Sexual harassment scandal threatens to derail Arizona election audit



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Several women who participated in Arizona’s partisan election “audit” allege sexual harassment by male colleagues, and they say management initially ignored their complaints.

One of the alleged victims provided CBS 5 in Phoenix with statements from seven witnesses and victims corroborating her description of what happened.

“The statements described situations involving more than one alleged offender, but the complaints were about a specific man,” the station reported. “The letters are dated May 8. But the employee who spoke to (CBS 5) said the man was kept on staff for another month.”

“We talked to senior management about it and they kept him on the ground for weeks,” the woman said.

According to the alleged victims, the primary perpetrator engaged in unwanted touching, requested dates with women he considered attractive and commented on their appearance, asking them things like, “You. show your butt? “

When they rejected his advances, he insulted them. He was also reportedly subject to outbursts of anger. “This problem seemed to stem from some kind of anger towards the women with authority over him,” said a witness.

Arizona Senate Speaker Karen Fann, who initiated the audit, provided CBS 5 with a statement from the project’s “primary supplier” – presumably private company Cyber ​​Ninjas.

“I have never received any written complaints of any kind of sexual harassment, and no such complaint has been brought to my attention,” the statement said. “The closest thing I can think of is that I know of a single table manager who cursed a lot and apparently had told an inappropriate joke. We immediately fired him.”

In related news, the ballots and machines used in the audit were wrapped and moved for the fourth time on Thursday – to make way for a gun display in the basketball gym that Cyber Ninjas was using. The audit was originally due to be completed in May, but an audit spokesperson said this week they had “a little more work to do.”

“In an interview, an observer observing the process on behalf of Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), the state’s election official, said it appeared to her that the delay was potentially caused by officers. auditors who spotted problems and struggled to reconcile their own numbers, “The Washington Post reported.” Ryan Macias, former acting director of certification and testing for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission , said she heard a worker express her confusion as to why a process she believed to be sound produced so many errors.

“Macias also said that the audit organizers have continuously introduced new procedures in their work. “

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