Bill HB 2569 was passed by the Republican-controlled state senate on Tuesday in a straight party-line vote of 16 to 14, banning the private funding of election administration and management.
Last month the bill went through the Republican-controlled Arizona House of Representatives and passed in a party-line vote of 31 to 29. Now it makes its way to Republican Governor Doug Ducey to sign into law.
“HB 2569 is common sense legislation that will ensure Arizona’s elections are free from outside influence and that our voters can have confidence in the integrity of the process,” State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who sponsored the bill in the House, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
“Nearly half a billion dollars in private funding was spent by out of state Democrat billionaires to influence the administration of county and state elections operations nationally, including millions here in Arizona. The Arizona legislature doesn’t want billionaires from any Party, or of any kind, attempting to influence our election system,” Hoffman added.
As Breitbart News reported in December, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, contributed a total of $419 million to two non-profit groups, The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), which provided privately funded election administration in the 2020 presidential election around the country.
Phill Kline of the Amistad Project has been a critic of the private funding calling it fundamentally unfair. In a previous Amistad report, Kline wrote:
The 2020 presidential election witnessed an unprecedented and coordinated public-private partnership to improperly influence the 2020 presidential election on behalf of one particular candidate and party.
Funded by hundreds of millions of dollars from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other high-tech interests, activist organizations created a two-tiered election system that treated voters differently depending on whether they lived in Democrat or Republican strongholds.
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Four Firms Hired By Arizona Senate to Audit 2.1 Million Ballots From 2020 Election
2.1 million ballots from the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County will be recounted by four firms hired by the Republican-led Arizona state Senate to ensure Biden’s win.
In a statement released by the state Senate on March 18, they stated the audit will be “broad and detailed”, including testing voting machines, scanning ballots, looking for IT breaches, and performing a hand count.
Recounts are something state law doesn’t allow except in narrow circumstances, but a judge’s ruling (pdf) said the Senate has oversight powers that allow it to do whatever election review it wants.
The independent audit will be conducted by four out-of-state companies; Wake Technology Services, CyFIR, Digital Discovery, and Cyber Ninjas. A report is expected to be released in about 60 days, a statement from the state Senate says.
The Senate said Florida-based cybersecurity company Cyber Ninjas will be leading the audit, noting that it focuses on computer application security for financial services and government clients.
Wake Technology has performed hand-count audits in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, the Senate said, while CyFIR focuses on computer forensics and cyber attacks. According to Texas-based Digital Discovery’s website, it focuses on digital forensics.
“The audit will validate every area of the voting process to ensure the integrity of the vote,” the Senate wrote. “The scope of work will include, but is not limited to, scanning all the ballots, a full manual recount, auditing the registration and votes cast, the vote counts, and the electronic voting system.”
Board Chair [Jack] Sellers and County Recorder [Stephen] Richer wrote in the Arizona Republic, ‘Democracy cannot survive if its people do not believe elections are free and fair.’”
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Arizona Senate Still Battling Maricopa County For Election Integrity
A simple solution in determining if there were any issues in Maricopa County, AZ during the 2020 presidential election would be to grant the Arizona Senate access to the ballots and the machines in order to conduct a forensic audit. Unfortunately, the Maricopa County board will not grant access to the necessary election equipment, claiming the materials are privileged.
Should a court side with the county, an Arizona Senate committee has come up with a backup plan: a proposal which states election equipment and ballots are not protected, which would enable the legislature to issue a subpoena.
The Republican-controlled county board has been fighting the Senate’s effort to get access to ballots and election machines since mid-December under a subpoena issued by lawmakers who have questioned President Joe Biden’s win in the state. The board maintains the ballots are secret under law and the state constitution and tabulation machines can’t be compromised by allowing uncertified people to examine them.
The board handed over reams of materials and is doing two audits of their own on the machines to ensure they accurately counted ballots and weren’t hacked.
The Senate fell one vote short of finding the board in contempt on Monday, just days after the county board asked a judge to quash the subpoenas.
Republican Senator Warren Peterson, who recently became chairman of the Judiciary Committee says the new proposal is an “insurance policy” should a judge rule against the Senate.
“They continue to hold the position that we don’t have the authority to investigate and audit the ballots and in this case the equipment,” Peterson said Tuesday. “So this makes clear what we already believe is the law.”
Charlie Kirk sat down with Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar yesterday and discussed the election results in the state and the ongoing audit efforts. Gosar believes there may be a 2-3 percent error rate in the counting of ballots in his state.