The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to conduct a "full forensic audit" of election equipment in Arizona's largest county.
The decision to audit the election equipment came one week after Joe Biden was inaugurated president following now-former President Donald Trump's challenge of the election results in multiple key battleground states, including Arizona.
What are the details?
Board chairman Jack Sellers explained in a statement that the audit is necessary to provide Maricopa County voters with "additional assurance" of election integrity.
"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," Sellers said.
"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," Sellers added.
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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.
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.
The first audit will begin on Feb. 2, and the second audit will begin on Feb. 8.
The board's decision comes after the Republican-controlled Arizona state Senate, which is seeking to conduct its own election audit, "issued subpoenas to the county in mid-December seeking access to copies of ballots, software used in vote tabulation machines and the machines themselves, among other items," the Associated Press reported.
The board initially fought the subpoenas in court, but is now cooperating with Senate attorneys, the AP noted.
According to KNXV-TV, nearly a dozen complaints were filed against the board following the election in November, but all were withdrawn or dismissed. No allegations of widespread voter fraud were ever confirmed.
"Prior to November, there were no complaints about the accuracy of the county's tabulation equipment, which was also used in elections in March, May and August," officials said, KNXV reported.