Independent experts find no foul play in 2020 election

A new report from an independent review of Maricopa County’s 2020 election equipment supports what the county has said all along: the voting machines weren’t connected to the internet, and the county didn’t try to obstruct the state Senate’s audit or delete data. 

The report comes after the Arizona Senate and the county agreed in September 2021 that three independent computer security experts would review the county’s routers and answer the Senate’s questions in relation to the 2020 general election. Both parties agreed that former Congressman John Shadegg would act as an impartial “special master” to oversee the process. 

Six months later, the findings, which were released late Wednesday, fall in line with the county’s own independent election audits conducted more than a year ago. 

John Shadegg

The Senate’s election review team, headed by Cyber Ninjas, presented its report in September 2021, offering no evidence of widespread fraud. Its ballot hand count found Joe Biden received 99 more votes than the official tally. However, the Senate still wanted to examine the county’s routers and Splunk logs, which it had also subpoenaed earlier in the year. The county resisted, citing security concerns. But, faced with losing hundreds of millions of state-shared revenues for not complying with the subpoenas, the county eventually settled with the Senate to allow an independent review of the equipment. 

Shadegg’s report stated that the team found no evidence that “routers, managed switches, or election devices” connected to the Internet. He and the experts also found no evidence that the county obstructed the audit. 

“The special master and expert panel found no evidence of data deletion, data purging, data overwriting, or other destruction of evidence or obstruction of the audit,” the report stated. 

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Gates said in a written statement that the report should be “a final stake in the heart of the Senate’s so-called ‘audit,’” pointing out that it concluded the ballot tabulation system was not connected to the internet and that county routers were not connected to the election…