Most Cyber ​​Ninja’s Claims Are Wrong in Arizona’s 2020 Election Audit: Officials

Contractors of Cyber ​​Ninjas, the company contracted by the Arizona State Senate to conduct an audit of the 2020 election results, which includes the 2020 general election ballots at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona, to be investigated in May 2021. Photo: Courtney Pedroza (Getty Images )

Cyber ​​Ninja, the dubious ninja-esque company that failed to prove Donald Trump’s bullshit claims that he lost the state of Arizona in the 2020 election to voter fraud in Maricopa County, may have relegated itself to the dustbin of history for now. But before you completely forget, the county election officials released a long report wrecking the company this week due to his breathtaking incompetence.

For those whose memory needs a quick refresh, the Cyber ​​Ninja situation was this: Arizona Senate Republicans, eager to win Trump’s favor, ordered an “audit” of the state’s vote on the opposition of Maricopa County election officials who had already verified voting integrity (and who are mostly Republicans themselves). Since there was no legitimate reason to suspect any form of mass voter fraud in the county — but the voters there were critical to Joe Biden’s victory in the state — it was clear from the outset that said audit wasn’t going to be much more. than an exercise in delegitimizing the result. Notably, the 2020 vote had already been certified by state officials, meaning it could not be changed retroactively under any circumstances.

Republicans in the Senate did themselves no favors by contracting Cyber ​​Ninjas, a little-known political company run by QAnon enthusiast Doug Logan, to perform the audit. Cyber ​​Ninjas Initially Tried Their process for the audit secrecy, and it was very clear why: it was about major security vulnerabilities, use of untrained and partisan volunteers to scan for non-existent UV watermarks, racist boogeymen as allegedly bamboo-tainted ballots from China, invocation of questionable science about “kinematic markers” on ballots, and both bitter attacks with local election officials and internal power struggle. After months of wasting everyone’s time and blowing a reported $9 million in funds, Cyber ​​Ninjas eventually released a report in which, in effect, the result of the vote. (However, it continued to fight in court over withholding data on the process used to write it.)

The 93 Page Maricopa County Refutation makes it clear that Cyber ​​Ninja’s latest findings were still flawed. According to CNN, in the presentation to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, local election officials said the audit had revealed one real flaw: About 50 ballots had been double-counted by a temporary worker. But Cyber ​​Ninjas advanced some 76 other claims in the report, including finding that about 53,000 of the 2.1 million votes cast were suspicious in some way, including more than 23,000 ballots that, according to the report. the company came from people who had changed addresses.

Of those 76 other allegations, the Maricopa County election officials report said, 22 were misleading, 41 false, and 13 “demonstrably false and can be proven false using material provided to the Senate.” To come up with the figure of 23,000, for example, officials said Cyber ​​Ninjas simply ignored the fact that some Arizona residents have the same name and date of birth.

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“The county reviewed voters from these seven data sets and found that the methodologies and claims were inaccurate” using additional information such as Social Security numbers, the rebuttal reads. “The analysis Cyber ​​Ninjas performed was based on the use of a third-party commercial database. The combination of using this commercial database and the soft matching techniques is probably a major reason why Cyber ​​Ninjas has drawn erroneous conclusions.”

Election officials wrote that Cyber ​​Ninja’s analysis was based on “erroneous conclusions about voters moving, early voting records, certified results, voter registration information, the procedures for duplicating ballots and ballots for military and foreign voters. The core of this inaccuracies is a fundamental misunderstanding or ignorance of election laws and procedures.”

Later, the report attacks the methodology introduced by Shiva Ayyadurai, a self-confessed voter fraud expert who has filed lawsuits (including one against former Gizmodo parent company Gawker Media that was charged settled for $750,000 in 2016, and a failed against TechDirt) to those who question his claim to be the original inventor of email. Ayyadurai has twice run for Congress, according to the Daily Beast, who reported that his campaigns involved playing with white nationalists and making false claims of destroyed ballots. Cyber ​​Ninja’s audit team quietly enlisted their company, EchoMail, to help with the effort.

“EchoMail’s analysis of the images of the first explanations of vote is misleading at best,” local election officials wrote. “The ‘anomalies’ that EchoMail has revealed are due to a lack of understanding of signature verification laws and practices.”

“EchoMail’s analysis did not take into account the signature healing process, i.e. when a voter corrects a signature issue by contacting the Elections Department,” the report continued. “The thousands of ‘double’ images of early ballots that EchoMail claimed were ‘anomalies’ have a simple answer. As voters resolve signature issues, the Elections Department takes another picture of the envelope. Only one ballot was counted for each envelope.”

Election officials added that EchoMail’s findings contain “misleading claims” about how county officials verify ballot signatures, “which has been proven correct in court,” and are based on misunderstandings about Arizona’s election laws.

“It’s been debunked and it’s written by people who aren’t experts in the field,” Bill Gates, the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, told CNN. “Were done. This is the end of the 2020 elections. We have addressed the problems; we have debunked them.”

CNN wrote that representatives for Doug Logan did not respond to their request for comment, while a communications director for the Arizona Senate president and Karen Fann, the audit’s chief auditor, said she had not yet viewed the presentation.

While this should be a huge shame for all parties involved, Republican lawmakers in Arizona probably aren’t sweating it much. According to the Phoenix New TimesAccording to the state’s redesigned electoral maps for the next decade, the GOP will dominate the state legislature and the US House of Representatives delegation, raising accusations of gerrymandering.

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