On Wednesday, the Department of Justice issued a warning to the partisans running Arizona’s controversial audit of the 2020 vote: you could be in violation of federal voting and civil rights laws.

CNN provides the details:

Pamela Karlan, principal deputy assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, warned Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, in a letter obtained by CNN that turning over election materials to audit contractor Cyber Ninjas — a Sarasota, Florida audit contractor hired by the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate — could be a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1960. Karlan also wrote in the letter that there are “at least issues of potential non-compliance with federal laws enforced by the Department.”

The first, according to Karlan, is regarding reports that suggest the ballots, elections systems, and election materials in the Maricopa County audit are “no longer under the ultimate control of state and local election officials and are not being adequately safeguarded by contractors at an insecure facility, and are at risk of being lost, stolen, altered, compromised or destroyed.”

The second concern, according to the letter, involves the scope of the work assigned to Cyber Ninjas, which “indicates that the contractor has been working with a number of individuals to identify voter registrations that did not make sense.”

The audit of the November results in Arizona’s Maricopa County was ordered by the state’s Republican-controlled senate. It involves an inspection of 2.1 million ballots and helps perpetuate the thoroughly debunked lie that Joe Biden was propelled to victory by fraud.

ABC15 Arizona offers more context on the warning from the DOJ:

This letter comes one day after ABC15 learned that the company leading the recount is now requiring a legal document called a non-disclosure agreement to be signed by volunteers who want to participate. The NDA explains observers must agree to keep information detailing what they saw and experienced while present to themselves unless given permission by the company.

“The very heart of being an observer is to be able to watch, to observe, to take that information and to share it with others,” said Tammy Patrick with the Democracy Fund. Patrick previously worked at the Maricopa County Elections Department from 2003 to 2014.

Business Insider, meanwhile, reports that UV lights and high-tech cameras are being used in the audit to check for traces of bamboo fibers. The presence of bamboo, the theory goes, would suggest that ballots were mailed illegally from Asia.

Joe Biden won Arizona by 4 tenths of 1 percent.