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.

Maricopa Hoax: Roundup of Articles

There was such interest in our “Maricopa Hoax” series that we thought our readership would like to see our articles in one place.

Maricopa Hoax: The Ninjas Made up the Numbers

October 1 breaking story where we declare, based on evidence from Randy Pullen’s Sept. 24 report, that the AZ Senate President’s / Cyber Ninja’s process was a hoax and shameful episode in America’s history.

Maricopa Hoax: Our review of the “not final” Senate machine count report

October 12 analysis of the 695-page report comparing the Ninjas’ hand-count ballot count to the AZ Senate’s machine-count. It’s not a pretty picure.

Maricopa Hoax: Debunking Disinformation & Confronting its Spreaders

October 14, 2021 presentation to the Boston-Cambridge Election Science Working Group chaired by MIT Professor Charles Stewart.

Our other supporting reports.

Maricopa Hoax: Deception and Coverup

November 21 analysis of our belief that the public was deceived and that a coverup is still underway.

Arizona Election Review – Tyranny Unabated

Benny White, JD

August 25, 2021

Sen. Karen demonstrated yesterday that she knows no limits to the extent she will go to cover up the mess she has created in Arizona.

She is going to convene a closed-door investigation but only use the data she contracted for to analyze the 2020 General Election in Maricopa County. She says this is all focused on increasing election integrity. Nonsense.

The legislature recently passed legislation to form an election oversight committee. Sen. Fann is not going to allow that committee of fellow legislators to be involved in reviewing or commenting on the election review report. Members of the Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction for elections? No way. Oh, no, she says, no outside comments will be considered. Really?

She doesn’t want to know how wrong the hand count and machine count really were so she is not going to consider any contrary facts. Just the Ninja circus counts. Eventually this phony report will be published and the disinformation campaign will continue on steroids. We will keep trying to present the facts in the case.

It is difficult for me to believe that our state legislators, Attorney General and Governor will sit silently on the sidelines with their hands folded and allow this tyranny to continue but that appears to be exactly what is going to happen.

Incoming: Another round of disinformation from the AZ Senate

August 17, 2021

Larry Moore

Yesterday, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann tweeted that the “audit companies are preparing a draft report to present to the Senate.”  Without sufficient detail described below, their report, at best, will be meaningless; at worst, propaganda and disinformation.

Let’s be clear. Whatever went on in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium from April 23 to June 30 was not an audit. It was a recount.  The original count was audited three times. This recount needs to be audited.

What is an audit? 

Since 2013, the company I founded, the Clear Ballot Group, has conducted over 200 independent election audits of all major federally certified voting systems, including Dominion’s.  Here’s my definition of an election audit.

An election audit compares the official count with an independent count based on the same data (e.g.., the physical ballots or their ballot images).

The more independently computed points of comparison that match, the more confidence we can have that the original count was accurate. Typically, there are two types of comparisons: ballot counts and vote counts.

We show our cards first

On July 12, concerned that continuing to call their recount an audit would lay the foundation of another round of disinformation,  we sent Senator Fann, with copies to the press, an open letter with an attached spreadsheet that makes an actual audit possible.

While there were 1,691 storage boxes delivered under subpoena, our spreadsheet contained just the 1,634 storage boxes containing ballots counted in the official results. It also contained ballot counts for 1,634 storage boxes derived from official results and based on public data.

Knowing which boxes to count is critical because there were 57 boxes delivered to the Senate under subpoena that contained various other election materials that were not official ballots.  Examples are spoiled ballots, originals of ballots requiring duplication (e.g. braille ballots, large format ballots, damaged ballots, and ballots submitted by overseas voters), or pre-marked test decks used to test the voting system machines. 

None of these other materials were in the official results. Why were they delivered in the first place? Because the Senate’s subpoena did not distinguish between boxes with counted ballots and other boxes that federal law requires to be retained for 22 months.

In a July 15 public hearing, chaired by Senators Fann and Peterson,  the Ninja’s leader, Doug Logan, expressed confusion over which storage boxes should be counted (see discussion at 1:23). In his statement, he has laid the foundation to say in his report to the Senate, “We have found tens of thousands of ballots that were not counted. The county refused to answer our questions, nor did they provide all the information we subpoenaed. What are they hiding?”

What happens next? We demand transparency.

We have no faith that Doug Logan’s report to the Senate will be a model of transparency and completeness. After all, before his Senate contract he flatly stated there was fraud in Maricopa and during his testimony on July 15, he spouted disinformation that was amplified by former president Trump less than 24 hours later.

Accordingly, we have filed a public records request for the raw data from the hand and machine counts.

The Senate is currently fighting all attempts to prevent the release of the information held by the Ninjas.  American Oversight is leading the litigation, which may go all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court to resolve.

Having provided the list of boxes that should be counted and the ballot counts by box, we have raised the ante.

The table below summarizes the spreadsheet mentioned above updated to include the vote counts for the 24 boxes provided to us by Ken Bennett on the day before he was denied access to the machine ballot count operation.

We will provide the remaining vote counts when the Senate publishes their vote counts for all 1,634 boxes.

The offical Maricopa Elections Department canvass can be found here on page 3.

Our audit will provide thousands of points of comparison which can help resolve significant discrepancies in a matter of minutes. It will: compare the reformulated official results to the Ninja’s hand-count at:

4,902 points of comparison of ballot counts (3 voting methods x 1,634 boxes), and

24,510  points of comparison for vote counts [3 voting methods x 1,634 boxes x 5 candidates (3 in the presidential race, 2 in the U.S. Senate race)]

Stay tuned…

Just how “independent” was the Senate machine count of the ballots????

The Arizona Republic reported that Bryan Blehm, the attorney for the CyberNinjas, was responsible for the machine count of the ballots. He supposedly had an unreported oral contract with the Senate where he received no compensation (a requirement to actually have a contract) for putting ballots into the counting machines for a month. Waiting, and waiting, for the counts.

Why ask for counts from the “forensic audit” being done in Maricopa County?

August 12, 2021

Benny White

I recently submitted a Public Records Request to the Arizona Senate custodian of records. It is essential that someone gets access to the counts of ballots and the votes on the ballots that the CyberNinjas and then the Senate (aka CyberNinjas, disguised as independent contractors) produced during their “forensic audit” of the Maricopa County (AZ) 2020 General Election.

The reason it is essential for someone to get these counts is to have some ability to see if anything the CyberNinjas and the Arizona Senate reports has any credibility at all. If we don’t get these public records then no one will have any ability to challenge anything that comes out of the “forensic audit.” We will just have to take their word for it.

We think that is a real problem. Senator Karen Fann has already told the world that the count by the CyberNinjas does not match the official results. She didn’t tell us how much they differed but it was enough for her to authorize an additional count of the ballots to see how many ballots were really in those boxes. Her liaison, Ken Bennett, didn’t trust the new counts he was seeing so he asked us to check on a few boxes and he gave us the machine counts he had. We found one box that was off by 18 ballots and several that were off by 1 or 2. Close, but in this situation, you have to be exactly correct, 100% accurate. Close is not good enough.

When we get the counts we will compare on a box by box, batch by batch, precinct by precinct or whatever is required to see if the Ninjas got the right ballot count and whether the Senate machine count of ballots can be trusted. If you don’t get the count of ballots correct there is no way the count of votes could be correct. We expect the Senate machine count to be pretty close on most counts except for the problems you have when you are relying on people to write down numbers correctly on several different sheets of paper before they are entered into a computer.

If needed we will be able to compare the results on a ballot by ballot basis by looking at the ballot and comparing that to the ballot image. That assumes the ballots are back in the boxes in the same order they were initially in which is actually a pretty shaky assumption after watching what the Ninjas have done with the ballots.

Right now the courts are deciding whether or not we can get access to these records. Judge Kemp in Maricopa Superior Court issued a decision in a case called American Oversight v Fann et. al to indicate the Senate had to produce these records related to the audit and that they had to produce records generated by their agents and contractors for work they did in the audit. That decision is on appeal and we expect a decision sometime in the next few weeks. We expect a favorable decision and when we get the counts we intend to allow the public to see for themselves whether the audit has produced any useful information. We suspect everyone will see that the official results announced last November were correct after all.

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