Arizona Sec. of State Says Audit Could 'Produce the Result That They Want'

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has said that the ongoing election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, has created an atmosphere "prime for cooking the books" in order to produce the organizers' desired outcome.

Hobbs, a Democrat, spoke to CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday about the controversial audit of the 2020 presidential election results and discussed how it is being conducted.

The Republican-controlled state legislature ordered the audit and it's being carried out by a company called Cyber Ninjas, which has no previous experience auditing elections.

Tapper told Hobbs, "So let's talk about this 'fraudit' going on," before highlighting that organizers had been using blue and black pens as part of the process.

"Your office thinks this is serious," Tapper said.

"If you go into any tabulation center, you will not find a black or blue pen anywhere," Hobbs said.

"You cannot have that color ink around live ballots. It can potentially alter a ballot. To avoid any error, there's only red pens in those rooms. We alerted early on a list of security measures we sent and said these should be followed when handling these ballots and equipment," she said.

Hobbs added that her office had raised the issue of blue and black pens early in the audit but that they were still seeing the pens used, saying the audit was "continuing to ignore that and continuing to do this."

The Democrat, who recently announced a run for governor of Arizona, told Tapper she wanted to highlight "the lack of procedures, the lack of best practices, the lack of anything in place that will lend to the credibility of whatever results they produce."

"This does not even closely resemble what you would see in a legitimate post-election audit that was trying to verify election results," Hobbs said.

"And we know that they are creating an atmosphere that is prime for cooking the books so that they can produce the result that they want to produce," she said.

Organizers of the Maricopa County audit have been accused of pursuing conspiracy theories, including looking for bamboo fibers in ballots based on an unfounded claim that some ballots were shipped in from Asia. Two previous audits found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Maricopa County.

Hobbs faced harassment and death threats as she attempted to defend the integrity of the election in Arizona. As secretary of state, she is the state's top election official. President Joe Biden won Arizona in 2020 by around 10,000 votes.

Newsweek has asked Katie Hobbs for comment.

Protesters Gather at the Arizona Recount
Protestors in support of former President Donald Trump gather outside Veterans Memorial Coliseum where ballots from the 2020 general election wait to be counted on May 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has said the audit has created an atmosphere "prime for cooking the books." Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images