Monday, May 16, 2022

Arizona Republicans move 2020 ballots in trucks after pausing controversial election audit

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Despite public pledges that this third poll evaluation can be completed by May 14, Arizona Senate liaison Ken Bennett instructed CNN they’d gotten by means of solely about 500,000 ballots earlier than being pressured to surrender their area.

The lease couldn’t be prolonged as a result of the Coliseum is internet hosting greater than a dozen highschool graduations in the approaching week, elevating potential safety issues in regards to the ballots, which are actually being relocated.

Friday morning, forklifts started lifting pallets crammed with packing containers of ballots onto trailer beds to move to a brief warehouse, a constructing on the south facet of the fairgrounds referred to as the Wesley Bolin Building a few hundred yards away. The sage-green warehouse sits instantly subsequent to the Crazy Times Carnival, which has been utilizing the Wesley Bolin’s restrooms for carnivalgoers as public loos, making a second, ongoing safety concern past the relocation from the Coliseum.

“They’ll be in a locked container with 24/7 armed guards, fencing and 24/7 livestreaming cameras,” Bennett instructed CNN.

When requested if the power housing the ballots can be temperature- and moisture-controlled, Bennett mentioned it will be, including that “the place where the ballots are stored will be in a condition that does not affect the ballots negatively.”

Bennett wouldn’t focus on the specifics of circumstances contained in the Wesley Bolin Building.

On the Arizona fairgrounds web site describing its venues, it warns that the constructing is “not recommended for use between May through September.” The motive? “Due to temperatures during the summer months.”

As the truck moved the ballots throughout the fairgrounds, temperatures have been scheduled to hit 102 on Friday.

The ballots will keep in their non permanent residence till May 23, when they are going to be moved again to the Coliseum. Bennett instructed CNN the rely will restart on May 24, with the objective of ending “within 14-16 days.”

That tempo would require an exponential ramp-up and price that thus far have proved elusive to this partisan poll rely, going down regardless of two audits carried out by Maricopa County displaying no widespread election fraud.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” mentioned election know-how skilled Ryan Macias of the poll evaluation being led by Cyber Ninjas, employed by the state Senate. “They do not have auditing experience. They do not have election technology experience. The more that this (the ballots) moves in and out, the more likely the chain of custody will be broken and the less likely that the data is reliable.”

Macias is an skilled in election know-how who is among the professional bono observers introduced in by the Arizona secretary of state’s workplace to look at the Cyber Ninjas poll rely. He has been employed by each Republicans and Democrats to assist safeguard dozens upon dozens of state and federal elections.

“There’s ballots; there’s people counting. But the process in which they are utilizing, at least on the counting floor, is nothing that is in an election environment,” mentioned Macias.

CNN spoke with greater than a dozen employees as they went in to conduct the poll rely during the last three weeks. On lots of the autos, there have been bumper stickers signaling help for Trump.

Elouise Flagg, one of many employees, mentioned she was impressed to affix the Cyber Ninjas poll rely as a result of she did not imagine the outcomes of the 2020 election nor the next audits carried out by Maricopa County.

“I think Donald Trump won the election — firm believer,” mentioned Flagg. “I hope we come to a point where we’re happy with the results and truth is told.”

Workers like Flagg will return in just a little greater than per week to start out the poll rely once more. A brand new lease settlement between Arizona Senate Republicans and the state fairgrounds reveals an finish date of June 30. The actual deadline, nonetheless, is July 10 and 11, when the Crossroads of the West gun present takes place in the Coliseum.



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