Watch: Cyber Ninjas release findings of Arizona election review
PHOENIX — Nearly six months after they were hired by Arizona Senate Republicans to dig into the 2020 Maricopa County election, Cyber Ninjas are officially releasing their findings during a Friday afternoon meeting.
The big reveal started at 1 p.m. Arizona time (4 p.m. ET) in the Senate chambers in downtown Phoenix and is being livestreamed.
(NOTE: KTAR News will broadcast the meeting live on 92.3 FM, our app or online, followed by analysis from hosts Chad Benson and Mike Broomhead and legal expert Monica Lindstrom.)
A five-member audit team, including Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, was scheduled to present the findings to Senate President Karen Fann and Judiciary Committee Warren Petersen a day after draft versions of the report were widely leaked.
The drafts show that the contractors’ hand recount of nearly 2.1 million ballots produced results similar to the ones certified by state officials, including Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich. At the start of Friday’s meeting, Fann confirmed the validity of the leaked numbers.
The contractors only looked at two races, both won by Democrats: president and U.S. senator.
Logan was to be joined in the presentation by Ben Cotton of cybersecurity contractor CyFIR, Senate audit liaison Ken Bennett, Senate audit spokesman Randy Pullen and Shiva Ayyadurai, who appeared remotely.
Ayyadurai hasn’t previously appeared publicly on behalf of the audit. He lost U.S. Senate campaigns in Massachusetts in 2018 and 2020 and reportedly blamed it on voter fraud. He had his Twitter account suspended earlier this year.
According to tech website Ars Technica, his claim that he invented email in the late 1970s has drawn skepticism.
Fann first announced her intention to launch the review on Jan. 29, nine days after President Joe Biden was sworn in and despite the fact that Maricopa County had already approved plans to audit election equipment and software used in last November’s election.
Two independent contractors who are certified by the National Institute for Standards and Technology and the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission were hired by the county and completed their work in February, finding no problems.
On March 29, Fann announced that she’d hired Cyber Ninjas — a Florida-based cybersecurity firm with no previous election review experience — to lead CyFIR and two other contractors in what has been termed a “forensic audit.”
In that announcement, Fann said she expected to get the results in about 60 days.
The physical process started April 23 at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum and underwent multiple delays and extensions, generating plenty of controversy along the way.
Fann has publicly maintained that she wanted the review done to find ways to improve election integrity, not as a means to overturn the election results.
However, many supporters of former President Donald Trump see it as a step toward somehow returning him to office.
It remains to be seen if Friday’s release will change the conversation.