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Company hired for Arizona recount asks to keep procedures secret

Lawyers for Cyber Ninja, the Florida-based company hired by the Arizona state Senate to lead a recount of ballots in the 2020 election, are asking a court to keep its recount procedures secret and out of public view, The Arizona Republic reported.

The request comes as the Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo filed a lawsuit against the state Senate to stop the recount altogether, arguing that it violates a number of election laws.

Cyber Ninja was hired to recount the 2.1 million general election ballots in Maricopa County.

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Judge Christopher Coury last week asked the company to turn over its procedures amid questions raised about voter privacy and the security of the county's ballots, according to the Republic.

The company argued that such a move would compromise the recount and divulge protected trade secrets, adding that the documents are covered by legislative privilege. 

Coury, who recused himself from the case on Monday due to the involvement of an attorney who had worked as an extern in his office within the last five years, on Friday had told the Democratic Party he would put the count on hold pending a ruling if a $1 million bond was paid to cover the costs.

The Democrats refused to pay the bond, but are still seeking to stop the recount.

"This is a simple case that asks for simple relief: that agents of the Arizona Senate who purport to be conducting an ‘audit’ of Maricopa County’s election results follow state law and ensure the safety and security of ballots, voting equipment, and voters’ personal information," Attorney Roopali Desai told the Republic. 

Lawyers for the Senate Republicans, who are also named in the lawsuit, have said that the case should be thrown out due to legislative immunity. They argue that lawmakers cannot be sued during the legislative session, the Republic reports. 

The court filings on Sunday came just ahead of the third day of the recount.