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The Arizona Senate is contemplating a recount of the 2020 election audit taking place in Maricopa County, reports NPR.
Arizona Senators are considering hiring a California-based nonprofit to analyze ballot images and create a third set of numbers to compare with the recount from Dominion Voting Systems machines and the hand recount being conducted by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm in charge of the current audit.
The firm being considered is nonprofit Citizens’ Oversight, which was brought to the Senate’s attention by John Brakey, a Democrat who works for Audit USA and is working as Bennett’s assistant during the audit.
“I would say absolutely this is a grand test,” Lutz told the Arizona Republic this week. “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. 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.”
Lutz uses as an audit engine, or a set of computers, to tabulate the results from each ballot for all contests before comparing the numbers it generates with the official records. The review produces a discrepancy report.
The nonprofit has analyzed ballot images in various counties before but doesn’t appear to have been officially contracted to do so. In one recent case, Lutz’s team analyzed ballot images from three counties in Florida, reports the Epoch Times.
The hand recount is focusing on only two races: the presidential election and the U.S. Senate race. Citizens’ Oversight would be using its technology to audit all the races that were on the ballot.
While Bennett said the ballot image analysis would be finished before the hand count is done, Lutz wasn’t certain that would be the case. He said it would depend on a number of factors, including the condition of the ballot images.
Bennett and Brakey told reporters at the arena on May 27 that more than 800,000 ballots have been counted. They said the process will be completed by June 30.
The current audit started on April 23 and resumed last week after a break. It involves recounting the nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in last year’s election. Workers are also examining election machines including 385 tabulators.
Democrats have largely opposed the audit, including Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. She recently warned Maricopa County against using any of the audited machines in upcoming elections, citing security concerns about losing the chain of custody over the equipment when it was handed over to the auditors.
For months, Arizona Senate Republicans battled with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in court over access to ballots that were cast in the 2020 election and other material for a supposed audit. That audit finally got going in late April, generating national headlines, reported the Phoenix New Times.
The audit is still pending.
Arizona lawmakers approve bill vetting voters for citizenship before they can vote
Arizona lawmakers approved new voter restrictions that supporters said ensure only U.S. citizens can cast ballots but opponents said will wipe countless voters off the state’s rolls.
A unanimous Republican caucus approved House Bill 2492 on Wednesday in the Senate, sending the legislation to Gov. Doug Ducey for consideration.
While Arizona is one of the few states that already require proof of citizenship before registering to vote, residents can bypass that by registering for a federal-only ballot under the National Voter Registration Act and can vote on federal contests.
HB 2492 would require counties to check those individuals for citizenship against multiple databases. Counties must reject any federal applications if they find the individual is not a U.S. citizen. Any official knowingly ignoring the requirement could be charged with a Class 6 felony.
Democrats accused Republicans of seeking to purge the voter rolls as revenge for the 2020 general election, where President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump.
“This is absurd, illogical and discriminatory,” Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson, said.
Constitutional analysts told GOP lawmakers in another hearing the bill presents some issues that could face a legal challenge. Opponents were quick to note that in debate.
“We are voting on a bill that is unconstitutional and has a tremendous impact on the voters of the state of Arizona,” Sen. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix, said. “There are many provisions in this bill that are offensive, and that will have a negative impact on some communities more than others.”
Republicans said their legislation simply ensures U.S. citizens are the only ones voting in U.S. elections.
“The issue is making sure the citizens of this country are voting,” Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, said. “If you’re not a citizen of this country, you’re not allowed to vote. We have over 35,000 people registered to vote where we are not certain whether they’re citizens or not.”
The bill passed along partisan lines. Democrats gathered in Phoenix on Thursday to pressure Ducey to veto the legislation.
US Senators Question Motives of AT&T For Refusing To Renew OAN Contract…Cite AT&T Board Chairman’s Ties To Dominion Voting Machines
Two U.S. Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have written an official letter to AT&T inquiring into its politically-motivated decision to cut One America News Network (OANN) from DirectTV. Cruz and Lee both press the AT&T Board of Directors for answers regarding the “personal financial” influences that may have swayed the company’s decision.
The decision to not renew its contract with OANN was announced by DirecTV in mid-January. DirecTV, which is primarily run by AT&T, has a contract with OANN that is set to expire in early April.
In response to this major decision, President Trump spoke out at an Arizona rally, saying, “This is horrible. This is a great network. These are great people. I watch it all the time and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics – for purely political reasons. It’s a disgrace what’s going on.”
“I don’t think that people are gonna stand for it,” added Trump.”Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T.”
On Tuesday, Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz submitted a letter to the members of the AT&T Board of Directors, expressing “grave concern for the future of journalism and political discourse in America.”
They then listed six specific facts/concerns regarding the issue:
- One American News Network (“OAN”) is being sued for alleged defamation by Dominion Voting Systems.
- Dominion Voting Systems is owned by Staple Street Capital.
- William Kennard is on the executive board of Staple Street Capital
- William Kennard is also the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors
- AT&T owns 70% of DirecTV, and controls two seats on DirecTV’s board of directors
- DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with OANN.
The main concern pointed out by Lee and Cruz is that William Kennard, the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors and executive board member of Staple Street Capital, is pushing to end its contract with OANN to benefit his personal financial interests.
The Senators then request a response to the following question within 10 business days: “Did any employee or agent of AT&T at any time convey or suggest to any employee or agent of DirecTV an instruction or request not to renew OANN?”
Read the full letter below:
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