The cyber security firm hired by the Republican-led Arizona Senate to audit Maricopa County’s 2020 election results on Sunday told a state Superior Court judge (who has now recused himself) that the company couldn’t divulge its recount procedures amid concerns that the entire ordeal is nothing more than a partisan stunt aimed at fueling false claims of widespread election fraud, the Arizona Republic reported.
According to the report, Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consulting company that has never worked on an election and is led by conspiracy theorist Doug Logan, asserted that abiding by a court order to produce its training manuals and procedures would “compromise the security of its recount.”
Attorneys for Cyber Ninjas argued the following, according to the report:
But the company argued on Sunday that filing the documents in court publicly would compromise the security of its recount. And it argued that the records include protected trade secrets. The company also maintained that the documents are protected by legislative privilege, as it is working on behalf of the state Senate.
The filing came after the Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo last week filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the audit, claiming it would violate state law to have private voting information “placed into the hands of unknown, untrained agents of the private auditors” with virtually no oversight.
The audit got off to a shaky start on Friday, when journalists reported that ballot counters were using blue pens to mark the ballots when only red pens are permitted in counting rooms because blue ink can be read by vote counting machines and potentially alter ballots. This, among other mistakes, only exacerbated Democrats’ concerns about the true motivations behind the audit.
Doug is running this audit. He told me that his understanding was that blue ink was fine – that the ballots only read black ink.
Then he came back and said actually it seems I am correct. But he still seemed unsure. He said that they would work on this.
— Jen Fifield (@JenAFifield) April 23, 2021
“We’re going to set up a new norm where we don’t accept the outcome of elections in a free and fair and just democracy, and that is the core of what is at stake here,” Tammy Patrick, senior adviser at the Democracy Fund and a former Maricopa County elections official told the Associated Press. “I think that is incredibly, incredibly problematic.”
Attorneys for Arizona Democrats also filed a letter penned by Karen Fann, a Republican and president of the state senate, asking the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to provide security because the existing staff “does not have all the security capability to protect the election equipment and ballots on its own,” per the Arizona Republic.
Fann had previously provided Republicans in the U.S. Senate with a document promoting a series of debunked conspiracy theories about voter fraud bring rampant in the 2020 election ahead of the chamber certifying the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6. That document, titled “Election Fraud Facts & Details,” was authored by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan and promoted by “Kraken” attorney Sidney Powell on her website under the heading “Evidence of Fraud- 2020 Election.”
A report by the Arizona Mirror previously chronicled that Logan was a major supporter of Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement.
Logan tweeted in December that the “parallels between the statistical analysis of Venezuela and this year’s election are astonishing.”
“I’m ashamed about how few republicans are talking about it,” he wrote from his now-deleted Twitter account.
He also tweeted a photo meant to look like the gameshow Wheel of Fortune that spelled “Joe Biden committed election fraud.”
An independent audit of the Dominion Voting Systems machines used in Maricopa County in February concluded that there was “no evidence of vote switching and concluded that the equipment tabulated and adjudicated ballots accurately” in the election. Those audits of the tabulation equipment’s software and hardware were conducted by SLI Compliance and Pro V&V, the only two firms approved by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to perform such certification tests.
According to the reports, the firms utilized a four-step evaluation process to analyze the equipment for hacking vulnerabilities, verify that no malicious software was installed, ensure voting tabulators were not being manipulated over the internet, and confirm that no votes were switched.
Former President Trump, in a statement supporting the new audit, predicted the results would be “startling!” Cyber Ninjas has “no election experience,” as the AP put it.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin was assigned the audit case on Monday in the wake of Judge Christopher Coury’s Sunday recusal.
[image via ABC15 Arizona]
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