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The voting system test laboratories used to certify Arizona election equipment are properly accredited, according to Arizona officials and the federal Election Assistance Commission.
The commission said an administrative error led to Pro V&V, one of the testing labs, not getting an updated certificate from 2017 to 2019. The company remained in good standing and has since been audited by the commission, it said.
Members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors have heard a number of baseless accusations about the Nov. 8 Arizona election.
One is that the testing laboratory that certifies voting equipment in Arizona was not accredited, invalidating the election. This claim has surfaced before — in meetings, lawsuits and on social media — and it came up again at the board’s Nov. 16 public hearing.
Video from the meeting was shared on Instagram on Nov. 23 with a headline that says the 2022 Maricopa County election has been declared "unlawful."
It shows a man speaking before the board. "The elections were unlawful," he says, "because the voting machines were not accredited in accordance with Arizona statute 16-442 bravo." he says.
The Instagram 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 Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
Though he did not expand on the accreditation claim during the meeting, he said in a video interview captured outside the hearing that accreditation for a test lab had expired in 2018.
It’s a claim Schafer has made before, according to Arizona Public Media.
But Arizona election officials and the commission that certifies election equipment said the claim has no validity.
"The basis for this conspiracy is a misunderstanding of the federal lab testing accreditation process," said Sophia Solis, deputy communications director for the Arizona secretary of state.
Test laboratories are independent labs designed to test voting systems and software to ensure they meet federal guidelines. They must be accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, according to the Help America Vote Act, passed in 2002.
Solis said all equipment used in Arizona elections must be certified by the commission and by the Arizona secretary of state. The secretary’s certification is based on a recommendation by its Equipment Certification Advisory Committee. The goal is to ensure equipment meets federal and state requirements.
As part of that process, she said, all equipment must be tested by a voting system test laboratory that is accredited under the Help America Vote Act. That is spelled out in Arizona statute 16-442.
"All voting systems used in the 2022 election in Arizona have met these requirements," Solis said.
Arizona used voting equipment made by three different companies in the 2022 election, the secretary of state’s website says: Dominion, Election Systems & Software and Unisyn. An Election Assistance Commission website also shows all Arizona counties using equipment from those three companies that have been certified.
The commission has confirmed that both of the voting system test laboratories used in Arizona have had regular assessments during their accreditations, Solis said. The testing companies Pro V&V and SLI Compliance certified the state’s equipment.
"Even though the EAC failed to reissue the certificate, Pro V&V’s audit was completed in 2018 and again in early 2021," the commission wrote. The 2020 audit was postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
"Pro V&V and SLI Compliance remained in good standing with the requirements of our program and retained their accreditation," during that time, they said.
Under federal law, a lab can’t lose accreditation unless the commission votes to revoke it. This has not happened with either company, Solis said.
Maricopa County Election Director Scott Jarrett spoke about the certification allegations in a Maricopa County Board of Supervisors public hearing Nov. 28.
"The Election Assistance Commission has said that Pro V&V, the voting system laboratory that certified the Dominion equipment and the other voting system testing laboratory, SLI Compliance … their certifications have never been revoked," he said beginning about the 3:58:20 mark of the video.
Maricopa County Elections Department spokesperson Matt Roberts said the Arizona secretary of state and Election Assistance Commission approved the Dominion voting equipment used in the county before the general election.
Roberts also said the county in 2021 initiated a "multilayered forensic audit" of its tabulation equipment.
A certified public accounting company, BerryDunn, "reviewed county contracts with Dominion Voting Services and verified that the county leased the tabulation equipment according to state and county procurement regulations," Roberts said.
An Instagram post claimed the 2022 Arizona election was unlawful because voting equipment was improperly certified by a voting system test laboratory whose certification had expired.
Arizona election officials said that is not the case, and that all equipment used had been certified in accordance with state and federal law. The federal Election Assistance Commission said that although paperwork was not updated for Pro V&V, one of the testing labs used, in 2017-2019, the company has remained certified.
We rate this False.
PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report
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Instagram post, Nov. 23, 2022
Email interview with Sophia Solis, deputy communications director for the Arizona Secretary of State, Dec. 1, 2022
Email interview with Matt Roberts, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Elections Department, Dec. 1, 2022
Arizona Legislature, "Title 16, Elections and Electors, 16-442"
Legal Information Institute, "52 U.S. Code § 20971 - Certification and testing of voting systems"
Election Assistance Commission, certification of Dominion Voting Systems, September 2019
Election Assistance Commission, "Pro V&V," accessed Dec. 1, 2022
Election Assistance Commission, "SLI Compliance, a Division of Gaming Laboratories International, LLC," accessed Dec. 1, 2022
Election Assistance Commission, "VSTL Certificates and Accreditation," accessed Dec. 1, 2022
Election Assistance Commission, "Accredited laboratories," accessed Dec. 1, 2022
Election Assistance Commission, "System certification process," accessed Dec. 1, 2022
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting video, Nov. 16, 2022
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting video, Nov. 28, 2022
Maricopa County, "Election facts | Voting equipment and accuracy," accessed Dec. 1, 2022
Maricopa County, "Pro V&V field audit report," Feb. 23, 2021
Maricopa County, "SLI Compliance forensic audit report," Feb. 23, 2021
Maricopa County, "Update on forensic audit of Maricopa County's tabulation equipment," Feb. 23, 2021
Arizona Public Media, "Fact Check AZ: Ep. 6 Voting Machines and election integrity," Nov. 7, 2022
Arizona Secretary of State’s office, "Certified Vote Tabulating Equipment"
Arizona Secretary of State’s office, "Voting equipment used in 2022 election cycle"
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