WASHINGTON, D.C. — After repeated false claims by state Senate Republicans and former President Donald Trump that a key database containing Maricopa County voting records had been deleted, auditors hired by the Republican state Senate admitted on Tuesday that they made a technical mistake and the database had always been intact. The Republican-led state Senate had commissioned another unnecessary audit of the Maricopa County 2020 election results, hiring private firms to conduct the audit. Last week, Senate President Karen Fann (R) had promoted false claims that the database containing “all election related data” for the county had been “removed,” writing to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for explanation.
On Tuesday, the private auditors hired by the state Senate admitted that a technical mistake on their part led them to believe the database was inaccessible, and that they had full access to the data. But Fann, the Senate Audit Twitter account and former President Donald Trump had already latched on to and spread the false claim on social media, with Trump releasing a statement saying, “The entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED! This is illegal and the Arizona State Senate, who is leading the Forensic Audit, is up in arms.”
In response to Fann’s letter, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (a majority-Republican body) penned a scathing rebuke of the accusation and the audit process as a whole. “You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call ‘kinematic artifacts’ while shining purple lights for effect,” the letter said. “None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.”