Arizona Election Auditors Managed To Find Deleted Data

There is some positive news for those hoping for a fair outcome to the 2020 presidential election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona.

An auditor said on Tuesday that the information that was allegedly deleted had been retrieved, according to The Arizona Mirror.

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CyFIr founder Ben Cotton, a subcontractor on Senate President Karen Fann’s audit team, said his team was able to retrieve data that the Senate’s election team had accused Maricopa County of removing during a hearing in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

At the hearing, he said, “I’ve been able to recover all of those deleted files, and I have access to that data.” “From the data recovery activities, I have the details I require.”

After the hearing, Maricopa County officials replied with a tweet.

“Just want to emphasize that the Arizona Senate’s @ArizonaAudit account accused Maricopa County of deleting files- which would be a felony- then a day after our technical letter clarified they were just searching in the wrong spot- all of a sudden ‘auditors’ have retrieved the files,” the statement said.

According to Cotton’s explanation, county officials were right when they said that no files had been removed.

Shortly before handing over its vote tabulation machines to the audit, the county “deleted a directory full of election databases from the 2020 election cycle,” according to the audit’s official Twitter account.

To substantiate its point, it shared a screenshot purporting to show a list of deleted files, all of which were marked as changed on April 12, about a week and a half before the county delivered the machines to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the audit is taking place.

The county Board of Supervisors responded to Fann on Monday, saying the elections department shut down the servers on that day, and the “updated” date only shows changes the program made to the files’ metadata, which it said was a normal occurrence. Cotton said that after obtaining the computers, the audit team did not turn them on.

Rather than inspecting the devices in person, the audit team took digital copies of them. According to the county, the third-party program CyFIR used to analyze those digital copies gave the impression that files were incomplete or deleted because they were not in their original location.

The Arizona Independent Journal announced that State Senate President Karen Fann requested a meeting with county officials last week to “constructivly resolve” problems with the audit, including the reported allegation that a “main database” in the Election Management System was removed.


Margaret Taylor

Experienced communications professional with 10 years of experience in international journalism.

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