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Transcript of "Senate Hearing on Maricopa County Election Audit" - Ken Bennet, Karen Fann, Warren Petersen, July 15, 2021

-Senate liaison Ken Bennett
Talking about things that maybe wanto to be considering as far as statutory changes or improvements. I can talk about some of the things that the election procedures manual of the State of Arizona, and our state statutes require, as far as the storage and security of ballots...

-Arizona Senate President, Karen Fann
Can we go ahead and do that. One of these events were the subject of chain of custody and storage?

-Ken Bennett
Well, one of the things that we subpoenaed that has not been provided is the in custody that should have been created when ballots were received by Maricopa County and while they were going through the process of the election.

If you go to chapter 8....

Think, it's V - 5 Roman numeral five, subsection e, storage and security of ballots. It reads that official ballots must be inventoried upon receipt and prior to disk distribution to voting locations, item three. Well item two is they must be accessed by election staff. Only to the extent necessary to perform their authorized task a key one. Do is third. They must be stored in locked. Secured location, that prevents unauthorized access as we have, And in that number 3, it says they must be documented with a written log or with electronic keypad access that indicates the date time and identity of the person accessing the ballots for must be witnessed by two or more election staff members of different political parties. If possible, when being moved or transferred which includes an inventory of the ballots before and after the move or transfer and then the last item is very important as well. Since we use ballot on demand printers And many of the counties around Arizona, that the officer in charge of election. She'll also Implement reasonable security procedures for auditing and accountability of blank ballot stock for use with on-demand printers. So, part of what we have,

Been trying to get in addition to the ballots themselves is a chain of custody from the very beginning of the process. When the county took ballot stock and or pre-printed ballots from their vendors, and a chain of custody ever since then, which is still forthcoming.

-Karen Fann
That was on the original subpoena.

-Ken Bennett

-Karen Fann
We have not received it.

-The Arizona House of Representatives representing, Warren Petersen
Madam President, if I may mr. Bennett, what's been the response when you've asked for that? But what did they put in?
What did the county time?

-Ken Bennett
They provided us with they're going to provide us with?

-Karen Fann
So there are you saying they're refusing to give us that information at this point?

-Ken Bennett
Ah... They every time I've tried to interact with the folks at the elections Department, I've been told that I need to deal with the county attorney's office, and most of that time I've received kind of the answer that we gave you everything. We're going to give you. I'm trying not to be flippant but that's appreciate that.

-Karen Fann
Can you as a pass Secretary of State? I know you're familiar with the handling of ballots. I know that you know a couple months ago Senator Peterson, and I had our first update briefing. And there were some things mentioned about bags, that are sealed at some point and apparently unsealed at some Every box is that you opened in. There were broken seals at the bottom. Could you explain to the best of your ability? How about supposed to be handled and treated from when they're at the voting centers are at the polling stations? And, and when you receive those ballots and you open those boxes, what did you find? Could you walk us through what we should be looking for?

-Ken Bennet
Well, in many of the boxes we found? Pretty much a very little existence of any ballot batch sheets. That would describe how many ballots should be found in there batches Maricopa County process. The election in two thousand three hundred and forty-one. Excuse me, 10,341 batches, most of their batches were right around 200. But they had 20 some patches that were one ballot per batch and they had other batches of ballots, mostly from the voting centers that were around a thousand in a batch, some of the boxes. You would see a batch number on the outside of the box, identifying it as election day. So it came from a polling location and if there was just one number, then you would infer from that that there's only one batch in It was a large batch from a voting location as ballots are processed, at the voting locations, I think Maricopa had a hundred and seventy-one. I believe voting centers when those are processed their bagged and locked in sealed bags and sent down to the central County location. They are opened again there and when they are put in the boxes we found some of the cut seals and things like that. So the fact that we found some cut seals was probably, it was easier to throw them in the bottom of the box, then throw them in the trash can somewhere. And it doesn't speak to anything violative of state law or election procedures manual. But apparently is the way that some of the people disposed of the, of the seals, it came from the bags at the voting centers. The Ballots that are handled at the central count, which is the vast majority of the ballots and Maricopa. County's situation of the 2.1 million are actually 289,563 ballots that were processed approximately 1.9 million were processed through the mail and therefore at Central count locations and about 168,000 ballots were processed at the other at the 171 Polling locations.

When those ballots are put in those boxes, in some cases, we found pink sheets. We and they Maricopa County called in that would say below this pink sheet. There should be two hundred ballots to were taken to duplication. And so there should be 198 As was reported earlier and I think Doug [Cyber Ninjas, owner, Doug Logan] may speak to it again. There were some discrepancies or quite a few discrepancies found but it was later discovered that the county has blue sheets. That are used at a different point in the process to identify time and their process were ballots are again sent to duplication. And so the blue sheets explained that the pink sheets would go from 200 minus to 198 a blue sheet. Might get from 198 to, we sent another six or seven to duplication. So the number would change again. But....

-Warren Petersen
President, Mr. Bennett's that point, what were you given the blue sheets? Have we been given the blue sheets?

-Ken Bennet
We were not given the blue sheets by Maricopa County but we were able to get the blue sheets through one of the assistant, Liaison Organizations, audit USA out of Tucson, who requested by public records. To the blue sheets, and then provided those to the audit.
I think they've been helpful, Doug may speak to that further as to explaining some of the discrepancies that are not entirely explained by the pink sheets that we sometimes found in the Box, sometimes we would open a box and all the pink sheets would be stuff down the side vertically. And you really at that point had no idea of where you would insert those pink sheets in between batches of pallets to account for the some of the ballots in the Box. I think a lot of this may stem from standard procedure where we've not done. Many Audits and most counties have put things in boxes knowing that they're going to be sealed up put on pallets shrink-wrapped and put in a warehouse for 22 months and then destroyed and usually nothing nothing or nobody is ever being looked at or looking at, in this case, I think we have discovered that we could probably use a little beefing up in our election procedures manual. And, or state statutes as to how Things are documented and stored in an organized. Consistent fashion in boxes in case other audits are done in the future. But there's no, I can find no election procedures manual, manual, directives, or state law that says, you have to put them in the boxes in this specific way, but that may be something that we need to look at.

-Karen Fann
Anything else that you want to add at this point?

-Ken Bennet
When the other thing is, if you if you do need. Yeah. The only other thing I guess that I was personally involved in on a couple of occasions. Not the only other thing that and other thing that I was called to one of the counting tables is when we started opening opening duplicate balance, there's almost one whole palette of ballots, it recalled, original / damage palette sent to duplication and then there was quite a few boxes mostly on one pallet but scattered amongst three or four other Pilots where the duplicates were supposedly there for the duplicates that were sent to duplicate. So if a ballot gets damaged and has to be sent to duplication, there is a very specific process in the election procedures. Manual chapter 10, Roman numeral, two section three procedures for duplicating a ballot. This stems precisely from ARS 16-621 a which says That they are to record an identical serial number on both, the original and duplicate ballot including spoiled duplicates. This ties the ballots together and creates a paper trail as required by the statute ARS 16-621 a we found I would have to say thousands of duplicate ballots where? Those serial numbers are not on them and so it is create a great difficulty, try to match up. A duplicated ballot to its duplicate. And on thousands of the ones that a serial number was put on, they were put on by a, guess you would call it like a dot matrix printer, very, very light and unfortunately they ended up being Printed on the ballot on the top usually top, right? Part of the ballot where the black Square alignment marks are on the ballot. And so, if a very light gray number...

Posted at 2021/07/16(Fri) 05:22:02

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