Tech company backs out of Arizona election audit
The tech company that oversaw the hand count of Maricopa County ballots in Arizona’s Republican Senate-led audit of 2020 election results has decided to back out of the recount, audit officials said.
Audit spokesperson and former Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen told the Arizona Republic Tuesday that Pennsylvania-based Wake TSI decided not to renew its contract, which ended May 14.
Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann (R) also told local NBC affiliate KPNX that Wake, which was the subcontractor working under the audit’s main contractor, Cyber Ninjas, would no longer be involved in the audit, which officials say is likely to continue through next month.
Pullen told the Republic that Wake TSI “didn’t want to come back.”
“They were done,” he said, adding that Scottsdale-based technology company StratTech Solutions would now be overseeing the hand count.
Pullen said that Wake had been involved in the audit since it launched on April 23 and helped set up technology for the hand count of the more than 2.1 million ballots that state Senate Republicans obtained through a subpoena.
According to its website, Wake specializes in cybersecurity and improving the productivity and efficiency of information technology systems. It is not clear whether the company has had any prior experience with election auditing.
The state lawmakers have hired several firms to handle the recount. All are being led by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm that has no prior experience auditing elections and is led by a businessman who has repeated former President Trump’s false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
The Hill has reached out to Wake for comment on its decision to not renew its contract.
The audit of ballots cast in Arizona’s most populous county follows repeated baseless claims from Trump and his allies that his loss in Arizona and other battleground states was caused by widespread fraud.
The audit has taken longer than initially expected, and counting at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix resumed Monday after a weeklong hiatus so high schools could utilize the arena for graduation ceremonies.
A growing number of Arizona Republicans have become impatient with the election audit and have called on the GOP-controlled state Senate to end the probe, especially after some findings made by auditors that initially appeared to support Trump’s unsubstantiated claims turned out to be errors.
For example, the Republican Senate last week accused Maricopa County of deleting a directory of computer files, which Trump cited twice in statements from his political action committee.
However, auditors later walked back the claims after the county’s board of supervisors issued a letter detailing where the files were and accusing the Senate of “a serious lack of understanding of election law.”
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) has repeatedly condemned the election audit, characterizing it as a deeply partisan search based on false accusations.