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Serial numbers missing between original, duplicate ballots in Arizona election audit: official

"We are struggling as to how we're going to be able to match up" ballots that couldn't be read by machines, Ken Bennett says.

Updated: May 19, 2021 - 10:19am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Arizona Senate's audit of Maricopa County's general election has hit a new snag: verifying whether some ballots may have been counted twice.

The liaison between Senate Republicans who authorized the audit and county officials told a hearing Tuesday that serial numbers were missing on damaged ballots that were duplicated so they could be read by vote tabulation machines.

Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett's team uncovered the error just a few days ago, he told Senate President Karen Fann and Judicial Committee Chair Warren Petersen. Each damaged ballot and its associated duplicate ballot are supposed to have the same serial number to ensure they are only counted once.

But he has found many batches of damaged ballots without the serial numbers that are on the duplicates, violating state law. "We are struggling as to how we're going to be able to match up" those damaged and duplicated ballots, Bennett said. 

Asked by Fann if Maricopa County could assist in that effort, Bennett said county officials have made clear to him several times they wouldn't work with any of the auditors the Senate Republicans hired. He will ask for their help directly, Bennett said.

County supervisors portrayed the contractors, led by Cyber Ninjas, as incompetent and unqualified to run an election audit in their own hearing and press conference Monday.