Maricopa County Releases Report Countering Senate Audit Results

Maricopa County Releases Report Countering Senate Audit Results

By Corinne Murdock

On Wednesday, the Maricopa County Elections Department issued over 90 pages of a counter report to the Arizona Senate’s audit conducted by Cyber Ninjas, as well as nearly 30 exhibits to support their response. The county dismissed all claims by Cyber Ninjas and affiliated auditors: CyFIR, EchoMail, and the Senate’s audit liaisons. 

According to their breakdown of the auditors’ claims, 22 were misleading, 41 were inaccurate, and 13 were false. 

Misleading claims related to audit interferences, missing subpoena items, subpoenaed equipment not yet provided, voter registration system audit access, tally results for the presidential and senate races (counted as three misleading claims), machine counts, real-time provisional ballots, internet connections to the REWEB and REGIS, dual boot system discovery, failure to follow basic cybersecurity, management of software, patch, and credentials, lack of baseline for host and network activity, duplicate early ballot images, more envelopes processed and submitted than identified by EchoMail, daily duplicate numbers, ballots stamped in signature region or behind envelope triangle, and two different voter IDs on record.

Inaccurate claims related to no record of certain voters in the commercial database, commingling of damaged and original ballots, purging of EMS database, deletion of election files or user logs, corrupted or missing ballot images, no preservation of EMS logs, election data found from other states, no signatures, scribbles, and bad signature rates, and increase in envelopes but decrease in signature rejections.

False claims related to bleed-through rates on papers, improper paper being used, ballot printers out of calibration, questionable ballots, early votes not counted for in the EV33 file, batch discrepancies, inaccurate identification of Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballots, anonymous logins to operating system logs, internet connections to election equipment and EMS, and early ballot envelope image canvass requirements. The report noted further that no allegations about the election survived court scrutiny. 

Officials from the county elections department presenting on the report were Director of In-Person Voting and Tabulation Scott Jarrett, Assistant Director of Early Voting Celia Nabor, Senior Director of Voter Registration Janine Petty, and Information Technology Director Nate Young.

During the four and a half hour presentation hosted by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, elections officials explained their contention with 53,000 questionable ballots pointed out by the Senate’s audit report. They walked through the 90-plus page report at length. Their report claimed they found 37 potentially fraudulent votes total, and 50 ballots that were potentially counted twice. In all, the county reported finding less than 100 potentially questionable ballots out of the 2.1 million cast in the 2020 election.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates expressed a desire for public conversation of Arizona’s 2020 election to come to a close.

“Now, it’s my hope that this will be the last word on the 2020 election, because you’re going to hear the facts today in detail,” said Gates. 

The report explained that the county’s elections were reliable based on approval of their tabulation equipment by a federally accredited voting system laboratory, in-depth pilot and stress testing on Dominion Voting Systems equipment, and the bipartisan makeup of poll workers and central boards.

The county classified the false, misleading, and inaccurate claims as “faulty claims.” Their report said the roots of those claims were either: inaccurate methodology and analysis (e.g., soft data matching or use of the commercial database, or incorrect use of voter files), a lack of understanding of federal and state voting laws (e.g., protected voters, voter registration requirements for voters that move, or election management system patching), or lack of independence and objectivity (accusations of deleted data, paper and printer claims, and accusations of double-counted UOCAVA ballots). 

The county also released a short video to promote their report, titled “Facts Not Anomalies: Maricopa County Responds to Flawed #azaudit Report.” The video focused primarily on the frequent usage of the word “anomaly” by the Arizona Senate and Cyber Ninjas auditors to describe findings they found concerning.

“It’s all an anomaly if you don’t understand what you’re looking at,” stated the video. “Maricopa County hires and trains election experts. We’re fighting misinformation to protect your vote.” 

In a press release, Gates — voted Man of the Year by the Arizona Republic last week — criticized the state senate for backing a partisan audit. 

“The people who have spent the last year proclaiming our free and fair elections are rigged are lying or delusional. Unfortunately, the Senate’s inquiry made things worse by giving partisan auditors a platform to make damaging false claims based on their inexperience and biases,” said Gates. “I’m proud of our team for correcting the record with this comprehensive report; for looking deeply into each claim made by Senate contractors so that voters who choose to learn the truth can; and for a commitment to continued improvement that will make a strong election system even stronger.”

The remainder of the supervisors added various statements that summarily insisted that the county conducted near-perfect operations that resulted in a free and fair elections.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Gateway Pundit Published Falsified Draft of Maricopa County Audit Report

Gateway Pundit Published Falsified Draft of Maricopa County Audit Report

By Corinne Murdock |

A purported draft of the Maricopa County election audit report calling for decertification has been circulating online since the official audit report on Friday. This version of the audit report called for decertification of the 2020 election results. The Gateway Pundit, a right-leaning news outlet, originally published the purported draft. In a press release response on Monday, the auditing company Cyber Ninjas asserted that the draft and its recommendations of decertification weren’t real.

The Gateway Pundit draft is not the same draft audit report leaked to media outlets last Friday prior to the Senate presentation. That draft audit report is valid, whereas the one in which Cyber Ninjas recommended decertification isn’t valid.

This “draft” of the audit report was uploaded to Scribd by Jim Hoft, founder and editor-in-chief of Gateway Pundit. It was then reported on by Joe Hoft, Jim’s twin brother, in an article published Sunday afternoon, “Arizona Audit Final Report Was Watered Down: Reports from Cyber Ninjas Were Edited, Most Damning Statements Removed – What Else Was Removed?”

AZ Free News reached out to Gateway Pundit to inquire about the origins of this draft report. They didn’t offer a response by press time.

The PR team for Cyber Ninjas, the Thomson Group, issued a statement on Monday that the draft audit report from Gateway Pundit was falsified and wasn’t from Cyber Ninjas.

There is a false version of the Executive Summary of the Maricopa County Forensic Election Audit report that is circulating. This false version claims to be an earlier version of the Cyber Ninjas Executive Summary, but because of supposed threats from the Senate, it was not used. This is absolutely false.

The exact origins to the Executive Summary found at the following scribd link are unknown. But it was not written by Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, nor was it any version that was ever sent or shown to the Senate for review. Specifically, this false version of the Executive Summary states, ‘the election should not be certified.’

This was not written by Cyber Ninjas. It is Cyber Ninjas’ perspective that whether an election should or should not be certified is to be determined by the legislature, and not auditors. The audit team’s job is to supply all the facts and findings surrounding the election and recommend legislative reforms.

We followed up with the Thomson Group to ask if they’d determined the source for this falsified draft report. They didn’t respond by press time, either.

According to The Gateway Pundit’s Ethics and Editorial Standards, their publication focuses on relaying truth and exemplifying virtue.

“All our content should be true. No value is more important than this. […] All Gateway Pundit content should be excellent, both in production and in the promotion of virtue. […] We must have courage in order [to] expose the truth about powerful interests that may be angered by our coverage.”

The Senate’s liaison to the audit, Randy Pullen, confirmed with the Arizona Capitol Times that the draft audit report calling for decertification was fake. As of press time, Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) hasn’t issued any statements on this purported audit draft.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Senate President Reaffirms That Election Audit Is About Ensuring Integrity Of Future Elections

Senate President Reaffirms That Election Audit Is About Ensuring Integrity Of Future Elections

By Terri Jo Neff |

After months of being spoken for by attorneys or just typing brief comments on Twitter, the two state senators at the heart of the legislative audit into Maricopa County’s 2020 General Election were finally front and center Tuesday during a livestreamed status meeting.

Senate President Karen Fann had hoped various Maricopa County officials would attend the meeting in order to address several questions put forth earlier this month by Fann on behalf of the audit team. But county officials announced they would not accept Fann’s invitation to meet in person and instead answered some of the questions via a letter on Monday.

In an effort to not let the scheduled meeting time go to waste, Fann and Sen. Warren Petersen of the Senate Judiciary Committee were joined by three top audit officials to hear how audit activities are going and what concerns have been identified so far. But first, Fann provided an opening statement downplaying talk of rampant fraud with Maricopa County’s election.


After months of being spoken for by attorneys or just typing brief comments on Twitter, the two state senators at the heart of the legislative audit into Maricopa County’s 2020 General Election were finally front and center Tuesday during a livestreamed status meeting.

“I have said from the get-go I’m relatively sure we’re not going to find anything of any magnitude that would imply that any intentional wrongdoing was going [on]; I believe that we were going to find what we’ve known all along in some of the things is that we could probably do a little better job with chain of custody and all the things we’ve talked about,” said Fann.

In January, Fann co-signed a legislative subpoena with Petersen which demanded the county turn over its voting systems, elections records, and nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in last fall’s election. She said again Tuesday the purpose of the audit “has nothing to do with overturning the election or decertifying electors or anything else.”

Instead, she said, lawmakers must ensure Arizona’s elections are done “properly, accurately, safely, with full election integrity.”

Conversation between officials with the Senate and Maricopa County about the 2020 General Election began shortly after polls closed on Nov. 3. There was an initial subpoena issued in December which was replaced with one in January.

Once the second subpoena was issued, “it has nothing but delays, delays, delays,” Fann recounted during the meeting, noting Maricopa County’s decision to sue the Senate in an effort to quash the subpoena.

County officials lost that challenge in February and eventually delivered 385 tabulator machines, several other voting equipment, and 1,681 boxes of ballots on 46 pallets to Veterans Memorial Coliseum last month. Missing from the county’s delivery are two items which Doug Logan, the CEO of audit contractor Cyber Ninjas said are necessary to complete the audit.

The first is the administrative access code or password to the Dominion Voting Systems ballot tabulator machines. In Monday’s letter, Board Chair Jack Sellers informed Fann that county officials do not have the access code. “We do not have it; we have no legal right to acquire it; and so, we cannot give it to you,” the letter states.

The second missing item is the election department’s computer routers which would show the department’s internet activity before and during the election. Earlier this month, Sellers announced neither the routers nor virtual images of the routers would be released, citing concerns by Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone that allowing outsiders access to the routers could put law enforcement officials at risk.

Among other questions raised by Fann in her letter to Maricopa County included concern that ballots were not in sealed bags nor in boxes secured with tamper-resistant tape when turned over to the audit team. Another concern was that a review of computer data files appeared to show one elections database had been deleted and another was missing.

Logan told Fann on Tuesday that upon further review there was no problem with how the ballots were packaged by the county. And CyFIR CEO Ben Cotton said during the meeting he has located the files that were previously the subject of concern.

The audit team’s hand count of the 2.1 million ballots is scheduled to resume May 24 at the Coliseum. Fann has not been shy about floating the idea of issuing new subpoenas in an effort to ensure auditors have all information needed to conduct a full review of how Maricopa County conducted the election.

Maricopa County Won’t Appeal Ruling Which Recognizes Senate’s Right To Audit Elections

Maricopa County Won’t Appeal Ruling Which Recognizes Senate’s Right To Audit Elections

By Terri Jo Neff |

Just hours after a judge slammed the door on their legal challenge to two State Senate subpoenas, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors announced they will not appeal a court order requiring them to comply with the election-related subpoenas.

“Judge [Timothy] Thomason’s ruling brings clarity to whether Senate subpoenas apply to ballots that, per state law, must be kept private following an election; as well as the many other documents and equipment demanded,” Board Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement. “We respect his legal opinion and will immediately start working to provide the Arizona Senate with the ballots and other materials.

The ruling by Thomason that the subpoenas issued in January “are legal and enforceable” made it clear that the Senate and its soon-to-be-announced auditor must not only be given access to Maricopa County’s electronic voting system -computers, software, tabulators- but also the more than 2 million ballots cast in the 2020 General Election.

“The Subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas,” Thomason wrote in his detailed, 16-page finding. “The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections. The Arizona legislature clearly has the power to investigate and examine election reform matters. Accordingly, the Senators have the power to subpoena material as part of an inquiry into election reform measures.”

In his statement, Sellers also noted that Maricopa County elections officials have already turned over more than 11GB of election-related data demanded in the two subpoenas issued by Senate President Karen Fann and Senate Judiciary Chair Warren Petersen. And it didn’t take long for legislators to react to the county’s no-appeal decision.

“County said they needed a court order to comply with the subpoena. They got it,” Petersen tweeted after Thomason’s clerk released the detailed ruling to the parties. “Election integrity wins today.”

News of Thomason’s ruling that the Senate’s subpoenas served a legitimate legislative purpose and did not violate separation of powers principles was also well received by former Sen. Eddie Farnsworth. It was Farnsworth who along with Fann issued two subpoenas back in December that Maricopa County’s five-member board also ignored.

Instead of complying with the Fann / Farnsworth subpoenas, the county board sued the Senate and later decided to do its own post-election audit of the electronic voting system without participation by any of the legally-authorized political party observers.

“It is unfortunate that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ incessant delaying tactics and smoke and mirrors audit in contempt of the legislature’s legal authority has cost Arizona citizens so much time, money, and trust,” Farnsworth said Friday. “Hopefully, the Senate, through a true forensic audit, can restore some confidence in the election system.”