Maricopa County Refuses to Provide Routers to Election Auditors

Arizona’s Maricopa County is refusing to turn over routers or router images to election auditors, defying a judge’s ruling.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office informed former Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett of the decision this week. Bennett is the Arizona Senate’s liaison for the audit.

The county was told late last month, while delivering subpoenaed election materials to the state Senate’s custody, that delivering routers, or even images of routers, “posed a significant security risk to law enforcement data utilized by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office as well as numerous federal agencies.”

“We had previously believed that the risk would be eliminated by redacting the law enforcement data on the routers and not producing it. But we were informed that redaction did not eliminate the risk,” Joseph LaRue, deputy county attorney, told Bennett in a letter.

A spokesman for the county told The Epoch Times via email that its technology professionals “determined the information contained in Maricopa County’s routers can be used as blueprints to intercept sensitive county data.”

“Maricopa County has more than 50 different county departments, and the routers the Senate subpoena commanded the County produce support all of these departments, not just elections operations. This includes critical law enforcement data that, by law, cannot be disclosed, as well as Maricopa County residents’ protected health information and full social security numbers,” he added.

“By providing the routers, or even virtual images of routers, sensitive data and the lives of law enforcement personnel could be endangered. The County is continuing to study this issue, and routers remain in the county’s custody for the time being.”

Bennett and Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, did not respond to requests for comment.

arizona audit
Ballots cast and machines used in the 2020 election are examined by auditors hired by the Arizona Senate at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Ariz., on April 29, 2021. (Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP/ Pool)

The subpoenas issued by the state Senate to the county last year say auditors require access or control of all routers, tabulators, or some combinations thereof “in order to garner the system logs.”

The subpoena in question was for electronic machines used in the election. Each machine has a log, or record.

The county tried to rebuff the subpoenas, but a judge in February ruled the county must comply with them.

County officials forced auditors to count ballots and review equipment offsite but delivered the materials to the teams late last month. The exclusion of the routers was not reported before this week.

Maricopa County officials said separately on Wednesday that two laboratories tested the voting equipment in February and found no evidence that election machines were connected to the Internet.

But Bennett said on KFYI on Monday that auditors could not confirm that unless they had access to the logs.

“Here we are several weeks into the audit, and we still don’t have some of the information that was subpoenaed by the state Senate from Maricopa County,” he said.

“They told me personally weeks ago that they had taken all the routers and the internet connections and the hubs and everything out of the building so they could send it to us, and we would have the logs when we got into those devices, we would be able to see those logs, that nothing was connected to the Internet during the election. And lo and behold, they don’t show up in the equipment that they said would be delivered to us,” Bennett added.

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Zachary Stieber
Author: Zachary Stieber

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