As Cyber Ninjas prepare report on Maricopa County election results, Arizona elections officials rip audit

Arizona Senate Building/Flickr

By Jen Fifield and Ryan Randazzo

Two agencies that oversee Arizona elections went on the offensive Thursday to debunk and discredit the soon-to-be released results of the Senate’s unconventional and partisan review of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election.

Two reports released by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, highlighted the erroneous and insecure nature of the audit conducted by Senate contractors. They also reiterated the ways that the county and state verified the election was sound.

The bipartisan effort to discredit the results from lead contractor Cyber Ninjas before they are released was not coordinated, Richer said. But both were seemingly aimed at the same purpose — getting ahead of misinformation or inaccuracies that may be in the Cyber Ninjas report.

The Senate contractors are expected to deliver a final report to the Senate soon, with a spokesperson indicating that it could be as soon as Monday. Their review wrapped up last month, after starting in April.

Richer used the report, which he addressed to “Arizona Republicans,” mainly to talk about why he decided to speak out in opposition of the audit, and to respond to critics who have harassed him about it.

“I am human. If you prick me, I bleed,” he wrote. “And if you consistently defame me and the people in my office, I eventually fight back.”

He said he was called a “RINO,” or Republican in name only, communist, or traitor, just for correctly saying that Joe Biden won the election in Maricopa County.

He emphasized that he has been active in the Republican Party for more than a decade, voted for Trump and volunteered for various political campaigns including that of former U.S. Sen. Martha McSally.


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August 2021