After Pennsylvania, Republicans From Nevada And Georgia Head To Tour Arizona's Election Audit

By Ben Giles
Published: Monday, June 7, 2021 - 6:14pm
Updated: Monday, June 7, 2021 - 7:53pm

Contractors working for Cyber Ninjas
Jeremy Stahl/Pool
Contractors working for Cyber Ninjas, who was hired by the Arizona State Senate, examine and recount ballots from the 2020 general election at Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 13, 2021, in Phoenix.

A delegation of Georgia lawmakers will visit the Arizona state Senate’s election review on Tuesday, less than a week after three Pennsylvania legislators traveled to Maricopa County in hopes of replicating the controversial process in their home state.

Randy Pullen, a former chair of the Arizona Republican Party and a spokesman for the audit, confirmed that an unknown number of Georgia legislators are headed to Phoenix to tour Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where a recount of nearly 2.1 million ballots cast by Maricopa County voters last November is more than halfway complete.

It’ll be the second visit from out-of-state Republican officials in as many days — Pullen said staff from the Nevada Republican Party toured the coliseum on Monday and were briefed by the firms hired by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) to run the review.

The visit by Georgia lawmakers was first announced by conservative radio host John Fredericks, who tweeted that state Sens. Burt Jones and Brandon Beach are leading a delegation from Georgia “to meet with Arizona audit leaders and state senators to get a blueprint for a statewide forensic audit in Georgia.”

Ballot audit
Ben Giles/KJZZ
The audit site at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on April 22, 2021.

Jones could not be reached for comment Monday evening, and Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Election experts have warned that the effort in Arizona is just the beginning, as Republicans in other states agitate for Arizona-style audits of their own. A Pennsylvania senator who toured the coliseum last week said he “absolutely” wants to conduct a similar election review of the 2020 election.

Critics, including election experts observing the recount on behalf of Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, say the review in Arizona ordered by Fann is anything but the “gold standard” the Senate president claims to have initiated. Hobbs recently published a list of issues her observers have noted from the coliseum floor — including frequent changes to processes and procedures, and violations of rules implemented by the private firms running the operation. 

Those firms, particularly Cyber Ninjas, have been criticized as biased and inexperienced. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan spread conspiracy theories of election fraud before his company began its work in Maricopa County in late April.

Attorneys for Cyber Ninjas also argued in court filings that documents related to the election review should be kept confidential because the company “expects to have similar business opportunities to undertake such work for other governments around the country.”