Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs says the voting machines turned over to private companies during the recent audit in Maricopa County of the 2020 presidential election are no longer secure for future elections.
In a letter Thursday to county officials, Hobbs, a Democrat, raised security concerns over losing the chain of custody of the equipment when it was handed to independent auditors, hired by the leaders of the GOP-controlled state Senate who ordered the audit.
Hobbs urged county, whose balloting was audited by Florida company Cyber Ninjas, to get new machines. She also suggest she could decertify the machines if the county fails to comply with the request.
"I have grave concerns regarding the security and integrity of these machines, given that the chain of custody, a critical security tenet, has been compromised and election officials do not know what was done to the machines while under Cyber Ninjas' control," Hobbs said in her letter, obtained by NBC News.
Replacing the machines could cost taxpayers millions. The last time the county bought election equipment was in 2019 with a contract from Dominion Voting Systems. It cost $6.1 million.