An Arizona GOP official resigned his election recount job, complaining of a lack of transparency, then un-resigned
The official, who acted as the liaison between the Arizona audit department and lawmakers, resigned Wednesday.
Ken Bennett complained that he had been denied access to data, but later reversed his decision.
The audit was riddled with allegations that it was being conducted in a shameful manner.
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A Republican official who acted as the liaison between the Arizona State Senate and the private contractor conducting an electoral review on his behalf resigned Wednesday but changed his mind shortly thereafter.
Ken Bennett, a former Arizona Secretary of State, told a Conservative radio host on Wednesday that Cyber Ninjas, the contractor who conducted the review, had denied him access to the location where the recount took place.
The exam looks at votes from Marciopa County that Joe Biden won in the 2020 presidential election, wrested from Donald Trump from Arizona and contributed to his election victory.
Bennett was banned from the site last Friday after sharing a portion of the auditor's vote count with independent electoral experts, the Arizona Republic reported.
The outlet said it correlated with the vote recorded by election officials in the county last November and appears to disprove claims of mass election fraud that has pushed Donald Trump and his allies.
These claims have also been denied in other states in a number of ways, including the court system.
Two independent audits conducted in Maricopa County last year found the vote count was correct.
-Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) July 28, 2021
"I've always tried to act as a man of integrity and honesty and I'm sure I can't do it all the time, but I can't put a stamp on a product that I've excluded from development." Bennett told radio host James Harris on Wednesday.
"I will resign today. I will make a statement to the press later this morning."
But when he was later contacted by NBC News, Bennett said that after speaking with Senate President Karen Fann, also Republican, he had decided not to resign.
"This includes that I continue to work as the Senate liaison," he said in the message. He gave the point of sale no reason to change its mind.
Fann in a statement Thursday quoted Bennett apologizing for disclosing data from the exam.
She shared a statement attributed to him that said, "I shared some box counts of how many ballots were in each box and that was leaked to the press and I apologized to Senate President Fann. I had promised that no information would be leaked to the press, but it was done indirectly, so I was banned from the exam. "
The audit has been riddled with delays and controversy since it was initiated by the Republican-controlled State Senate in April.
Maricopa County election officials and observers from the Arizona Secretary of State have described the exam as chaotic and appear to have been based in an attempt to prove partisan conspiracy theories about mass fraud in last year's election.
A Republican senator who originally supported Thursday's exam withdrew her support and also raised concerns about the transparency of the process.
Former President Donald Trump has taken the exam as part of an attempt to delegitimize President Joe Biden's election victory last year and has urged lawmakers in other states where he lost to conduct similar reviews.
The process of reviewing the ballots in the audit is complete, Cyber Ninjas announced this week, and the contractors are now preparing a report based on their findings.
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Republican politician and businessman who served as President of the Arizona Senate
45th President of the United States
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