Arizona Secretary of State: County Won’t Have to Pay for Voting Machines

Arizona Secretary of State: County Won't Have to Pay for Voting Machines katie hobbs speaks into mic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs addresses the members of Arizona's Electoral College prior to them casting their votes Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 24 May 2021 02:49 PM

Maricopa County, Arizona will most likely need all new voting machines once the Republican-led audit of its 2020 election results concludes, but at least the county won't incur the cost, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Monday.

"The Senate indemnified the county against loss in this," said Hobbs, a Democrat and critic of the ongoing audit, said on CNN's "New Day. " "But at the end of the day, it's the Arizona taxpayers."

Hobbs last week, in a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said she consulted with security and election technology experts, including through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and learned that the machines can't be used after Senate President Karen Fann surrendered them to an unaccredited company as part of the audit.

Now, the machines should be decommissioned and replaced, said Hobbs.

She pointed out that her letter about the voting machines wasn't new information, because concerns about the voting machines were raised early in the process when the ruling to hold the audit was being appealed.

"The point of the letter really is that there is no process available where we could actually figure out if something was done with the machines," said Hobbs. "There is nothing that will be able to provide assurances that it will be usable again, and our recommendation is that it's not."

It will be up to Maricopa County whether to get rid of all the voting machines, not the state, but she is recommending that the machines have to go, "based on guidance from the Department of Homeland Security."

Meanwhile, Hobbs said she is hearing "across the board" and "across party lines" that voters in Arizona are not happy about the audit, backed by supporters of former President Donald Trump, because they "realize that this is really making a mockery out of our elections and a mockery out of Arizona again."

"Most voters, Republican, Democrat, Independent, they understand that this election was over in 2020 and that Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States," said Hobbs. "This is just a sideshow that unfortunately is stuck in a lot of places."

Hobbs and her family have also been facing death threats because of the election results, but she said Monday they've been appointed security and she's not afraid.

"I'm not going to cave into their scare tactics," said Hobbs. "I'm doing the job that the Arizona voters elected me to do. I'm not going to back down."

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