Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona State Senate Audit Liaison Ken Bennett released a joint statement on Friday confirming that Bennett, a former Arizona Secretary of State, will remain in his role as liaison for the duration of the audit.
“Former Arizona Secretary of State and former Arizona State Senate President Ken Bennett has been and will continue serving as the Senate’s liaison to the audit,” the statement said, adding:
With his expertise in Arizona elections and firsthand knowledge of the ongoing audit, Ken and the Senate team will have full access to all audit work spaces, procedures, and data as we verify the draft findings when completed. He will preserve and protect the full confidentiality of all information, findings, and results and conclusions until the time they are appropriately communicated in final report(s) to the Senate and public, whether it be work of Cyber Ninjas or any additional work the Senate performs.
The joint statement was released in a tweet from the Arizona State Senate Republicans Twitter account:
— AZSenateRepublicans (@AZSenateGOP) July 30, 2021
The joint statement brings to a close a week of speculation about what Bennett’s role in the audit might be after he was banned last week from the audit floor.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this week:
Arizona State Senate President Karen Fann issued a statement late Tuesday that former Secretary of State Ken Bennett will continue in his role as liaison for the Arizona State Senate audit of Maricopa County’s November 2020 election results.
On Monday Bennett discussed the possibility of resigning from his liaison role on the Phoenix radio program of talk show host James Harris after he was barred from the audit facilities last week.
Fann said in a statement released on Tuesday:
This past week members of the media have asked why Mr. Bennett is not engaged in this part of the Senate ballot verification procedure. As Mr. Bennett was quoted in the media, ‘I shared some box counts of how many ballots were in each box, and that got leaked to the press and I apologized to Senate President Fann. I had promised that information would not be leaked to the press, but it indirectly got done, so that’s how I got barred from the audit’.
“Ken Bennett will be involved and a vital part of the draft and final reports to ensure their accuracy with his knowledge and contributions throughout the audit process,” Fann added in that statement released on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, however, the following day, it was unclear if Bennett still wanted to continue in his role of audit liaison, as The Hill reported:
“Right now, I’m a liaison in name only,” Bennett said on KFYI on Wednesday, referencing the “Republican in name only” moniker that far-right members of the GOP use to describe some centrists. “Being locked out at this critical point … makes it impossible for me to be a true liaison for the Senate.”
“I won’t pretend to be part of a process or pretend to be the liaison when I’m not,” he added.
The joint statement released by Fann and Bennett on Friday puts those concerns to rest.
The announcement that Bennett has fully resumed his role as the Arizona State Senate Audit Liaison comes on the same day of press reports that the all ballots in the audit of the Maricopa County 2020 general election results have now been counted by the audit team, as Fox 10 reported:
On July 29, elections materials, including ballots and machines that were a part of the audit, were transported back to the Maricopa County Elections Office. This came about after a third and final count was completed on July 28.
In all, 2.1 million ballots and machines were packed up at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Downtown Phoenix, and shipped back to the elections office.
Sources familiar with the audit tell Breitbart News a final report is expected in late August or early September.