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Editor’s Thought Bubble: What’s up with the Senate audit?

By: - February 2, 2021 9:37 am

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Something strange is afoot with the state Senate’s planned audit of the Maricopa County election. I know, I know — it’s shocking that a politically motivated, quixotic quest to uncover imagined rampant fraud that didn’t benefit any Democrats outside of Joe Biden and Mark Kelly wouldn’t be on the up-and-up. But hear me out.

For starters, the Senate announced Friday that it had hired an auditor… but it refused to say who it had hired. Then late Monday, our Jeremy Duda noted in a report that Senate President Karen Fann walked that statement back, saying that the Senate had only *selected* an “independent, qualified, forensic auditing firm” to conduct the audit but hadn’t actually hired anyone — and was, in fact, still considering “one or two others” to do the work.

We know that the GOP senators agitating the most for the audit are already panning the yet-to-be-conducted audit ordered by Maricopa County, and the conspiracy theory conservative media has declared the fix is in because the county hired reputable companies who are certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and not self-styled experts who already know that the election was stolen by Dominion Voting Systems and the ghost of Hugo Chavez, but only need access to the equipment and ballots to prove it.

My guess on what’s happening in the Senate is that Fann, in trying to appease the “Kraken Caucus” in her chamber, agreed to hire someone who isn’t reputable and doesn’t want to announce that.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.