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Maricopa County refutes claims made by Cyber Ninjas

Ballot, election, vote, voting
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 05, 2022

PHOENIX — After a three-month-long investigation, Maricopa County concluded that only 87 of the 53,304 ballots deemed questionable by the Arizona State Senate ballot review contractors were potentially illegally cast ballots.

In a more than a four-hour public hearing, county supervisors along with the county recorder questioned county election officials on the 93-page analysis released by the department that refutes nearly every claim made by the Cyber Ninjas.

County election director Scott Jarrett aggressively refuted claims made in September by ballot review contractors that election employees deleted election files and purged server logs. The county hired the information technology company PacketWatch to do an additional round of internal network audits. The company concluded that election systems were not connected to the internet.

Election officials went line by line through claims made in the Cyber Ninjas post-ballot review report. They found that nearly every question raised by the Cyber Ninjas was either misleading, inaccurate, or false. During the questioning, supervisors and officials frequently blamed the errors on either poor analysis or a fundamental misunderstanding of how elections are run. They did recognize that of the 87 questionable ballots found by the Cyber Ninjas, 50 of them were double-counted in error. The remaining 37 were being referred to the Arizona Attorney General for potential illegal voting.

Presentations by elections officials were backed up by voter data spreadsheets analyzed line by line by county employees obtained when the ballot review report was leaked prior to the presentation back in September as well as screenshots from the Election Management Server. Janine Petty, the voter registration manager at the county raised the issue that the reason for the Cyber Ninja’s over-inflated estimate of questionable ballots was because they used a commercial database with only a “soft-match” of three different data points. When Maricopa County does voter registration data hygiene, the standard is a seven-point match.

Maricopa County has loudly pushed back against the state Senate’s ballot review since May of last year when the Audit War Room social media account accused the county of deleting election-related databases, a claim that was repeated by former president Donald Trump and his allies.