Arizona Senate hires firm that spread election lie to audit county results
Arizona Senate Republicans have chosen a firm headed by a security consultant who spread baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 elections to oversee an audit of election results from Maricopa County.
State Senate President Karen Fann (R) said Wednesday that the state would retain four firms to conduct a forensic audit of county election results. The company that will lead the audit, Cyber Ninjas, is owned and operated by Doug Logan, a Florida man who helped spread lies about the election’s results last year.
Logan retweeted conspiracy theorists such as Ron Watkins, a former administrator of the 8chan network who some believe is the man behind QAnon, and Michael Flynn, former President Trump’s first national security adviser, according to a Twitter archive first reported by The Arizona Mirror.
Logan himself posted false claims about Dominion Voting Systems, the company that has sued attorney Sidney Powell and Fox News after it became the target of Trump-backed conspiracy theories. He was listed as an expert witness in a lawsuit challenging the validity of one Michigan county’s counts.
Logan has since deleted his Twitter feed.
In a statement, Dominion criticized the companies that will conduct the audits.
“The firms selected to conduct this audit are beyond biased. Publicly available information shows they are led by conspiracy theorists and QAnon supporters who have helped spread the Big Lie,” a company spokesman said. “Dominion supports all forensic audits conducted by independent, federally-accredited Voting System Test Labs — but this is not that.”
Maricopa County was one of hundreds of counties that used Dominion machines. A hand recount of a portion of the ballots cast in Maricopa County last year found a perfect match between the machine counts and the manual tabulation. An audit of election equipment and software completed last month found no irregularities either, the county reported.
Arizona will spend $150,000 on the audit, which Cyber Ninjas will manage along with three other companies — Wake Technology Services, CyFIR LLC and Digital Discovery. The audit has been at the core of a dispute between the Republican-controlled state Senate and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, where Republicans hold four of five seats.
“Our people need to be assured that the Senate and Maricopa County can work together on this audit, to bring integrity to the election process,” Fann said in a statement.
President Biden became the first Democrat in a generation to carry Arizona’s electoral votes, by a margin of 10,500 votes, or about 0.3 percentage points. He won Maricopa County by about 45,000 votes, or 2 percentage points.
In the months since, Republicans have pushed baseless claims about alleged voter fraud while presenting no evidence. State legislators have advanced bills to crack down on early and absentee voting, including a measure to eliminate the permanent early voter list that Republicans themselves created.
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