The Big Lie is now costing Maricopa County, Arizona taxpayers millions to replace voting equipment tainted by the ridiculous "audit" farce that all but destroy the chain of custody for the machines themselves, and I swear that the county should sue the state GOP for every dollar.
Maricopa County will not reuse most of its voting equipment after it has been with Arizona Senate contractors for its audit of November election results, the county announced Monday.
The potential cost to taxpayers is so far unknown. The county is about half way through a $6.1 million lease with Dominion Voting Systems for the equipment, but it's unclear whether it will have to pay the rest of the money owed under that lease, and whether the county or Senate will be on the hook.
The county's Board of Supervisors wrote in a June 28 letter to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that they share her concerns about whether the hundreds of vote-counting machines that they had to give the Senate's contractors are safe to use, in part considering the contractors are not certified to handle election equipment in the United States.
The Senate got the voting machines, as well as nearly 2.1 million ballots and voter information from the Nov. 3 election in April after issuing subpoenas and after a judge ruled the subpoenas were valid.
The Senate handed the machines over to contractors in an attempt to tell whether they had been hacked or manipulated during the election, even though a previous independent audit commissioned by the county found that was not the case and the machines counted votes properly.
Hobbs had written in a May 20 letter to the county's Board of Supervisors, recorder and Elections Department director that if the county tries to use the machines again, even if it performs a full analysis in an attempt to determine whether the machines were still safe to use, her office would "consider decertification proceedings." In Arizona, voting systems must be certified to be used in elections.
The county's three-year lease with Dominion for the equipment ends in December 2022. The Election Department still owed about $3.3 million as of May, since the lease is paid monthly.
The subpoenas covered all equipment used in the November election, which included most of the equipment under that lease.
It's unclear whether the county will be able to get out of that lease without paying for the remainder of the cost.
But it's also unclear whether the county would be on the hook for that cost. The Senate signed an agreement with the county that said the county is not liable for any damages to the equipment while in the Senate's custody.
The supervisors have not yet decided whether to ask the Senate to pay for any costs related to replacing the machines under that agreement, said county communications director Fields Moseley.
The county said in a statement Monday it is working with Dominion to replace the subpoenaed equipment so it will be able to serve voters for the November election. County officials are discussing with Dominion the terms for replacing the equipment, Moseley said.
The county broke the chain of custody, or the procedures for properly securing and tracking the machines, when it was required to give the machines to the state Senate under subpoenas, Hobbs wrote in her letter.