Arizona’s Maricopa County said Monday that it will replace all voting equipment that was turned over for the so-called “forensic audit” of the county’s election results, The Washington Post reports.
It’s unclear how much it will cost to replace all of the machines in Arizona’s most populous county, which includes Phoenix and its surrounding areas, but officials have previously said it will cost millions.
“The voters of Maricopa County can rest assured, the County will never use equipment that could pose a risk to free and fair elections,” the county said in a statement. “As a result, the County will not use the subpoenaed equipment in any future elections.”
The county attorney raised concerns in a letter to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that "future use by Maricopa County of the election equipment that was subpoenaed by the Arizona Senate, because they placed it under the control of persons not certified to handle election equipment in the United States, such as the Cyber Ninjas and others."
County turned over 400 machines:
The county turned over nearly 400 tabulation machines to the Florida-based contractor Cyber Ninjas, which has never performed an audit and whose top executive has promoted conspiracy theories about the election.
Hobbs said in May that the county should not use the voting equipment due to Cyber Ninjas’ failure to provide transparency over the process.
"I have grave concerns regarding the security and integrity of these machines, given that the chain of custody, a critical security tenet, has been compromised and election officials do not know what was done to the machines while under Cyber Ninjas' control," Hobbs wrote.
The audit came to a close last week but the findings have not been released.
Even so, actual election audit experts say that Cyber Ninjas’ methods are “deeply flawed and do not follow standard election auditing procedures, which could introduce errors and bias into the results,” according to CNN.
Republican officials in the county have slammed the so-called audit, noting that the results were already certified and two previous audits found no fraud or other issues.
“Our state has become a laughingstock,” the Republican-led county board said last month. “Worse, this ‘audit’ is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic.”