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Sun, Aug. 14

Election officials to rebut claims in Arizona ballot review

PHOENIX - Election officials in Arizona plan Wednesday to present a point-by-point rebuttal of a partisan review of the 2020 election that former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters have used to promote the myth that Trump lost because of fraud.

Election administrators and the mostly Republican leaders of Maricopa County have always maintained that the review, conducted by Trump supporters on behalf of state Senate Republicans, was flawed. They're scheduled to offer their most detailed response in a public meeting of the county Board of Supervisors.

The Senate's closely watched ballot review ended in September without producing proof to support Trump's claims of a stolen election. A firm hired by Republican lawmakers issued a report that experts described as riddled with errors, bias and flawed methodology.

The review began with a sweeping subpoena issued by Senate Republican leaders in late 2020 as Trump and his allies searched in vain for evidence to support his claim the election was stolen. The subpoena demanded access to all 2.1 million ballots, the machines that counted them and troves of digital election data from Maricopa County, home to the Phoenix metro area and 60% of Arizona voters.

To lead the review, Republican lawmakers hired Cyber Ninjas, a small cybersecurity consultancy with no experience in elections and led by a Trump supporter who shared conspiracy theories about the election on a Twitter account that he later deleted.

The Cyber Ninjas report confirmed Biden’s narrow victory in Maricopa County but claimed a number of shortcomings in election procedures and suggested the final tally still could not be relied upon. Trump has repeatedly pointed to those claims in his rallies and public statements.

The former president is scheduled to host a rally Jan. 15 outside Florence, his second in Arizona since his election loss.

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