Speed Reads

Razing Arizona

Arizona GOP election 'audit' report delayed because Cyber Ninjas team is 'quite sick' with COVID-19

The Florida firm hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to review the 2020 election results in Maricopa County was supposed to submit its final report on Monday, but Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R) said she now only expects "a portion of the draft report," due to unforeseen circumstances. "The team expected to have the full draft ready for the Senate today, but unfortunately Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan and two other members of the five-person audit team have tested positive for COVID-19 and are quite sick," she said in a statement. Fann suggested on Twitter that some of the Cyber Ninja leaders are hospitalized. 

The Senate's purported audit of the results in Maricopa County, which gave President Biden his Arizona margin of victory in 2020, has split the state GOP and been sharply criticized by Arizona's Democratic secretary of state, Republican Maricopa County officials, and independent election experts, all of whom point to serious flaws in the opaque review process. Cyber Ninjas has no election administration or auditing experience and its CEO, Logan, has spread false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

The review "was funded with $150,000 in taxpayer dollars — and nearly $5.7 million in private donations from allies of former President Donald Trump, who has expressed hope that the process will vindicate his wild allegations of fraud," The Arizona Republic reports. "People close to Trump have said he has been fixated on the Arizona process," The Washington Post adds. The report's delay left people who subscribe to Trump's baseless vindication claims "suspicious and anxious to see results," the Republic said

The Senate legal team will meet Wednesday to review whatever "portion" of the report they have, plus another review commissioned by the GOP Senate, Fann said. Senate officials will then spend a few weeks checking the Cyber Ninjas' work for "accuracy, clarity, and proof of documentation of findings," and pass it on to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will release it to the public.