An effort in Arizona to audit the results of November’s presidential election results is moving ahead despite intense legal scrutiny and protests from progressive pundits and politicians.
According to reports, Democrats in the state have thus far been unsuccessful in their attempts to halt the process based on claims that the firm in charge, Cyber Ninjas, cannot be trusted.
A judge shared concerns about voter privacy, but ruled Wednesday that the audit can continue.
“Inexperienced third party”
According to AZFamily.com and the Associated Press, Maricopa County Superior Judge Daniel Martin dismissed a restraining order filed by critics, determining that the plaintiffs had failed to provide compelling evidence of harm.
It was the latest turn in what has become a deeply contentious process. While many Democrats have contested the audit, describing it as a sham attempt to sow doubts about the accuracy of President Joe Biden’s win in the state, Republican proponents insist it will help restore voter confidence.
State Democrats were able to temporarily stop the audit when the party’s only member on the county board of supervisors sued last week, but it resumed when they failed to pay a $1 million bond, as the Washington Examiner reported. The prior judge in the case recused himself and Martin took over.
In their lawsuit, Democrats called Cyber Ninjas an “inexperienced third party with clear bias” on the matter, AZFamily.com said. State senators have contracted with the firm to audit more than 2 million ballots as well as perform a test on voting machines.
“Picking up significantly every day”
The firm released data it has sought to keep private due to concerns about revealing “trade secrets” in response to a ruling on Thursday from the judge. Earlier in the week, Martin expressed concerns about how the audit had been carried out.
“I will share with you all, I am not yet persuaded that there has been a showing that the rights of the voters in Maricopa County are being protected,” he said on Tuesday, according to the Examiner.
A liaison for the audit signaled that the process will be complete prior to a May 14 deadline.
“The first two days were very low counts, but the count is picking up significantly every day,” Ken Bennett told the Arizona Republic. “We’re doing things that will get us to a number of ballots per day that will allow us to be done with the counting by May 14.”
Controversy over the audit reflects a continuation of deep divisions over the issue of voter laws as well as the results of the 2020 presidential race. Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged and many of his supporters have expressed lingering concerns about voter fraud.