Investigation Finds, Names the Maricopa County Elections Employee on Video Removing 2020 Election Files from Servers

The Arizona Senate-ordered independent Maricopa County ballot audit of the 2020 presidential election revealed questionable findings, including a Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) employee captured on video deleting, or what officials stated later was merely archiving, hundreds of thousands of files from an election server the day before the server was to be turned over to the audit. Last weekend, investigative journalist Lara Logan and cyber expert Matt Van Bibber stated at an election security forum hosted by We the People AZ Alliance that the employee has been identified, along with a couple of his co-workers who allowed him access into the election server room.

Van Bibber, who discovered the information through viewing videos and matching what he saw against server room logs, said the employee was Brian Ramirez, a database administrator at MCED. Van Bibber said Ramirez did not have the required credentials to enter the server room where the computer was, so two other employees gave him access with their card keys. One was Kristi Passarelli, assistant elections director, and the other was an employee named Charles Cooley, who appears to be an Administrative/Operations Specialist.

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Maricopa County Officials’ Response to Results of Arizona Senate’s Independent 2020 Ballot Audit Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Maricopa County officials have issued a 93-page response to the findings of the independent Maricopa County ballot audit of the 2020 presidential election, which was ordered by the Arizona Senate. Presented during a meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 5, the officials claimed there were fewer than 100 questionable ballots out of the 2.1 million cast. 

Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward watched a portion of the meeting and expressed skepticism to The Arizona Sun Times, “The part that I’ve seen so far was a group of related good ole boys attempting to convince people that they ran a perfect election,” she said. “They want Americans to believe them over what we saw with our own eyes. Arizonans were totally justified in demanding an audit of the 2020 election — and we should actually audit everything so we can restore voter confidence that our elections have integrity.”

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Maricopa County Admits Deleting Hundreds of Thousands of Records They Previously Archived Away from Subpoenas

During a House Oversight Committee hearing addressing the results of the audit of the independent Maricopa County ballot audit ordered by the Arizona Senate, one of the Maricopa County Supervisors who fought the audit admitted that hundreds of thousands of election related files were deleted. Instead of producing them in response to the legislative subpoena, he said the county “archived” them.

Responding to a question from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) asking him whether it was appropriate to delete files on a server after an election, Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates said, “I would say it is appropriate to maintain files, and that is exactly what we did. We deleted — the files that have been discussed, they were archived.” 

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Brnovich Demands Maricopa County Freeze All Materials Related to 2020 Election

In response to the report released last week about the Maricopa County ballot audit, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s Election Integrity Unit sent a letter to Maricopa County instructing the recorder and supervisors to preserve all records related to the 2020 election in preparation for litigation. He also sent a letter to the Arizona Senate requesting more information related to the audit. 

“The Arizona Senate’s report that was released on Friday raises some serious questions regarding the 2020 election,” Brnovich said in a statement about the letters. “Arizonans can be assured our office will conduct a thorough review of the information we receive.”

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Maricopa County Audit Results Reveal Someone Was Caught on Video Illegally Deleting Hundreds of Thousands of Election Files the Day Before the Audit Started

Arizona Senate Republicans issued the results of the independent ballot audit they conducted of the 2020 presidential and U.S. Senate election in Maricopa County on September 24 during a presentation, revealing findings that numerous election laws were broken and security measures breached. 

The most startling finding came from Ben Cotton, the founder of CyFIR. He said hundreds of thousands of election files — which the Maricopa County Supervisors refused to allow the auditors to examine — were deleted the day before the audit began, a violation of federal law which requires federal election records to be retained for 22 months. Although the name of the account that deleted them was not tied to a specific election worker, Cotton said there is video of the person who accessed those servers at that time. 

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