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GOP candidates attend Maricopa Co. election forum showing video of purported election data deletion

"This is our last election if we don't get it right," said Kari Lake, a leading candidate for the Arizona Republican nominaton for governor.

August 1, 2022 6:05pm

Updated: August 1, 2022 11:12pm

Arizona GOP candidates attended an election forum in Maricopa County over the weekend where video footage showed a county election official allegedly deleting 2020 election files from subpoenaed servers prior to their delivery to state Senate auditors reviewing allegations of irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.

On Saturday, We The People AZ Alliance hosted an election security forum in Maricopa County with investigative journalist Lara Logan moderating. Kari Lake, a Republican candidate for Arizona governor, and Rep. Mark Finchem, a GOP candidate for Arizona secretary of state spoke, along with other state lawmakers.

During the forum, cyber expert Matt Van Bibber presented video footage purportedly showing Maricopa County Election Database Administrator Brian Ramirez being granted unauthorized entry to the server room on multiple occasions and deleting election files from the elections management server in 2021, during the state Senate audit of the county. The time of the video footage matches with the time that the files were deleted from the logs.

This was before the voting machines were delivered to state Senate auditors in compliance with a subpoena and despite federal law requiring these files to be kept for 22 months.

Ramirez allegedly lacked authorization to the server room, but gained access using two other people's credentials. Some of the video footage showed Ramirez alone in the server room, although county elections policy requires two people to be in the server room "whenever someone is using the server room keyboard video monitor."

Van Bibber noted that state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is running for U.S. Senate, has the video footage of Ramirez in the server room.

Maricopa County officials previously admitted to Congress during a hearing that files for the 2020 presidential election had been "deleted" after being "archived," but that they hadn't thought that the archived files were pertinent to the subpoena they received from the Arizona state Senate.

Earlier in the forum, Lake spoke about the Arizona gubernatorial election.

"We're at a crossroads, right now, here in Arizona," she said, "a real, serious crossroads. This is our last election if we don't get it right.

"And we have three choices: We can go back to the McCain mafia running the show, we can go to a Democrat socialist who's gonna turn us into California — both of them are open-borders globalists who don't give a damn about our elections. Or we can elect the America First candidate, who's only in this to clean things up, restore honesty in our elections, secure the border, stop the drugs, stop the cartels, and then I just want to frankly get back to my life, which is how it’s supposed to be in politics."

Lake retweeted a video from the forum showing Ramirez entering the server room.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) tweeted her Friday op-ed on Saturday, the day of the election forum, calling out Lake and another GOP candidate for governor, Karrin Taylor Robson. Her caption on Twitter read: "The election lies @KariLake & @Karrin4Arizona spread don't just threaten our democracy, they continue to put lives at risk. Law enforcement is taking extraordinary steps to counter threats in this upcoming election."

The Maricopa County Elections Department didn't respond to multiple requests for comment. Brnovich's office also didn't respond to a request for comment.

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