The "audit" will likely continue for a few more weeks, thus becoming "the never ending story", with new developments popping up every day.
Citing violations of voting and election laws, representatives of the Brennan Center for Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and Protect Democracy urged the Department of Justice to protect ballots and prevent voter intimidation.
"Ballots that are protected under federal law are in imminent danger of being stolen, defaced, or irretrievably damaged, and Arizona citizens are in imminent danger of being subject to unlawful voter intimidation," the four security specialists wrote in the April 29 letter.
Kelli Ward's response is laughable:
"Arizona is off limits to the federal government trampling on our constitutional rights and our sovereignty," Ward said. "When it comes to managing our own election, we believe in the U.S. Constitution."
Ward, who has promoted baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against former president Donald Trump, has championed the audit as a way to ensure election integrity in Arizona.
"We also do not want or need partisan attack dogs like the Brennan Center or Protect Democracy coming in to observe or interfere or undermine our elections and the Arizona State Senate Audit," Ward said. "But they are coming with their lawyers, with their money and with their agenda to attempt to derail this full forensic audit that is being done by qualified experts."
She called the groups "aggressive and dirty players" who are "working with BLM (Black Lives Matter) and Marxist groups to literally destroy our nation."
The letter to the DOJ was signed by Wendy Weiser and Hannah Klain at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law; Wade Henderson, CEO at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Genevieve Nadeau, counsel at Protect Democracy.
(The entire 8 page letter can be read in the link poster below)
The election specialists warned that Cyber Ninjas, the Florida firm hired to lead the $150,000 audit, planned to knock on the doors of Maricopa County voters and collect information related to voter history.
"We are concerned ... the Senate and its agents are preparing to engage in conduct that will constitute unlawful voter intimidation in violation of the Voting Rights Act and other federal laws," the election specialists wrote.
Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan is a Trump supporter who has pushed unfounded election fraud claims as part of the "Stop the Steal" movement. Logan told reporters last week he would not touch any ballots.
But former Arizona State lawmaker Anthony Kern, who stumped at "Stop the Steal" rallies and was at the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, has been been helping to count ballots for the audit.
(An Arizona Republic reporter was escorted from the Arizona election audit site on Friday morning after posting a photo showing a former Republican legislator at a ballot-counting table.
The photo showed a ballot, with no markings discernible, on a vertical stand in front of former state Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale.
The reporter, Ryan Randazzo, was told his press privileges were revoked. He left the building as requested.)
About 100,000 ballots had been counted as of Wednesday, when officials gave the last audit update. The audit is scheduled to end May 14, but Senate liaison Ken Bennett indicated it could be extended. Whatever the outcome, the audit will not change election results.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris carried Arizona by 10,457 votes, the narrowest margin of any state in the country. The results were certified by Gov. Doug Ducey, the secretary of state and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
County officials hand-counted a statistically significant sampling of ballots and conducted two logic and accuracy tests of voting machines. The audit showed votes were counted with 100% accuracy.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs reiterated concerns Friday about the reliability of the audit and noted that it took a court order to force Cyber Ninjas to release its audit procedures, which the company maintained were proprietary.
"It should not be a surprise that a company that has neither election experience nor auditing experience is not following some of the basic industry standards and best practices," Hobbs said in a statement.
Ward, in her YouTube video, called Hobbs a "Democrat hack" and blamed her for the DOJ request. Ward said a court agreement already allowed Hobbs to have observers at the coliseum.
"She's bringing the feds in where they have absolutely no business," Ward said. "All of this is an insult to Arizona voters."
Kelli Ward was born Kelli Kaznoski in Fairmont, West Virginia. Ward graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1987, as the class valedictorian.
She earned a BS in psychology from Duke University, where she was a contributor to the Duke Chanticleer. She was awarded a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and also received a master's degree in public health from A.T. Still University.
This lady is obviously very intelligent, but she apparently has taken a lot of "dumb pills" along the way.