots, performing a full hand count and checking for any IT breaches."

Republicans in the Senate had been pushing for months for a "full forensic audit" of election results in Arizona's largest county, citing concerns among citizens over the integrity of the election. On Feb. 26, the audit was greenlit after a judge granted the state Senate access to ballots and tabulation machines.

According to the Arizona Republic, the county board of supervisors had "argued the ballots were secret and the machines need to remain secure" in fighting a subpoena issued by Senate Republicans. But Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason determined in his Feb. ruling that the Senate subpoenas were "legal and enforceable."

Throughout the process, Senate Republicans have insisted that a full review is necessary to restore trust in the state's election system. The Arizona Republic noted that two smaller audits of county election equipment were released last month, reportedly showing no evidence of malicious software or incorrect counting.

"When all the work is done, there will be a full report for the Senate and County to review. Our voters expect this audit, and it can be a big step in returning trust and confidence in our election process," Fann concluded.

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