Maricopa Hoax: Deception and Coverup

Larry Moore

November 21, 2021

We believe that Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, Cyber Ninja CEO Doug Logan, and Randall Pullen, co-liaison to the Senate’s “forensic audit,” engaged in deceptive practices designed to mislead the public. Furthermore, Fann and Logan are continuing to engage in a coverup.

Combined, their efforts have attempted to cast doubt on the integrity of Maricopa County’s election results and undermined Biden’s victory in Arizona.


On September 24, 2021, the Cyber Ninjas released their long-awaited final report covering 58 days of hand counting 2.1 million ballots from the 2020 Maricopa County General Election. At the same event, Randell Pullen, co-liaison for the Arizona Senate, released a report on the Senate’s machine count of ballots.

For a process that had riveted the nation for months, the Ninjas devoted less than 500 words to summarize the findings of their hand count.

  • They did not count the same ballots reported in the official canvass.
  • Without a shred of supporting detail, they asserted Biden gained 99 votes, and Trump lost 261 votes.

Pullen’s report did have some detail, but it undercut the Ninjas’ report. Covering only 2.4% of the ballots – 48,000 out of 2.1 million cast – our analysis, widely reported, revealed that the Senate’s machine count was very close to the official canvass but not at all not to the Ninjas’ count.

Several additional facts support our belief of deception and a coverup.

A persistent lack of transparency

Leading up to the September 24 report, Ken Bennett, co-liaison to the “forensic audit” and former Arizona Secretary of State, had repeatedly complained that the Cyber Ninjas refused all his requests for comparative data. When he did obtain data from the Senate’s machine count in late July, Bennett released it to us to compare the Senate’s ballot counts against the official results. Upon hearing of Bennett’s transgression, Randell Pullen, the other Senate co-liaison, denied Bennett access to the Wesley Bolin Building to observe the machine count.

Not an Audit

The Ninjas violated the most fundamental precept of an audit. An audit compares two independently produced results based on the same data. The Ninjas reported on different ballots. Once they figured out how to thwart an audit of their results, the Ninjas could say anything.  

Greg Sargent, writing in a Washington Post editorial, said,

“When news organizations reported on that “finding,” they blew the story badly. They widely declared in headlines that the “audit” had “confirmed” Biden’s victory, implying that it was an effort to empirically verify the outcome, to reassure people who “believed” the outcome might be in doubt.

In fact, it was the opposite: an effort to further undermine the legitimacy of the Democratic victory. This is not changed by the fact that it failed to find a way to declare outright that Biden lost the state: Indeed, the very same announcement of its “findings” also declared that it had found serious fraud, just not enough to change the result.”

Misleading reports

On September 24, Randall Pullen released his report that discussed the Senate’s machine count of ballots. Buried at the end was a 17-page extract of the complete 695-page report, written by the Ninjas and annotated by Pullen. On October 1, six days later, we issued our analysis that showed the Senate’s machine count of ballots exceeded the Ninjas’ hand count by over 15,000 out of 48,000 ballots. Pullen’s response? The Ninjas’ results were “preliminary” even though his report did not mention preliminary data.

The full 695-page report was released on October 10 in response to our demand that the Senate had no grounds to withhold public information in their possession. It did not take us long to conclude that Pullen’s analysis was so laughably inaccurate that there had to be more to the story. 

Sure enough, Robert Anglen, writing for the Arizona Republic, reported in an article on November 1, “Cyber Ninjas was never required to deliver definitive report on election results, contract shows.”

The Pullen report enabled the Ninjas to bill the Senate for their services. There was no requirement for accuracy.

We stand behind our conclusion that the Ninjas made up the numbers.


Despite their empty assertions of “complete transparency,” Fann and Logan have stonewalled rulings by the Maricopa County Superior Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals. Both courts ruled the data we were seeking was subject to Arizona’s Public Records laws. At least two parties – American Oversight and the Arizona Republic – are still in court to obtain all the public records produced during this “legislative investigation” of the 2020 Maricopa County General Election. Senator Fann still faces a contempt hearing over her refusal to turn over the Cyber Ninjas’ audit documents.

From the outset, our objective was to audit their recount of Maricopa’s 2.1 million ballots from the 2020 General Election. Our audit was designed to compare the Ninjas’ detailed ballot and vote counts against the corresponding official results organized by ballot storage boxes.


On November 1, Cyber Ninja CEO Doug Logan released the data on ballot and vote counts by storage box in response to threats to sue.

Below is a summary of our findings; our complete report is here.

  • As reported above, the Ninjas deliberately counted the wrong ballots. No other explanation exists other than to support their goal of changing the outcome or, failing that, to manufacture doubt.
  • We found evidence that the Ninjas made up their September 24 findings.
  • Using their data, we showed that had the Ninjas counted the ballots correctly, they would have had to explain how a company with no experience in elections could somehow “find” 2,012 more ballots and that Trump gained 1,367 votes and Biden gained 993 votes. Contrast those numbers with their September 24 announcement that they counted 994 fewer ballots, Trump lost 261 votes and Biden gained 99. It is not just that no one would believe them but that they would come under intense scrutiny to explain their findings.

We stand by our assertion that the Ninjas made up the numbers and that Senator Fann enabled a hoax so great that it has the potential to undermine our democracy.

Author: Larry Moore

I founded the Clear Ballot Group in 2009 as an audit firm. My goal was to bring a new class of tools to help election officials build trust in the integrity of their elections. In early 2018, Clear Ballot became the first company in over a decade to bring a new voting system successfully through federal certification. I retired from Clear Ballot in December 2018. Now, I've joined Benny White and Tim Halvorsen to bring our expertise to debunk the disinformation surrounding the Maricopa 2020 election.

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