“What has been found is both encouraging and alarming. On the positive side there were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official canvass results for the County. This is an important finding because of concerns ahead of the audit,” the executive summary in the draft report prepared by the Florida-based firm Cyber Ninjas, “Maricopa County Forensic Audit Volume I: Executive Summary & Recommendations,” dated September 23, 2021 and leaked to KJZZ began:
However, while it is encouraging for voters, it does not allay all of the concerns:
None of the various systems related to elections had numbers that would balance and agree with each other. In some cases, these differences were significant.
There appears to be many ballots cast from individuals who had moved prior to the election.
Files were missing from the Election Management System (EMS) Server.
Ballot images on the EMS were corrupt or missing.
Logs appeared to be intentionally rolled over, and all the data in the database related to the 2020 General Election had been fully cleared.
On the ballot side, batches were not always clearly delineated, duplicated ballots were missing the required serial numbers, originals were duplicated more than once, and the Auditors were never provided Chain‐of‐Custody documentation for the ballots for the time‐period prior to the ballot’s movement into the Auditors’ care. This all increased the complexity and difficulty in properly auditing the results; and added ambiguity into the final conclusions.
The report then blamed Maricopa County officials for failing to cooperate with the audit.
“Had Maricopa County chosen to cooperate with the audit, the majority of these obstacles would have easily been overcome. By the County withholding subpoena items, their unwillingness to answer questions as is normal between auditor and auditee, and in some cases actively interfering with audit research, the County prevented a complete audit,” the executive summary concluded.
CNN published a story on the leaked draft shortly after midnight Friday morning, and focused on the first sentence of the executive summary that stated “there were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official canvass results for the County.”
The draft report emerged Thursday night, and audit spokesman Randy Pullen confirmed its validity to KJZZ Phoenix. “It’s not the final report, but it’s close,” he said.
The draft report shows that the hand recount found that President Joe Biden received 99 more votes than Maricopa County had reported after November’s election, while former President Donald Trump received 261 fewer votes than the county reported.