ARIZONA NEWS

Ken Bennett, shut out of Arizona audit, to remain part of process, Fann says

Jul 27, 2021, 3:02 PM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Senate liaison Ken Bennett, who was barred from the Cyber Ninjas-led audit of the 2020 Maricopa County election, will remain part of the process as it enters its final stages, Senate President Karen Fann confirmed Tuesday.

Bennett was shut out of the audit Friday after he shared ballot box count information, which was then leaked to the media after the liaison had promised to keep the knowledge to himself.

Auditors this week have moved on from the ballot verification process to do an analysis of data collected before submitting final reports, Fann said in a press release.

“Ken Bennett will be involved and a vital part of the draft and final reports to ensure their accuracy with his knowledge and contributions throughout the audit process,” Fann said.

Bennett, the audit’s most prominent public face since it started April 23, has recently expressed concerns about the contractors’ lack of transparency.

He said co-liaison Randy Pullen had already taken the lead during the new third count, which Bennett thought an independent group should conduct after the Cyber Ninjas’ tally didn’t match the total documented by Maricopa County.

The auditors have refused to reveal their procedures for the latest count, Bennett said, leaving him “very concerned” they would “force balance” in the direction of their earlier findings.

Because of his concerns, he consulted with an outside group that has been researching the election independently of the audit and had offered assistance.

Bennett said it’s not the first time the Cyber Ninjas have withheld procedural information from him, but told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday he hoped things could be worked out so he could continue as liaison until the end of the process.

Bennett said he now expects the final report to be sent to the Senate in mid- or late-August, which would be nearly five months after Fann first announced that Cyber Ninjas had been hired for the job.

In a March 31 press release, Fann said she expected the report to be “issued in about 60 days.”

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Ken Bennett, shut out of Arizona audit, to remain part of process, Fann says