Cellphones, guns, WiFi microscopes and program glitches

An audit personnel on June 9, 2021, is effective at a station that illustrations or photos ballots to detect alleged counterfeit ballots. Picture by Leah Trinidad | Arizona Republic / pool photograph

Observers sent by Secretary of Condition Katie Hobbs to watch the Arizona Senate’s election audit say they’ve lifted a litany of considerations about safety, equipment, conversation, procedures and procedures about the previous month.

The observers, whose presence is allowed due to the fact of a settlement arrived at by the secretary of state’s office environment and the Senate auditors, have previously elevated issues about what they have noticed on the flooring of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Hobbs’s office this week published notes detailing what the observers have found given that May perhaps 24, in which they raised new problems. 

The notes are damaged down into 4 major classes: stability worries tools issues communication issues and plan and/or procedure modifications. 

Cellphones and guns 

The observers mentioned multiple situations that they observed cell telephones on the audit ground, even although they are banned by the audit’s procedures. On a person celebration, Ken Bennett, the Senate’s liaison to the auditors and a previous secretary of state, experienced his cellular phone on the floor. Another time, point out Sen. Wendy Rogers had a cellphone in her again pocket. Rogers has produced several excursions to the audit ground, the place she has served as hostess for GOP legislators from other states who wish to replicate Arizona’s audit in their states.

Cell telephones ended up not the only item observers observed on the audit floor that brought on them to be alarmed. 

“On Might 29, 2021, observers verified that contributors are permitted to deliver firearms into the Coliseum and on the counting floor ‘as long as they are concealed,’” the observer notes discovered. 

The observers raised other protection worries. For numerous times a duplicate of a treatment manual marked “confidential” was left out “sometimes unattended at the check-in counter,” they pointed out. 

And there are issues all-around the security of how ballot containers are staying taken care of. On June 2, the observers noticed staff with the Florida primarily based agency conducting the audit, Cyber Ninjas, patching destroyed bins by taping a manila folder to the damaged space. 

Cyber Ninjas attorney Bryan Blehm claimed the auditors received the ballot boxes previously weakened and had video clip evidence to prove that. 

On June 7, observers found that any worker in any position on the ground was able to bring containers of ballots for inspection, a deviation from the preceding exercise, in which only table managers and runners — the people carrying black or purple t-shirts — were permitted to do so. The observers also mentioned that no authorization checks had been done ahead of the ballots had been moved. 

On that identical working day, customers of the Cyber Ninjas workforce were found eliminating a number of ballot containers from the “Senate Cage,” a ballot box storage location which was earlier only ready to be accessed by Bennett and Randy Pullen, an audit spokesman and former Arizona Republican Social gathering chairman. 

Blehm explained to observers that Bennett was leaving for the night time and the ballot bins ended up currently being eliminated so inspections could go on with out him present. 

Cybersecurity also remains a worry of Hobbs’s observers. Earlier, they experienced lifted fears about the cybersecurity of computer systems and other units at the audit. On June 17, an employee with StratTech, a single of the sub-contractors hired by Cyber Ninjas to oversee the hand-recount of 2.1 million ballots, was supplied a checklist of shared passwords by a table manager at a person of the paper evaluation tables. 

The employee was trying to resolve a difficulty with the software getting used at the evaluation table and, after ending up functioning on the problem, put the passwords into his pocket and walked away. 

A essential suggestion from security professionals is not composing down passwords and instead using electronic password management devices as a way of securing techniques from feasible threats. 

Program glitches and WiFi microscopes 

The notes from the observers also shone some light-weight on the hunt for ballots that have allegedly been crammed out by devices, not authentic voters. One conspiracy idea about the election holds that millions of counterfeited ballots ended up injected into American elections, and the Arizona auditors are employing know-how that inventor and treasure hunter Jovan Pulitzer claims can learn these ballots. 

There is no respectable evidence of counterfeit ballots in Arizona or in other states. 

On May 31, observers noted that a software program update applied by the Cyber Ninjas on the workstations connected with the paper examination procedure designed chaos. 

“The software program update produced so quite a few problems and complications all through the first change that they mentioned they were being likely to roll back to the previous computer software throughout the afternoon change,” the notes say. 

Nonetheless, observers observed two days afterwards that all 28 paper assessment tables were being applying the new software. 

The paper assessment method is also resulting in other challenges. On June 2, observers noticed that an staff was striving to decide if a ballot was done by a “human” or not. All those that audit employees decide are not filled out by a human being — it’s unclear how this kind of a perseverance is designed — are marked with a crimson button in the laptop or computer system. 

“A paper evaluation manager seen that all ballots at a single table have been staying incorrectly discovered (by) the pink button as obtaining not human marks. The staff members doing work the paper assessment station ended up unaware that they had been intended to adjust the button in the software program,” the observers observed. 

A supervisor later on fastened the computer software, but “a couple dozen ballots remained mislabeled.” 

The up coming day, program that was meant to consider pictures of the ballots became out of sync and established distorted photos. 

“This is the identical situation that necessitated the application roll again formerly,” observers observed. “This problem is developing usually each and every working day.” 

On June 17, observers also famous that the microscopic cameras getting applied to photograph the ballots are WiFi able and occur with a companion application on iOS and Android. 

Audit spokesman: Observers ‘look like a transgender’  

Observers pointed out a variety of problems they had with how matters were being communicated with them, other observers and audit staff. 

On May well 26, Pullen instructed an observer that “the shirt he was needed to don made him ‘look like a transgender’ due to the fact of the colour of his shirt.” The secretary of state’s observers are essential to have on pink or fuchsia shirts, and on May perhaps 29, observers learned that organizers of the audit refer to them as “pinkies” or “pinkos.” 

“Pinkies” and “pinkos” are equally pejoratives that began attractiveness in the 1920s as anyone who is sympathetic to communists. Pinko was most greatly made use of through the Chilly War and is intently affiliated with politicians like Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon who usually utilised it. 

How the observers could do their occupation was also a point of contention. 

On just one celebration, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan authorized an observer to use a monocular although on the flooring. But an employee notified Blehm, who began shouting at the observer and explained to stability to take away them. 

Logan then checked the monocular to ensure it was not a digital camera and once again authorized it to be utilised. Having said that, an hour later, Blehm reported that the monocular was “scaring people” and security confirmed that it was not a digital camera. 

‘I have never ever performed this’

Observers have beforehand pointed out that policies and procedures at the audit have been frequently transformed because the audit started, and that appears to nonetheless be the scenario. 

On Could 29, observers mentioned that at minimum 3 individuals who are not inhabitants of Maricopa County had been “rifling by means of countless numbers of armed service and overseas ballots.” 

“Observers experienced been earlier explained to that only Maricopa County inhabitants would be allowed to tackle any ballots, nonetheless all three persons ended up not citizens,” the observers reported. 

Observers also observed that, on the to start with night that integrated a late night time shift of ballot counting, employees have been unclear what they were meant to be accomplishing. 

“I don’t know nearly anything, so if you want me to do anything at all, you are going to have to exhibit me,” an personnel was overheard indicating by just one observer. 

“I have hardly ever accomplished this. Can somebody display me how to choose a image?” a further was overheard expressing. 

On June 2, observers listened to a a Cyber Ninjas staff say that they ended up going to start off to “pilot” a “low resolution camera” to consider pics of an place of the ballot that had not been previously photographed. 

Inside 3 hrs, all the other paper assessment stations commenced employing the identical new camera, observers famous. 

The paper assessment tables have been a ongoing level of rivalry. On June 13, there ended up continued delays during which an employee rebooted the method 4 occasions to no avail, observers mentioned. 

Observers have also noted a new “quality control” system that was carried out in mid-June, which includes a new “Quality Management Tally Desk.” 

This table at just one level counted 24 ballots which conflicted with one more rely that confirmed 25  ballots. 

“In a credible audit, the batch would have been recounted. Instead, the desk manager claimed she thought she observed the 25th ballot trapped to one more ballot and proceeded without having recounting the batch,” the observers observed.