STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Did Dominion have 70 attorneys in Arizona in April of 2021, trying to stop the audit of ballots from the 2020 election? No, that's not true: A post making the claim offered no sourcing to support it, and a spokesperson for Dominion Voting Systems said the company had no such team. "Dominion does not have a team of attorneys in Arizona trying to stop the audit," the spokesperson said in an email to Lead Stories.
Dominion had 70 attorneys in Arizona today trying to stop the audit. If it was honest why would you care?
This is what the post looked like on April 23, 2021:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Apr 23 13:37:18 2021 UTC)
The post did not provide any sourcing to back its claim.
Lead Stories contacted Dominion to ask if it was true. A spokesperson told us it was not in an April 22, 2021, email. The note read:
We are not going to give details on personnel, but the claim is false. Dominion does not have a team of attorneys in Arizona trying to stop the audit.
In a follow-up email, sent April 23, 2021, the spokesperson added:
There is no team of lawyers representing Dominion in Arizona. Dominion has taken no legal action to stop the audit. It's unclear where this rumor started.
The email and post are referring to the latest audit of ballots from the 2020 general election in Maricopa County, the state's most populous county. It was commissioned by Republicans in the state Senate. It is not the county's first audit.
A hand count audit found a 100% match between the hand count totals and the machine totals. You can read the results here. Similarly, a forensic audit of the county's election equipment found no irregularities. You can read the results of that audit here.
In a statement, dated March 31, 2021, Senate Republicans announced they had hired a new team of independent auditors to "complete a comprehensive, full forensic audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, including a hand recount of all ballots." The statement read:
The audit will validate every area of the voting process to ensure the integrity of the vote. The scope of work will include, but is not limited to, scanning all the ballots, a full manual recount, auditing the registration and votes cast, the vote counts, and the electronic voting system. At the conclusion of the audit, the auditor will issue a report detailing all findings discovered during the assessment.
While supporters of the new audit argue it's a necessary step to restore faith in the election process, critics contend it will have the opposite effect. Elections experts have expressed concern about the firms selected to be involved, including Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, which is led by Doug Logan, who "not only harbors conspiratorial beliefs about the 2020 election, but has shared conspiracies about Dominion election equipment, the exact equipment he has been hired to audit," according to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.
The audit is expected to be streamed here. It is taking place at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Phoenix, where subpoenaed election materials were delivered April 21 and April 22, 2021. More than 2 million voters in Maricopa County participated in the 2020 general election. It is unclear exactly how long it will take to recount all the ballots.
2021-04-23T19:15:55Z 2021-04-23T19:15:55ZUpdated to add a second quote from Dominion.