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Arizona Senate GOP's 2020 Election Report Delayed Again

By Ben Giles
Published: Monday, August 23, 2021 - 1:47pm
Updated: Monday, August 23, 2021 - 3:06pm

The audit site at Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Ben Giles/KJZZ
The audit site at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on April 22, 2021.

Multiple contractors working on a partisan review of the 2020 election returns in Maricopa County have tested positive for COVID-19, delaying a report that was supposed to be delivered to Arizona Senate Republicans on Monday.

Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) announced that Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan and two other members of what she described as “the five-person audit team” tested positive for COVID-19 and are “quite sick.”

Cyber Ninjas and other contractors are delivering a portion of a draft report from the hand recount and review of Maricopa County’s ballots and voting systems, Fann said. Senate attorneys will begin reviewing that draft on Wednesday, and will review the entire draft report in full before releasing it to the public, she added.

Fann also blamed Maricopa County officials for a delay in finishing at least one aspect of the election review — an analysis of early-ballot envelopes. She claimed county officials dragged their feet and only delivered the images to the Senate on Aug. 19. County officials say Fann had those images all along, as they were delivered with other records requested by Senate Republicans in late April.

Beyond Logan, who’s been criticized for embracing conspiracies of election fraud before he was hired by Fann for the GOP-led review, it’s unclear who else is on the “audit team.” Ken Bennett, the Senate’s liaison to the contractors, said he didn’t know who that referred to and deferred to Fann. Fann later told KJZZ she doesn’t know either, though she assumed the other four are Logan’s employees or contractors.

It’s unclear how long the outbreak will delay the release of the report, but local and national election experts say it’s not worth the wait.

The Senate has been criticized for its hiring of Logan and Cyber Ninjas, a firm with no prior election-related experience. Election officials who observed the review process on behalf of Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, have pointed out numerous flaws in the methodology used to conduct a hand recount of nearly 2.1 million ballots.

“It's clear from their observations that the contractors hired by Senate President Karen Fann truly didn't know what they were doing,” Hobbs told reporters Monday morning.

Though ordered by Fann, the election review has been financed mostly by allies of the “stop the steal” movement, organizations founded by those who still believe, without evidence, that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.

Multiple audits have already confirmed the accuracy of the election results in Maricopa County.