FACT CHECK: Did The Arizona Audit Find There Were 200,000 Fewer Ballots Than Reported?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims the audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election results found there were over 200,000 fewer ballots than the 2.1 million reported.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence the audit found there were over 200,000 fewer ballots than the 2.1 million recorded. A spokesperson for the audit said the claim is “untrue.”

Fact Check:

The Republican-controlled Arizona State Senate earlier this year subpoenaed the 2.1 million ballots cast by Maricopa County voters in the November election, as well as voting equipment, for an audit, the Arizona Republic reported. Cyber Ninjas, a firm whose founder has spread unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 election, and other companies are conducting the review, according to the Associated Press.

The Facebook post, which has been shared over 900 times, alleges the audit found there were 1.9 million ballots, or some 200,000 fewer than the 2.1 million recorded by Maricopa County as being cast in the November election. There is, however, no indication that is actually the case.

No announcement of such a finding has been posted on the Arizona state legislature’s website or the Twitter account associated with the audit at the time of publication. The Associated Press reported Monday that the hand recount of regular ballots had been finished, though some other ballot types such as Braille and large-type still needed counting.

Garrett Archer, a data analyst for local affiliate ABC 15, tweeted Tuesday that an audit spokesperson said no preliminary results would be released upon completion of the hand recount. (RELATED: Did An Election Audit In Arizona Uncover ‘A Quarter Of A Million Illegal Votes’?)

“I was just told by @ArizonaAudit spokesperson that NO Preliminary results will be released after the hand count is complete,” Archer tweeted. “It will all be included in the final report given to the State Senate.”

Audit Senate Liaison Ken Bennett’s deputy also told Check Your Fact in an email that the post’s claim was “untrue,” adding, “The report and audit data have not been released, as the audit is not complete. Only the initial phase – the hand count is.” The Twitter account associated with the audit tweeted Wednesday that it expects to “complete the paper examination phase of the audit by Saturday, June 26.”

The Facebook post may be confusing the number of mail-in ballots with the total number of ballots cast in Maricopa County during the November election. Maricopa County’s final official results for the 2020 general election can be found on its website. Bennett also said June 14 there were 1.9 million mail-in ballots, according to KTAR News.

Maricopa County conducted a hand audit in November 2020 and two logic and accuracy tests of its tabulating equipment, which “matched 100%,” according to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office’s March 2021 report.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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