A trio of election analysts claimed they found faulty numbers in the Arizona Senate-hired contractors' hand recount of ballots cast in the 2020 election in Maricopa County.
"The discrepancies are so large that they cannot just be brushed aside," said Larry Moore, the retired founder of Boston-based Clear Ballot Group, and one-third of the counter-review team.
"The reality is they just made up the numbers," he added, referring to Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based firm leading the audit in Arizona's most populous county.
The hand count of roughly 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County's 2020 election was commissioned by the GOP-led Arizona Senate, led by President Karen Fann, to generate a comprehensive "forensic audit" report. The state Senate's contractors presented their findings on Sept. 24, including a recount that confirmed President Joe Biden's victory over former President Donald Trump.
But they also raised a number of concerns about how the election was administered. Following a referral, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked Maricopa County to preserve materials related to the 2020 election for an investigation and possible litigation. Trump and his allies claim there was fraud in the election, although the audit found no solid evidence. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also shot down right-wing calls for decertification.
Moore's team, which includes a data analyst for the Arizona Republican Party and another retired executive from the Clear Ballot Group, cites figures in Arizona Senate’s co-liasion Randall Pullen’s report of the Senate’s machine count and determined Cyber Ninjas's hand count was short by nearly 16,000 ballots from 40 of 1,600 ballot boxes.
"A difference of 15,692 ballots when the Ninja’s hand count of ballots is subtracted from the Senate’s machine count," White's team posted in a report titled "Maricopa Hoax: The Ninjas made up the numbers."
The experts said in their report, "In short, with this enormous discrepancy, any discussion of vote counts – including Biden’s 99 vote gain and Trump’s 261 vote loss – is meaningless."
Moore is a Democrat who has experience in more than 200 election audits. He partnered with former Clear Ballot co-executive Tim Halvorsen, who describes himself as an independent, and Benny White, Pima County Republican data analyst who has experience in dozens of audits, he told the Washington Examiner in June.
On Friday, White told the Washington Examiner he contacted Brnovich to "look at the facts and not the hysteria" after the state attorney said last week he would investigate the Maricopa audit findings in response to a letter from Fann.
White also said he sent his findings to Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who has been a vocal critic of the state Senate's audit.
Fann criticized the outside team's analysis, describing their findings as "a lie that borders on inflammatory."
"Are they saying Trump won?" she asked when contacted by the Arizona Republic for comment.
The Senate president contends the election audit was conducted by credible entities, despite criticisms that the Cyber Ninjas had no prior experience with election audits, and says the review was meant to influence legislation to improve election integrity.
The Arizona Supreme Court denied the state Senate's appeal on Sept. 14 to evade compliance with public records requests for documents related to its audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County. American Oversight, a left-leaning watchdog suing for the release of audit records, filed a motion for contempt on Sept. 23 for the Senate's "failure to produce records" even after Fann asked Cyber Ninjas to make available all its audit-related records.
White, who alleges the firm is "making up their own numbers," said once all the documents are released, a "real audit of the Ninja's sham process" can be completed.
"Senator Fann must release the Ninja’s findings," the bipartisan analysts wrote on Friday. "Now, with the Arizona Supreme Court upholding the decision of the Appellate Court, she must comply – or be held in contempt."
The Washington Examiner contacted Cyber Ninjas and Pullen but did not immediately receive a response.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Maricopa 2020 auditors 'made up' numbers, election analysts say