During the writing of this story an AZ Senate letter was released that outlines potential county mischief with election ballots and technology.
To clarify, the Arizona Senate’s subpoena asked for, “Access and control of ALL routers…to garner the system logs”.
Maricopa County agreed to provide these routing devices so Senate auditors could access the logs themselves. The county then agreed to provide “virtual images”. The county now claims “they’ve been informed” not to provide either.
Who exactly is “informing” the county officials?
The Senate would like the routers from the Maricopa County Tabulation & Election Center (MCTEC) building. They don’t want the critical infrastructure routers from the Office of Enterprise Technology, a quarter mile away. The OET building is the county’s IT Department. It’s the central technology hub that serves over 50 county departments, including the Sheriff’s Department (see map).
OET has roughly 250 employees and lists itself as the “IT Advisor to County Departments”.
At some point election data has to leave the MCTEC building and become public. The Senate Subpoena requires the logs for any outbound and inbound election traffic, which might include logs on switches at OET, or elsewhere. It’s expected these logs might show Dominion staff in Denver remote accessing the system as they prepare for the election, which is OK, to a point. Remote access is a method Dominion’s used in other counties to correct poll pads. But Dominion had two full-time employees in Maricopa and were provided office space. Should they have needed remote access?
According to one source, “a new server was installed in Maricopa County in the Fall of 2020 by Dominion”. The county might be concerned about what will be discovered on this server. This might explain the incredible pushback on providing simple “logs”. If this server was installed in the OET building, it might show every storage device, database, Wi-fi thumb drive, and computer that accessed the election system, and when.
According to State Senator Sonny Borrelli, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (MCBOS) said “these things (routers) are ready to be picked up, they’re in a box, all you have to do is come get them”. “When we went to go pick them up, they dodged and balked in providing them to us.” Board chairman Jack Sellers then told the Senate they had “replaced all the routers after the election”. Does the county even have the routers from the election? Is Jack Sellers misinformed? Colonel Phil Waldron said: “If they can’t provide the election routers, that’s a violation of the Subpoena and a charge of contempt.”
Last week Sellers said, “We learned that providing the physical routers will cripple county operations and cost as much as $6 million if we must replace the routers… Providing virtual images of the routers, while dealing with the technical issue of removing them, is not more acceptable because that still leaves the security issues cited by the county Sheriff. But Law Enforcement data should not be “co-mingling” with election data.
County Sheriff Paul Penzone made a lengthy statement about this request for router logs. He uses words like jeopardize, compromised, irresponsible, mind-numbing reckless, and so on. His public letter is intended to scare the community while at the same time telling the Senate to be “more responsible”. In his stroke of brilliance, the Sheriff’s letter informs criminals how to obtain classified police information? Dominion has alleged security holes, many posted online. Can’t criminals now just access the election logs and routers? Sheriff Penzone himself said “classified data would be exposed.” But if classified data was processed over unclassified systems, isn’t that a security violation that requires an Intelligence Oversight Investigation?
Even the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office jumped in to prevent access to the logs. County Attorney Allister Adel’s letter to the Senate state they thought risk could be eliminated by redacting the law enforcement data on the routers, just not producing it. But “we were informed” that redactions would not eliminate the risk. “We learned” that criminals could still access this data.
Think on that for a minute – by not releasing sensitive information, they would be creating risk of releasing sensitive information. Only a lawyer could suggest such a thing. The Routers do not contain a hard-drive – therefore could not store files, only the routing of the data packets.
Detroit’s TCF center is one of the most partisan, corrupt, and abrasive tabulation locations in the county. In 2012 the FBI arrested five individuals in the technology department of Wayne County (Detroit), including their CIO. They went to prison for fraud, embezzlement, contract rigging, etc. This FBI raid opened up the opportunity for Wayne County to place Ed Winfield as their new CIO. One year after Trump won the election, in Nov. 2107, Ed Winfield became the CIO of Maricopa County in the Office of Enterprise Technology.
The staff at OET appear to be under the thumb of political operatives. None were willing to comment. This is almost unheard of by a public sector tech department. It’s a disgrace to their profession to let technology become a pawn for politicians. Even Lester Godsey refused to comment, the county’s own Chief Information Security Officer. The FBI was certainly willing to investigate a local government IT Department when they stole money (Wayne County). Why are they not investigating those in local government who have potentially stolen votes?
Mr. Winfield’s strategic goal is to move more and more county technology to cloud-based providers. This is a cost-effective approach. But it also means companies like HP, Avaya, Amazon Web Services, and Google will be in control of critical county services. Employees of these corporations will have access to some of Maricopa residents’ information and activities. It’s been well document that Facebook employees, on their last day of employment, purposely crippled ad accounts of conservative organizations. And if Arizona or a County’s politics are NOT aligned with Big Tech, who’s going stop Big Tech from disabling County services until elected officials comply, or change laws?
For additional information view the incredible interview of Sonny Borrelli and Col. Phil Waldron on Arizona Today, hosted by Dr. Lyle Rapacki.