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This May 6, 2021, photo shows contractors for Florida-based Cyber Ninjas examining and recounting Maricopa County, Arizona's 2020 general election ballots at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP) This May 6, 2021, photo shows contractors for Florida-based Cyber Ninjas examining and recounting Maricopa County, Arizona's 2020 general election ballots at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP)

This May 6, 2021, photo shows contractors for Florida-based Cyber Ninjas examining and recounting Maricopa County, Arizona's 2020 general election ballots at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. (AP)

Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman July 23, 2021

No proof military is moving equipment into cities due to Maricopa audit

If Your Time is short

  • Contractors involved in a GOP-ordered review of Maricopa County, Ariz., ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election are expected to submit their findings to the state Senate in August.

  • There’s no evidence to support the claim that the military is preparing to respond to the release of the results.

  • State and federal military officials told PolitiFact that they are not involved in the ballot review in Arizona.

A partisan review of ballots in Maricopa County, Ariz., has fueled repeated speculation on social media that the military is on hand for the release of results, but there’s no evidence of this.

"Monday and Tuesday of this week the military was moving big equipment into the major big cities preparing for the Maricopa audit results," the narrator says in a video posted  July 22 on Facebook.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and  misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The 12-minute video makes a string of unsubstantiated claims about martial law being in force, Donald Trump being reinstated as president and former government officials being arrested or executed, but the part we looked at was a claim at the beginning of the video about the military being readied in connection with Maricopa County’s audit results. 

It’s similar to a post we fact-checked in June that said "Military ready to act on audit results!" We rated that one False.

The segment in the video about Maricopa included two images of military personnel, both of which were unrelated to the review of ballots in Arizona. One photo appears to match a photo of soldiers in 2009 during a re-enlistment ceremony in Iraq, while another photo appears to match a 2018 photo of service members at an Air Force base in Guam.

With encouragement from President Donald Trump and his allies, Arizona Senate Republicans launched a review of the ballots cast during the presidential election in Maricopa County. The review started in April and is continuing. Election experts, including Republicans, have criticized the ballot review as partisan and amateurish and said it doesn’t follow typical auditing standards. We have debunked multiple falsehoods stemming from the ballot review including Trump’s claim that  "74,243 mail-in ballots were counted with 'no clear record of them being sent.'"

Randy Pullen, a spokesperson for the audit, estimated that contractors will finish writing their report and submit it to the state Senate in mid-August. He was not aware of any plans to send the military to cities ahead of the release of the results of the ballot review.

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State and federal military officials also indicated they are not preparing any response to the release of results of the ballot review.

"There has been no formal request for the Arizona National Guard to support the audit," said David Nunn, spokesperson for the Arizona National Guard.

"There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of elections, and we are not moving forces to Maricopa, Arizona," said Jason Waggoner, spokesperson for the U.S. Army.

Spokespersons for the Phoenix Police Department and for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office also told PolitiFact that law enforcement made no request for military involvement.

Our ruling

A video posted on Facebook said, "This week the military was moving big equipment into the major big cities preparing for the Maricopa audit results." 

We found no evidence of that happening. Spokespersons for the Arizona National Guard and the U.S. Army said their agencies are not involved with the review of the ballots in Maricopa. The images accompanying the post are unrelated to Arizona.

We rate this statement False. 

RELATED: Proof has not emerged to change Joe Biden’s election or his wins in Ariz., Ga.

Our Sources

Facebook post, July 22, 2021

PolitiFact, No evidence that military "ready to act" on Arizona ballot review, June 29, 2021

Wikipedia, Military personnel

Alamy, April 28, 2018

Telephone interview, Randy Pullen, spokesperson for the review of ballots in Maricopa County, July 23, 2021

Email interview, Jason Waggoner, U.S. Army spokesperson, July 23, 2021

Telephone interview, David Nunn, spokesperson for the Arizona National Guard, July 23, 2021

Email interview, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, Phoenix Police Department spokesperson, July 23, 2021

Email interview, Sgt. Monica Bretado, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, July 23, 2021 

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No proof military is moving equipment into cities due to Maricopa audit

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