Maricopa County auditors say counting is complete, but findings will take time

An audit of the 2020 election results in Arizona’s most populous county reached a major milestone last week, putting Americans one step closer to knowing the truth.

According to a new report from the Associated Press, auditors in Maricopa County said that the counting and ballot examination stages of the GOP-backed review had wrapped up last week.

It could still be weeks or even months, however, before the results of the audit are published, the Washington Examiner notes.

A massive undertaking

Since the results of the 2020 election have already been certified by Congress, the audit won’t change President Joe Biden’s victory, even if it does turn up evidence of fraud.

But regardless of what the audit finds, the massive and ambitious undertaking sets up a precedent of review that will help quell the concerns of voters who aren’t fully confident in America’s elections after what can only be described as a chaotic election season last fall.

According to the Examiner, some 2.1 million ballots are being reviewed in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. The outlet said workers had examined some 100,000 ballots each day, even as state Democrats worked to shut the process down.

Many of their concerns, the AP said, surrounded the firm hired to conduct the audit, a small Florida-based cybersecurity group known as Cyber Ninjas.

Scrutinizing ballots

Reports said the firm hired workers to scrutinize Maricopa’s ballots for discrepancies, including by examining them for folds, putting them under UV lights, and taking what the AP described as “high resolution photos of each ballot to evaluate the composition of the paper and pen marks.”

According to former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is serving as the state Senate’s liaison for the county audit, that’s only part of the review, however. “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 told the AP.

Earlier this year, state Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, said that if nothing else, the audit will shut down any lingering doubts about improprieties in the 2020 race — something even Democrats should be able to get behind.

“Everybody keeps saying, oh, there’s no evidence, and it’s like, yeah, well, let’s do the audit, and if there’s nothing there, then we say, look, there was nothing there,” Fann told reoprters in May, according to the AP. “If we find something, and it’s a big if, but if we find something, then we can say, OK, we do have evidence, and now how do we fix this?”

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