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Cyber Ninjas fails to submit partial report

In this file photo, Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, answers questions at a previous hearing of sorts to discuss the issues with the current Senate-ordered audit of Maricopa County election returns.

In this file photo, Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, answers questions at a previous hearing of sorts to discuss the issues with the current Senate-ordered audit of Maricopa County election returns. Photo by Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

The Arizona Senate’s legal team met August 25 to discuss the Cyber Ninjas’ partial report on its review of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election – but there was no report to discuss.  

“There’s no report,” Senate audit liaison Randy Pullen said. 

Pullen, former Republican Party of Arizona chairman, said the meeting instead focused on planning and “the process of getting the report completed and out the door.” Pullen did not have a timeline for when to expect a draft. 

Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said on August 23 that the Senate legal team would receive a partial draft of the report and would review it August 25. She attributed the delay in getting a full report to Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan and two members of his five-person team testing positive for Covid. 

Fann said that one team member, not Logan, is in the hospital with pneumonia and that the three are “quite sick.” 

Fann did not return a phone call August 25 seeking further comment. Senate attorney Kory Langhofer and Senate liaison Ken Bennett said they also have not seen a draft of the Cyber Ninjas report.  

“To my knowledge, nobody has actually seen a draft,” Langhofer said via text. 

Pullen confirmed that Logan attended the August 25 meeting via Zoom and that he was the only representative from the Cyber Ninjas team in attendance. Pullen said he wasn’t sure who else comprised the five-person team.  

“I don’t believe that was disclosed or was going to be disclosed, and I don’t know exactly who that is anyway,” Pullen said. 

On August 23, Fann said the Senate team plans to hold another meeting to review the rest of the draft report once submitted. Then the final report will be shared with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the findings will be released to the public.  

It’s possible some information from the report will be made public sooner than that, Fann said. 

“We don’t want to just put out just arbitrarily information, but if there’s something that the team is comfortable with that is hard, solid facts – we know that everybody’s anxious to see these reports and would like some information – so I would love to have the ability to share it as soon as we know that it’s confirmed,” she said.  

Besides Covid, Fann blamed Maricopa County for the delay, saying the Senate received requested images of ballot envelopes on August 19 and that they still need to be analyzed.   

But the county maintains that it already gave images of the ballot envelopes to the Senate on April 22, according to Megan Gilbertson, Maricopa County Elections Department spokeswoman. The county also said as much in an August 2 letter in response to the Senate’s July 26 subpoena.  

“If Cyber Ninjas are unable to find them there, the County can produce them again,” the county’s August 2 letter stated, directing Cyber Ninjas to where it said the files could be found.  

Gilbertson said the county gave the images to the Senate a second time on August 19.   

Fann said that wasn’t true and that the auditors received the images for the first time on that day.   

“I had three separate IT experts look, and it was not there,” Fann said. “I think they thought that they had sent it to us, but I don’t know. I’m not the IT tech, but I can guarantee you it was not there.”  

Pullen said the review of those images “probably would be finished sometime next week” but said the location of the review “hasn’t been settled yet.” 

Fann’s plans for the audit release have changed several times over the past few months. In June, the Legislature included language in its budget saying the Senate Government Committee, led by secretary of state candidate and audit skeptic Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, would receive and review the report. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee later insisted they would have jurisdiction over it instead. And in recent weeks, Fann has referred to a “Senate team,” though she has yet to identify the people on that team. 

 

 

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