Thursday 27 May 2021

Exclusive: AZ Audit Director Ken Bennett: “We haven’t received ANYTHING from them – Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Refuses to Cooperate and Answer AZ Senate”


On Tuesday afternoon, Reporter Jordan Conradson had a chance to speak with Arizona Audit Director Ken Bennett about the ongoing America’s Audit. This was the second day of counting after the 9-day break that was scheduled for high school graduation ceremonies in Phoenix. 

The tech team WAKE TSI is no longer involved in this process and their responsibilities will transfer to StratTech, a subcontractor that has been helping with technology and involved in training since day one. StratTech is now facilitating the counting under Cyber Ninjas, as WAKE finished their contract and chose not to continue past May 14th. 

Staffing for the audit is moving up every day and the Senate Audit team trained over 300 new people last week.  On Tuesday, they had 29-30 counting tables fully staffed and they have a few more tables to fill in to have the 45 tables filled. They are currently discussing opening a 3rd counting shift each day.

The most recent ballot count is 660,000 ballots completed as of May 14th, and their goal is to finish counting the ballots by June 30.

Conradson asked Bennett for updates on the MCBOS’s and Katie Hobbs’ attempts to stop this process. 

Conradson: How is the audit going?

Bennett: We started back up yesterday and everything is running very smoothly. We have the most counting tables filled that we’ve had since we began and they are increasing every day. More and more volunteers and staff are coming in, so we’re pleased.

Conradson: In regards to your response to the MCBOS on the 18th, have you gotten an answer from the county regarding issues with duplicate ballots and corresponding originals?

Bennett: No we haven’t heard anything from them yet, but we’re putting together a specific email to ask them some of those questions. They didn’t want to come to the hearing at The Senate and they had their own little hearing the day before. So, we didn’t get many of the answers we would have like to have gotten but we are getting ready to contact them to get whatever they’re willing to give us.

Conradson: How about the chain of custody documentation from November to April, any word on that?

Bennett: We still have not received anything about that, no.

Conradson: In regards to pink slip discrepancies, they basically said “we don’t believe you. Your auditors must have counted wrong”. Do you think that the auditors might have counted wrong or do you think they’re just deflecting the blame?

Bennett: Well, we’ve been very precise, and I’ve watched personally to see if those numbers add up all the time, and many times they do not. So, the data that we sent them in the email saying that those batches do not always equal the number of ballots that their little subtotal sheet say should be there, is a correct statement. And so we hope they’ll be able to give us a little more insight, other than saying it’s supposed to add up and we must have just counted wrong. We’ve double and triple-checked that and we hope they’ll give us a little more insight.

Conradson: Instead of showing up to your meeting they held their own meeting where they didn’t really answer your questions. What are they afraid of? Why didn’t they just come to your meeting?

Bennett: I don’t know. I thought President Fann did a great job of going back to the history of the very beginning where they gave every indication to her that they would be cooperative and their reason for not being able to move forward at that time was that they didn’t have the authority and the senate gave them that authority through the subpoenas. But as soon as the subpoenas were issued, they seemed to have become very contrary and uncooperative. So, we hope that we can break through that and get some better cooperation, but it takes two sides to cooperate. 

Conradson: at what point does this require criminal action If they’re not following the subpoenas?

Bennett: It may never get to criminal action. If they don’t want to cooperate, they don’t want to cooperate. 

Conradson: Have there been any other attempts to stop this process by the BOS, Democrats, or Katie Hobbs?

Bennett: Katie Hobbs, The Secretary of State,  released a letter saying that the machines can no longer be used, which is totally ludicrous. We haven’t done anything with the machines that they wouldn’t normally do in handling the machines. We had the big high-volume scanner machines for a little more than a week and we returned them in exactly the same condition that we received them in so I don’t think there’s anything that we’ve done with the machines that makes them unusable. 

Conradson: My last question, I don’t see any of the pink shirts like Ryan or any of Katie Hobbs’ operatives. Where are they?

Bennett: The pink shirts, the observers from the secretary of states office, seem to be coming in the afternoon shift and they’ve kinda quit coming in the morning shift for some reason.


The audit has resumed but The MCBOS refuses to cooperate with The Senate and their subpoenas. As the week continues, hopefully, they can give us some answers on that chain of custody documentation, duplicate ballots, pink slip discrepancies as well as compliance with the subpoenas. 

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