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Justice Department raises concerns about GOP-led vote recount in Arizona

The DOJ is worried the Arizona GOP outsourcing the audit investigation could break federal laws.

Updated: May 6, 2021 - 10:15am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Justice Department is raising concerns about ballot security and possible voter intimidation in the Arizona GOP Senate's private recount of the 2020 election results.

The head of the department's Civil Rights Division sent a letter Wednesday to state GOP Senate President Karen Fann saying the use of an outside contractor to investigate the ballots may be against federal law. 

Federal law requires ballots to remain in the control of election officials for 22 months, according to The Associated Press.

They physical audit of the results in the state's Maricopa County is being conducted by Florida-based cyber-security company Cyber Ninjas.

Pamela S. Karlan, the department's principal deputy assistant attorney general says the outsourcing could amount to illegal voter intimidation.

"Past experience with similar investigative efforts around the country has raised concerns that they can be directed at minority voters, which potentially can implicate the anti-intimidation prohibitions of the Voting Rights Act," she wrote in a letter Wednesday to the Arizona GOP. "Such investigative efforts can have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future."