Experienced Election Auditors to Audit Cyber Ninjas’ Months-long Recount

Yesterday, in two sentences, the Arizona Supreme Court cleared the last hurdle for the Audit Guys, a team of election experts, to audit the results of the Arizona Senate Republicans’ private contractor, the Cyber Ninjas.

The audit of the Cyber Ninjas’ election review will be based on a factual baseline compiled from the official public election records. This baseline creates a valid basis for comparison with the non-traditional process the Cyber Ninjas undertook in two of their inquiries: a hand count of every 2020 general election ballot in 1,634 storage boxes and, later, a machine count of the same ballots.   

On July 12, 2021, the auditors, with decades of election experience, completed their analysis to determine which of the 1,691 boxes Maricopa County delivered to the Arizona Senate under subpoena should be counted. They published the list of 1,634 labeled storage boxes contained the ballots that should be counted and the ballot count for each storage box.

On July 13, Senator Fann declared that the Cyber Ninja’s ballot counts did not match the official counts.

The auditors are withholding the vote counts for the president and senate contests until the Arizona Senate complies with their public record request.

The Cyber Ninjas initially hand-counted the presidential and senatorial votes in each ballot storage box but have not yet released the results of that inquiry or their methodology. The independent auditors, in contrast, have used public records to state the number of ballots and the votes on those ballots, which can be directly compared to the Ninja’s count by storage box.

Their forthcoming audit of the Cyber Ninjas will assess three focal points where the basis of comparison are Maricopa County’s official results. They are:

• Were the correct ballot storage boxes counted? If not, how significant was the difference?

• Were there any large discrepancies between the official results and the Ninja’s counts?

• Was there bias in the counts?

The auditors believe that the Cyber Ninjas cannot produce an apples-to-apples comparison of their counts to the official results at the storage box level—which is the basis of a professional audit.

The experienced auditors, however, believe that they can.

Author: Steven Rosenfeld

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute, where he cover election administration and voting rights. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of online and print publications. His reports are widely distributed and can be read at VotingBooth.media.