PHOENIX — Early next week, Republicans in the Arizona State Senate may get their first look at the Cyber Ninja audit of the Maricopa County 2020 election results.
In advance of its arrival, a group of local and national election experts tried to undercut allegations of voter fraud the report may claim.
“The proper measure is, have the Cyber Ninjas met any burdens of proving that the election wasn’t secure and verified and transparent? And the answer is clearly no. They haven’t come close,” said David Becker, Executive Director and Founder of the Center for Election Innovation and Research.
Four months of counting, three weeks of writing, the Cyber Ninjas report is expected to be delivered to Senate President Karen Fann on Monday. Critics of the audit, like Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican who won in November, see it as a purely partisan exercise aimed at undermining the election process.
“I share your disappointment, I share your frustration. I’m not doing this because I’m anti-conservative or anti-Republican. I have great Republican credentials. But we lost,” Richer said.
Fann and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen presided over updates from the auditing team when it made unsubstantiated claims. One example was when Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan claimed 74,000 mail-in ballots were returned with no record of them ever being sent out. That's just one of several claims Logan or his team made that were later corrected or proven to be inaccurate.
“Problems plagued this exercise from the start,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said. "The Senate’s contractors failed to meet basic standards for a credible audit and fell even more short of meeting requirements for an election.”
Once Fann gets the report she will forward it to the Senate Audit team who will review, vet and verify all the source data used by the Cyber Ninjas. A process Ken Bennett, who served as the Senate liaison to the audit, says may take several weeks to complete. Only after that’s done, will the senate audit of the Maricopa County election be made public.
Audit spokesperson Randy Pullen told ABC15 that they have also obtained the envelope images for the county’s 1.9 million early ballots. Pullen said a separate contractor will analyze the images and write another report that will be delivered to the state senate at a later date. Pullen anticipated that the process may take about five days once a contract with a vendor is finalized.