The firm running an audit for Republicans in the state Senate is refusing to make public its procedures — despite an order from a judge.
The firm running an audit of election results in Arizona's largest county is refusing to make public the procedures it is using in its review of more than 2 million ballots cast in the state in the 2020 election — even though a judge ordered it to do so because of concerns raised over the legality of its process.
Cyber Ninjas — which is run by a Donald Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist who pushed lies about voter fraud in the 2020 election — said in a court filing on Sunday that it should not have to release its procedures, citing that they are "confidential" and subject to legislative privilege, the Arizona Republic reported.
A judge on Friday had ordered the firm, tapped by Republican state Senate President Karen Fann to oversee the audit, to release its procedures after concerns were raised by the media and Arizona's secretary of state about whether it was following state election laws.
After conducting an investigation last week, days before the audit was set to begin, local media outlet AZ Family reported that ballots are not being secured at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where the recount is being conducted.
And the Arizona Republic reported on Friday that volunteers helping with the audit were given blue pens when only red pens are allowed to be used, in order to prevent volunteers from leaving markings that could alter the ballots and affect the count.
"I noticed the counters had blue pens. Supposed to only have red when you're around ballots since ballots can read black and blue ink," Fifield reported. "Those blue pens the counters have could potentially be used to mark the ballots."
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) said Friday that those running the audit have "failed to secure the election equipment and ballots, resulting in unauthorized and unmonitored access" to both the ballots and voting machines.
Hobbs had asked Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate the allegations that the ballots were not being secured.
However, Bronvich refused, even though Brnovich's office chose to investigate what is now known as "sharpiegate" — a baseless allegation from Trump supporters who claimed Republican voters were given sharpies to vote in order to make sure their votes weren't counted.
"Moments before the close of business, @GeneralBrnovich informed me that he can't be bothered to investigate the lack of security at the Senate’s 'audit.' Apparently, #sharpiegate was more worthy of investigation than actual ballot integrity issues," Hobbs tweeted.
The audit has been slammed by former Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, a Republican, who said the review of ballots was unnecessary.
"It's really not a necessary process. So, it's not something I believe that needs to be done or that it should be done," Purcell commented in March, adding that the effort was prone to human error.
Two audits have already been conducted, both of which found there was no fraud and that President Joe Biden legitimately won the state — the first Democratic presidential hopeful to do so since 1996.
It's unclear what the shoddy audit run by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist will find.
But Trump himself is cheering on the effort, writing in a Friday statement that "brave and patriotic" Republicans are "exposing the large scale Voter Fraud which took place in the 2020 Presidential Election."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.