Tech

A tech company hired to run the hand recount of 2 million ballots in Arizona has backed out: ‘They were done’

  • Arizona’s GOP commissioned an audit of 2.1 million ballots in the 2020 election in Maricopa County.
  • Biden won the county in 2020. Trump and GOP claim votes were stolen to let Biden win.
  • Wake TSI, which was hired to run the hand recount, let its contract expire on May 14, AZ Republic reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A tech company hired to run the hand recount of 2020 election in Arizona’s Maricopa County has backed out of the effort, the Arizona Republic reported

The company, Wake Technology Services, Inc., began recounting some 2.1 million ballots on April 23, following a commission by the GOP-dominated state Senate to audit the result.

The Republican Party and former President Donald Trump have claimed that votes were stolen from him in the November election. President Joe Biden won the county by more than 45,000 votes. 

The state Senate hired Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company run by a Trump supporter, to conduct the recount. Cyber Ninjas contracted Wake TSI to count votes.

The recount is still underway, but Wake TSI’s contract ended on May 14, the same day that the hand recount was expected to conclude, and the company has chose to let the contract expire, the Arizona Republic reported.

“They were done,” Randy Pullen, an audit spokesperson, told the outlet. “They didn’t want to come back.”

Insider has contacted Wake TSI for comment.

Pullen told the Arizona Republic that StratTech Solutions, an Arizona IT company, had taken over Wake TSI’s work on Monday.

As of May 21, only about 500,000 of the 2.1 million ballots had been recounted, according to KTAR News.

trump vote count arizona

A composite image of former President Donald Trump and the site of the recount in Maricopa County.

AP


The recount in Maricopa County has been criticized for a number of missteps, and labeled a farce by some lawmakers, including Republicans.

Observers who have attended the audit described it as sloppy and inconsistent, with workers chasing proof of conspiracy theories.

Read more: Opinion: Cyber Ninjas, bamboo, and Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ — Arizona’s ridiculous ‘recount’ is a GOP disgrace

Raquel Terán, a state lawmaker and chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, told Insider the effort led by Cyber Ninjas was a “sham” that was “fomenting the big lie that the election was stolen.”

In early May, GOP state Sen. Paul Boyer, who initially supported the audit, told The New York Times that it “makes us look like idiots.”

“Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point,” he said.

Earlier in May, the auditors were ridiculed after they said they would be checking ballots for evidence of bamboo with “5K cameras,” following the far-fetched theory that Biden ballots were smuggled in from Asia.

Also in May, Trump jumped on a Republican claim that officials in Arizona had deleted an election database as part of the Maricopa County audit. State officials later said they had found the files on an overlooked hard drive.

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