Chain of custody article
This chain of custody has now been broken in Maricopa County. The state Senate and its consultants have physical possession of nearly 2.1 million November election ballots, meaning that Arizona election officials are no longer “retaining and preserving” election ballots. After the Senate completes its work and the ballots have been handled by an untold number of individuals employed by the state Senate or its consultant, it will be impossible for anyone to confirm or refute the results.

Once the chain of custody is broken, the ballots are no longer genuine according to federal election law. Would it have been possible to conduct an audit as envisioned by the Arizona Senate and at the same time comply with federal records retention law? Yes, it is possible. Rather than breaking the official chain of custody, the Arizona election officials should have either made paper copies of the ballots or scanned the ballots for viewing electronically.

If viewing the original ballots was deemed critical to the Senate, arrangements could have been made with election officials to have their staff available, at a cost to the Senate, to handle the ballots, allowing Senate consultants to view each ballot and record the votes, but not to touch the ballots. Generally, any recount in the normal course of an election is conducted in this manner; candidates and their representatives are never allowed to handle any election documents or ballots.
The vigilante auditors can, of course, tell any lies at any time that the spirit moves them to, which is a fundamental and chronic problem with Trumpery. I like the notion that those lies could be treated as election fraud.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
R. Buckminster Fuller