The Republican-led Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is blasting accusations being made by fellow Republicans in connection with the Arizona Senate's GOP-led audit of the 2020 election results and demanded in a letter that the "sham" recount be stopped because it is making the state a "laughingstock" and that the claims being made by auditors defame people who worked during the vote.
The board members issued their response in a lengthy letter after meeting Monday afternoon to address questions that were raised in a letter sent to them last week by Senate President Karen Fann, reports The Washington Post.
Fann said in her letter to the supervisors that the review of the county's election equipment and the 2.1 million ballots raised "serious issues" being reported by the auditors, including allegations that the county would not provide virtual copies of wi-fi routers and that the main database had been deleted from the county's Election Management System.
The board, in its 13-page response that was signed by all five members, called the accusations "an insult to the dedicated public servants in the Maricopa County Elections Department and Office of the Recorder."
Fann's letter to the board came while an account for the audit tweeted several claims that made allegations that have not been substantiated about the election in the county, which includes the city of Phoenix.
The county board's response also came after former President Donald Trump claimed on his own website that the "entire database of Maricopa County" had been deleted, posting after accusations were made on a Twitter account associated with the audit that officials had deleted files and caused “spoliation of evidence."
Florida firm Cyber Ninjas is leading a team of contractors that is conducting a hand recount of the Maricopa ballots at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Part of their examination is including the use of UV lights and microscopes after claims that ballots were illegally smuggled in from Asia.
Board Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, said Tuesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the auditors' "procedures and lack of experience and their conspiracy theories" were bad enough, but the final straw for him came when they "started defaming" the "good people who work in Maricopa County and saying truly horrible things about them midway through this audit."
He said he does feel for Republicans in the state Senate who called for the audit but insisted that they must tell their constituents that they have been "lied to repeatedly over the last six months and my heart feels for you."
He added that he is "disappointed with leaders who actually know better, and yet they continue to perpetuate these untruths."
The irony, he added, is that all of those calling for the audit are lining up to run in 2022, some even for higher office.
"I just asked yesterday, do you think, you know, you just said, everything is fraudulent," he said. "Do you think that fraud doesn't apply to your race? What's going on here? I think your actions speak louder than your words."
Maricopa’s other elected officials, including the sheriff, a Democrat; and the Republican county recorder, who leads the elections office, also signed the letter.
The recount began in late April and is being held in Phoenix by a Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, whose chief executive has repeated Trump's claims about the 2020 election.
The county officials also agreed to boycott a meeting benign held Tuesday by Fann, who said she wants to discuss the "serious issues" Cyber Ninjas say they've revealed.
“I will not be responding to any more requests from this sham process. Finish your audit and be ready to defend what you’re finding in a court of law,” Sellers said Monday's meeting.
Another supervisor, Republican Bill Gates, also said that no county officials would attend Fann's meeting.
“This board was going to be part of a political theater broadcast on live stream by OAN,” he said, in a reference to pro-Trump outlet One America News. “We’re not going to be a part of that.”
Fann spokesperson Mike Philipsen said she didn't see Monday's meeting in Maricopa County, and that she'd offer her own response to the county officials during her own meeting.
State Sen. Warren Petersen, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Twitter that he's "disappointed" the county officials won't attend the meeting Tuesday and said their letter had "unnecessary insults" while not answering questions posed by the audit.
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