Progressive pundits and politicians nationwide were up in arms earlier this year when Arizona’s most populous county announced an audit of the more than 2 million votes cast in November’s presidential election.
Those critics are sure to be even more outraged upon learning that Republicans in the state Senate are considering a second audit of the same ballots.
A different type of audit
According to the Washington Examiner, the primary difference between the two reviews is that the second will be aided by electronic scanning machines.
Furthermore, while the first audit only focused on Senate and presidential votes, the second would examine ballots from all state races.
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett explained that Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired to conduct the first audit is expected to wrap up its work by the end of next month. As of the latest update available, it had processed roughly 800,000 of the 2.1 million ballots cast.
Arizona Republicans have reportedly been in contact with Citizens Oversight, a nonprofit group in California, which is said to have the necessary equipment to scan ballots much faster than processing them by hand.
If the firm is ultimately hired for the task, its founder, Ray Lutz, said that his team is capable of performing the audit.
“We’re 97% right”
He described it as “a grand test” of Citizens Oversight’s capabilities.
“I think it is certainly a big test for me because I have put a lot of work on it for the last year and a half or so,” he told the Arizona Republic. “We have enhanced it to the point now where I believe we can do a lot to provide information about how well [this election] went.”
If a second audit is ultimately ordered by Bennett and state Republicans, it would not interrupt the ongoing review. The ultimate goal is to compare the results of both audits upon their completion.
Although mistakes can occasionally happen, Lutz touted the reliability of his system, explaining: “Of course it’s computer evaluation which is really, really good. Our computer evaluation, when we disagree with a vendor, we’re 97% right.”
It remains to be seen whether GOP officials will move forward with the second audit, but it is a near certainty that, if they do, Democrats will again sound the alarms in an attempt to stop or discredit the process.