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Ken Bennett, senate liaison overseeing election audit, won't resign despite earlier report

Posted at 12:01 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 19:37:58-04

PHOENIX — Ken Bennett, the state senate liaison in charge of overseeing the audit of the Maricopa County 2020 presidential election results, will no longer be resigning from his position despite telling a radio station that he intended to resign earlier Wednesday.

Bennett has since reportedly reached an agreement with Senate President Karen Fann to continue the position after saying Wednesday morning that he would not just be a "rubber stamp" for the audit report.

Bennett, a former Arizona Secretary of State, is the go-between for auditors, Senate President Fann, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen. The relationship between Cyber Ninjas, the company conducting the audit, and Bennett has been testy at times.

Bennett has said Cyber Ninjas refused to share key information with him. For example, Cyber Ninjas did not provide ballot count totals comparing the audit’s results to those of the Maricopa County elections department.

RELATED: Arizona Senate issues new subpoena for 2020 election audit

Last Friday, Bennett was blocked from entering the audit site after it was revealed he provided 24 boxes of machine-counted ballots from the audit to Larry Moore, the former CEO of Clear Ballot, an election technology company that does election audits. Moore told ABC15, “we found of the 24 boxes sent, 20 had perfect matches.” In fact, Moore said Cyber Ninjas' numbers and the County’s matched 99.9% of the time. “If you extrapolate that to the full 2,089,563 count, it would be off by 124 ballots,” Moore said.

On Monday, Bennett told Conservative Talk Show Host James T. Harris, “I cannot be part of a process that I am left out of critical aspects along the way and make the audit legitimate and have integrity when we produce the final report.”

The choice of Cyber Ninjas to conduct the audit was questioned at the start. The company had no experience conducting election audits and CEO Doug Logan had retweeted several conspiracy theories about the Maricopa County results which claimed hundreds of thousands of Trump votes weren’t counted.

RELATED: Some Republican state senators having second thoughts on election audit

This past week, two Republican State Senators, Paul Boyer and Michelle Ugenti-Rita, said the audit was botched. Ugenti-Rita blamed it on the lack of competency of Senate President Karen Fann.