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AZ Senate to subpoena voting machines for forensic audit amid election fraud concerns

A ballot is entered into a machine. (Voice Of America/Released)
December 15, 2020

Voting machines may soon be inspected in Maricopa County, Ariz., following a state legislature’s efforts on Monday to start the process of confiscating the machines.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Eddie Farnsworth acted to subpoena the machines after a six-hour hearing on the election and Arizona residents’ ability to trust election results, Arizona Public Media reported. Farnsworth said subpoenas for the machines are expected to be issued as early as Tuesday.

Farnsworth said clearing up concerns linked to Dominion Voting Systems machines was the issue, not changing the outcome of the election. He said the goal was to “try and see if we can reinsert some confidence in our election process.”

“We hold an audit and we see what the outcome is,” he said. “And then we can put this to rest.”

Dominion voting machines have been the subject of concerns of widespread voter fraud and irregularity, including claims that the machines can be manipulated remotely to alter votes. Dominion officials have denied the claims.

“Since shortly before the 2020 election a number of my colleagues and I have been examining potential fraud pathways and illegal actions through which our 2020 election could become tainted,” said Republican state Representative Mark Finchem, who praised the move, during an interview with Western Journal.

“I compliment Chairman Eddie Farnsworth, Senator Sonny Borrelli (Senate Whip), Senator Rick Gray (Majority Leader), Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita, and Senator Vince Leach. Each asked thoughtful, insightful questions that left no room for any conclusion that a forensic audit is about the only move that will restore constituent confidence in our elections integrity,” Finchem said. “The outcome of this hearing was a call by Chairman Eddie Farnsworth to issue subpoenas to seize the machines. A forensic audit is the likely next step. This is a huge development, and moves Arizona in the right direction to account for the many irregularities.”

Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett downplayed the concerns during the hearing, adding that hand counts are an independent audit. However, Farnsworth said just the possibility of manipulated machines needs to be considered, The Western Journal reported.

“I do have a concern that the county is taking the position that it just can’t happen,” he said. “There is a litany of white-collar crimes, digital crimes in the history of this country and this world of some very sophisticated people and the victims didn’t recognize it until some future time. I think it’s really, really dangerous for us to say, ‘It can’t happen.’”