Arizona’s Senate president took to a popular podcast last week to reveal that audit results from the 2020 election show major problems with how absentee ballots were handled.

Specifically, Senate President Karen Fann (R-District 1) discussed on The Conservative Circus podcast Maricopa County election officials’ handling of those ballots.

“What they’re not telling you is all the ballots that were returned to the post office – undeliverable – and you know what, they said ‘we don’t want them back, you can keep them,'” Fann said. “So those ballots never went back to the Election Department. They told the post office “oh, you can just destroy them, we don’t need them.'”

“So when they try to say that every ballot was accounted for, I don’t think so,” Fann said. Those were still live ballots that anybody could have tampered with until such time that the post office destroyed them.”

She accused the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors of a cover-up, and expressed frustration that potential election issues are unlikely to be resolved before the 2022 midterms.

The interview came on the heels of a letter sent by Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) to Fann, which was titled an “interim report” on Maricopa County’s handling of the 2020 election results.

That letter said:

We can report that there are problematic system-wide issues that relate to ballot handling and verification. The ballot signature verification system in Maricopa County is insufficient to guard against abuse. At times election workers conducting the verification process had only seconds to review a signature. For example, on November 4, 2020, the Maricopa of 4.6 seconds per signature. There are simply too many ballots that must be verified in too limited a period of time, thus leaving the system vulnerable to error, fraud and oversight.

Moreover, our review has determined that in multiple instances, Maricopa County failed to follow critical procedures when transporting early ballots from drop locations to the election headquarters. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 200,000 ballots were transported without a proper chain of custody. Because most voters in Arizona now choose to vote by ballot, it is imperative that the processes for handling and verification of ballots be strengthened before the 2022 elections per our recommendations below.

The letter made no definitive conclusions about whether there was any illegality or outright fraud in the handling of the ballots, or whether such issues could have swayed the outcomes of the 2020 elections in the state.

On the podcast, Fann suggested that the number of ballots transported without proper chain of custody could be as high as 700,000.

Chain of custody rules are put in place to ensure that there is no tampering with absentee ballots, and that those ballots are only handled by the proper election authorities.

But in other swing states, it has been revealed that those chain of custody rules were broken.

The Georgia Star News, part of The Star News Network, reported extensively on the fact that the proper chain of custody documents for hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots in the Peach State still have not been produced, nearly a year and a half after the November 2020 election.

As of October of 2021, more than 6,000 such documents remained outstanding in Fulton County alone, home to Atlanta and a hotbed for Democrat voters. Former President Donald Trump narrowly lost Georgia by about 12,000 total votes.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at the Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Karen Fann” by Arizona State Legislature. Background Photo “USPS Truck” by AcrossTheAtlantic. CC BY-SA 4.0.