Election experts offer challenge to Cyber Ninjas: We can count ballots without opening boxes

Senate audit volunteer carries a box of ballots./AP pool photo

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

Election experts — including the founder of a national auditing company and a prominent Pima County Republican — have a proposal to dispel conspiracy theories about fraud in the 2020 election in Maricopa County.

They also have a message for Cyber Ninjas, the company running the Arizona recount effort: “Put up or shut up.”

The experts made a formal offer to Senate President Karen Fann on Tuesday to prove the election was sound. The proposal is getting attention from those working at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Here’s the offer: The experts say that if the Senate selects a box of unopened ballots (any box), the team could within minutes provide an accurate count of each race on all 1,000 or so ballots inside — without ever opening it.

They would do this, they said, using public data they obtained from Maricopa County, that includes spreadsheets on batches of ballots as they were tabulated in November.

The proposal sounds like a card trick where a magician asks an audience member to think of a card and then pulls it from the deck. But there’s no sleight of hand involved, they say.

Instead, they say their expertise in elections and data — as well as programming know-how — enables them to conduct an audit substantially faster and cheaper than what the Cyber Ninjas company hired by the Senate is doing with spinning table-tops and a hand count staffed by volunteers.  

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