Arizona Election Results
Date of Election Certification
November 30th, 2020
Why Should We Trust the Official Results?
Hand Recount: From November 4 through November 9, 2020, as required by Arizona law, a physical hand recount of roughly 2% of in-person votes and 5,000 early voting ballots was conducted in all fifteen counties, including Maricopa County, and found no discrepancies. Source
EAC-accredited Auditors: On February 23, 2021, Maricopa County announced that forensic audits of its vote tabulation equipment by Pro V&V Laboratory and SLI Compliance—two independent auditors accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission ("EAC")—had found no irregularities. Source
Were there bipartisan election observers allowed? Yes.
Credentialed political party observers are permitted inside polling places under Arizona law. Source
In Maricopa County, observers from all of the main political parties were permitted to observe as ballots were processed and counted, and the procedure was live-streamed online at all times. Source
For the statutorily required hand count of 2% of the polling places, representatives from the three major local political parties—Republican, Democrat and Libertarian—selected ballots to audit. The audit was conducted by groups of three, of which not more than two represented the same political party. Source Source
The Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors hired EAC-accredited firms to conduct the two additional post-election audits Source
Background on the Sham Review
After the 2020 election, Senate President Karen Fann and then-Arizona Sen. Eddie Farnsworth issued subpoenas to Maricopa County for the 2.1 million ballots cast in the county as well as election machines and other materials. Those subpoenas were updated in January by Fann and state Sen. Warren Petersen, who replaced Farnsworth as chair of the Judiciary Committee. County officials argued that turning over the ballots would violate state law, but in late February a judge required the County to turn them over, leading to confusion when the Senate did not have a place lined up to safely store them.
On March 31, 2021, the Arizona Senate Republican caucus hired four firms to examine the ballots in Maricopa County in the races for President and for the United States Senate, with the Florida-based company called Cyber Ninjas being the lead firm. The founder of Cyber Ninjas, Doug Logan, is a known conspiracy theorist who supported the “Stop the Steal” movement.
At the end of July 2021, the Cyber Ninjas vacated the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, where they were attempting to count nearly 2.1 million ballots, according to county election officials. On August 16, 2021, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann tweeted "Confirming audit companies are preparing the draft report to present to the senate team. Senate team will then review for accuracy and clarity for final report which will be released publicly," Source Source
On August 19, The Office of the Secretary of State released the Report on the Partisan Review of the 2020 General Election in Maricopa County. Source
The Cyber Ninja’s “audit” report was scheduled to be delivered to Arizona’s legislature on August 23. When the audit began it was slated to be completed by mid-May. After several delays, on September 9 2021, Randy Pullen, the audit team’s spokesman said the draft report will be submitted on Wednesday or Thursday of the next week.Source Source
CEO Doug Logan is a prominent Trump supporter and proponent of the lie that there was fraud in the 2020 election.
Wake Technology Services
Reportedly hired by Trump attorney Sidney Powell for a rural Pennsylvania audit as part of the “Stop the Steal movement.” Source
Wake subsequently abandoned the Maricopa County "audit" effort at the end of May when the counting was not complete. Source
StratTech was formed in 2013 and is run by two executives: Christopher Moore of Phoenix and Richard Alan Gleghorn of Scottsdale.
Gleghorn previously served as CEO of a medical clinic called Christie Clinic in Champaign, Illinois, from 1999 until 2014. During his time at the clinic, the Illinois attorney general sued the clinic for denying treatment to patients.
The 2007 complaint said Christie and another clinic agreed to boycott new Medicaid patients in violation of antitrust laws, and that the clinics also agreed to limit medical services to increase Medicaid reimbursements and speed up payments from the state to the clinics.
The case was settled in 2009. The clinics agreed to take on 20,000 new Medicaid patients and the medical clinic run by Gleghorn was required to pay about $150,000 to two health centers serving low-income patients and cover the state’s $76,000 in legal fees. Source
CyFIR is a Virginia-based digital security company. The founder is Ben Cotton.
Cotton is also the CEO of Cyber Technologies (CyTech), the parent company of CyFIR. Both companies are based out of Virginia, but they also share the same northwest Montana address on documents.
The Digital Evidence Manual that CyFIR submitted to the Maricopa County Superior Court as evidence of their policies and procedures was simply a DOJ manual that they had edited to include their firm’s name instead of DOJ’s. Source
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona Senate Republicans
Senate President Karen Fann and Arizona Senate Republicans initiated the Maricopa County operation and hired the Cyber Ninjas. Source
Federal Election Protection & Security Concerns
Voting machines custody issues: One concern is that the law requires election officials to maintain custody of all voting records for up to 22 months.
On Thursday May 20, Secretary of State ("SOS") Katie Hobbs said in a letter to Maricopa County officials that “the lack of physical security and transparency means we cannot be certain who accessed the voting equipment and what might have been done to them.” Source
On June 2, SOS Hobbs issued a report detailing observations made to that point by election observers from her office, alleging various infractions on the part of the auditors. These included leaving security gates open, leaving confidential materials unattended, and bringing “prohibited items including cellphones and pens with black or blue ink” to the counting floor. In particular, black and blue ink pens are prohibited because they can be used to modify ballots that were cast. Source
Voter Contact: Another concern arose from Cyber Ninjas' statement of work, which authorized Cyber Ninjas to contact voters to ask them if they have voted in the 2020 elections and by what means, which may amount to voter intimidation and constitute a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal anti-voter intimidation laws. After the Department of Justice threatened to sue over this plan, the state senate stated it would “indefinitely defer” that component of its work. SourceSource
On June 28, Maricopa County informed the Secretary of State that the “County will not use the subpoenaed election equipment in any future election.”
Technology Password Demands: Significant security concerns for law enforcement personnel and civilians arise if private companies are granted password access to government routers. County sheriffs have warned that these highly unusual requests risk compromising the personal security of law enforcement officers, as well as highly sensitive and classified law enforcement information, with one sheriff calling the requests “mind-numbingly reckless and irresponsible.”
Officials have also warned that Arizona citizens’ personal information, including “social security numbers and protected health information” could be exposed if these highly unusual requests were granted.
State & Local Reactions
"I won't pretend to be part of a process, or pretend to be the liaison when I’m not." - Arizona Senate liaison Ken Bennett , comments on why he was considering resigning overseeing election audit. Source
“Their so-called audit findings are not worth the paper they're printed on,” - Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs Source
"The reason you haven't finished your 'audit' is because you hired people who have no experience and little understanding of how professional elections are run." - Jack Sellers Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in a letter to Karen Fann defying the new subpoena. Source
“Sadly, it's now become clear that the audit has been botched.”- Arizona State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita wrote July 24 on Twitter. Source
The audit has produced division among Arizona Republicans. After initially supporting the audit, on May 9 Paul Boyer, a member of the Arizona State Senate Republican caucus, criticized the audit, saying "it makes us look like idiots."
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, has also explained why the audit is unnecessary, cannot be trusted, and is bad for democracy. Source
Bill Gates, Vice Chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, a Republican, has said, “Now it is time to say, 'enough is enough.' It is time to push back on the big lie.” Source
Mike Broomhead, conservative talk radio host, two-time Trump voter, and Maricopa County resident, penned an op-ed blasting the operation: “The Arizona election audit cannot accomplish its stated goals. It's time to focus on the future.”
Congresswoman Liz Cheney tweeted: "What is happening in Maricopa County is not an 'audit.' It is an effort to subvert democracy.”
In a newly uncovered text exchange between Arizona GOP Chair Randy Pullen and Trump a campaign official, $175,000 was offered to the Guardia Defense Fund to fund the Arizona audit. Source
In late July 2021, reporting revealed Cyber Ninja received $5.7 million in donations from supporters and allies of former President Donal Trump to conduct its sham operation. Source
Arizona Senate Republicans are breaking new legal ground, attorneys say, by contracting for a legislative function that will be almost entirely paid for by undisclosed donors to a third party. Source
This review of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, authorized by the Republican-controlled state Senate, is being paid for almost entirely with “dark money”—donations from people or organizations that don’t have to be identified. Source
It’s entirely unclear who is paying for it and how much it’s costing. Taxpayers, through the Senate’s operating budget, chipped in $150,000, but the CEO of Cyber Ninjas has acknowledged that won’t cover costs. Source
The Senate is also paying for the Veterans Memorial Coliseum rental. As a public body, the Senate got the base rate for the rental: the cost of keeping the lights on and cleaning the facility. This is about $1,000 a day, according to Senate audit liaison Ken Bennett. Source
The Senate is also paying for security, provided by paid on- and off-duty law enforcement and the volunteer Arizona Rangers. To date, the volunteer Rangers' GoFundMe page has raised about $175,000. Source
Fundraisers for the "audit," one from the conservative One America News Network (OANN) and another tied to Patrick Byrne, a former CEO who promoted election conspiracies, are raising hundreds of thousands more. Source
Byrne's FundTheAudit.com, promoted by the Senate GOP's Twitter account, has a $2.8 million goal for the "Maricopa County audit." As of mid-June, Byrne’s 501(c)(4) had raised nearly 2 million dollars for the audit. Source
Evidence of Partisan Motivations
The audit is recounting only the presidential race and the U.S. Senate contest, two contests won by Democrats and only in one of Arizona’s 15 counties. Down-ballot races, where Republicans fared better, are not being reviewed.Source
Released text messages from Arizona GOP Chair Randy Pullen reaffirms his commitment to overturning the election and not for election transparency as he has publicly claimed.Source
Auditors had to sign Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs).Source
One America News Network, a pro-Trump channel, was given favored access to the property, process, and people involved.Source
Cyber Ninjas fought in court to avoid disclosing the written procedures for how they are counting votes and keeping ballots secure.Source
Anthony Kern, a former Republican state lawmaker who was photographed in restricted areas outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, has been spotted several times tallying the votes.Source
Anti-democratic proponents of the Big Lie from across the country have been given special access tours of the Cyber Ninjas’ “counting” operation.Source
Status & Timeline
Status: Not Complete
A March 31 press release issued by the Arizona State Senate claimed that a final report would be issued "in about 60 days" (i.e., May 30), a timeline similar to the one outlined in the Cyber Ninjas' Statement of Work.
Since missing that deadline, the Cyber Ninjas, the Arizona Senate, and their spokespersons have continued to provide conflicting timelines for completion.
Despite a recently announced intention of ending the operation by June 30th, the Cyber Ninja’s "audit" again failed to meet that deadline.
On August 16, 2021, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann tweeted "Confirming audit companies are preparing the draft report to present to the senate team. Senate team will then review for accuracy and clarity for final report which will be released publicly," Source Source Source
After several delays, on September 9, 2021 Randy Pullen, the audit team’s spokesman said the draft report will be submitted on Wednesday or Thursday of the next week. Source
The projected timeline for completion remains unclear.