The “auditing” firm overseeing the recount in Maricopa County told Arizona lawmakers on Thursday that they should be allowed to go knock on people’s doors to demand an explanation of alleged voter discrepancies.
The CEOs of the two firms overseeing the audit, Cyber Ninjas and CyFIR, appeared during a two-hour public briefing with Republicans, including state Senate president Karen Fann. Among other alleged discrepancies, Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan said that nearly 75,000 early ballots were cast “where there is no clear record of them being sent.”
Maricopa County said in a series of tweets responding to the claims that the auditors weren’t counting the early ballots cast at the county’s Vote Centers, and that besides, the auditors weren’t using the “proper files to refer to for a complete accumulating of all early ballots sent and received.”
During the meeting, Logan suggested that the best way to figure out the issues would be door-to-door canvassing of voters in Maricopa County. “I highly recommend we do the canvassing because it’s the one way to know for sure whether the data we are seeing, whether it’s real problems or whether it’s clerical errors,” Logan said.
The U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to Fann in May saying the plan for door-to-door canvassing “raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters.” Fann said at the time that the Senate had decided to “indefinitely defer that component of the audit,” but on Thursday she didn’t rule out bringing it back.
Fann claimed that she knew of a house where two people lived that received 25 mail ballots, and compared the canvassing plan to the Biden administration’s proposed door-to-door vaccination awareness campaign.
“The Department of Justice sent us a letter about four or six weeks ago and said, “We’re concerned about you actually knocking on doors, that it might be voter intimidation or civil rights violations” or something,” Fann said. “I find interesting after the White House last week said we’re going to knock on doors to see whether you’re vaccinated or not. But that’s just a side point.” The comment drew laughter from those in the audience.
The briefing also indicated that the audit is likely to be dragged out even longer, with the Senate’s liaison to the audit, former Secretary of State and Senate President Ken Bennett, recommending that the Senate “re-subpoena” Maricopa County for materials including routers and a backup copy of the voter database.
Maricopa County has already rejected that demand. “To Senate leaders I say, stop accusing us of not cooperating when we have given you everything qualified auditors would need to do this job,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, told the Arizona Mirror in a statement. “Finish your audit, release the report and be prepared to defend it in Court.”
The briefing capped off a whirlwind 24 hours in the audit process. Earlier in the day, an Arizona judge ruled that the audit documents must be made public, rejecting the Arizona Senate’s argument that Cyber Ninjas were not subject to public records requests.
And on Wednesday the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, controlled by Democrats, sent a letter to Logan and Cyber Ninjas requesting information about their participation in the audit, including information about the business, the audit itself, and the company’s communications with former President Donald Trump and Trump administration officials.
“Americans’ right to vote is protected by the Constitution and is the cornerstone of our democratic system of government,” the letter says. “The Committee is seeking to determine whether the privately funded audit conducted by your company in Arizona protects the right to vote or is instead an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories, undermine confidence in America’s elections, and reverse the result of a free and fair election for partisan gain.”
After the Thursday briefing, Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers demanded that “the Biden electors be recalled to Arizona & a new election must be called." Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President nearly six months ago.
Fann claimed during the meeting the audit was “not about Trump, this is not about overturning the election, this has never been about anything other than election integrity.” Trump himself, however, apparently didn’t get the memo.
“The highly respected State Senator Wendy Rogers said in a tweet the hearing today means we must decertify the election,” Trump said in a Thursday statement.
“In any event, the Senate patriots are moving forward with final results to be announced in the not-too-distant future, but based on today’s hearing, why even wait?”