With the November 2021 elections fast approaching, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has obtained new election equipment to replace what the Arizona Senate subpoenaed and turned over to uncertified contractors. This comes after the Arizona Secretary of State officially notified the Board that the subpoenaed equipment would not be certified for use in future elections.
“Our highest priority is conducting secure and accurate elections,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, District 1. “This amendment ensures we have the equipment to do so moving forward.”
Under the amended contract with Dominion Voting Systems, the County will acquire 385 new precinct tabulators and 9 new central counters as well as the election management hardware required to run them. The new equipment increases the total cost of the contract from $6.1 million to $9.0 million.
Elections equipment is considered critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Security, which recently stated that the subpoenaed machines must never be used again.
“The frustrating thing is, those were perfectly good machines which passed all of our accuracy tests from the time we first got them in 2019. The taxpayer paid good money for them, but now this equipment will have to be decommissioned because the Senate didn’t take our warnings about chain-of-custody seriously,” said Sellers. “When Senate leadership chose novices to conduct their audit rather than reputable, certified companies, they wasted an expensive investment that had served Maricopa County voters well in 2019 and 2020.”
The County is under contract with Dominion through December 31, 2022. An amended contract—with new equipment—was necessary for the County to fulfill its statutory responsibilities and conduct elections in 2021 and 2022. As the end of the Dominion contract nears, the County will commence a request for proposal (RFP) process, as planned from the beginning.
“Imagine leasing a car and then loaning it to someone who totals it. You’re still on the hook to pay off the wrecked car. Plus, you need a new car. That’s basically what we’re doing with this amendment,” explained Sellers. “We’re getting the car that will get us through the next year and a half and then we’ll reevaluate.”
“I’m just glad we had the Senate sign that indemnification contract,” Sellers added.