Paper used to print thousands of ballots that did not meet the specification of Maricopa County’s tabulation machines. Ignored rules which prevented damaged ballots from being matched with their duplicated mates. And recommendations that Attorney General Mark Brnovich open an investigation or two are among dozens of findings expected to be included in the Cyber Ninja’s forensic audit report slated to be presented Friday at the Arizona Senate.
Senate President Karen Fann and Sen. Warren Petersen, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are scheduled to receive the final report and hear from the audit team starting at 1 p.m. Among those announced to be participating are Cyber Ninja’s CEO Doug Logan, CyFIR founder Ben Cotton, Senate audit liaison Ken Bennett, and audit spokesman Randy Pullen.
The main audit question of whether President Joe Biden did in fact receive more votes than Donald Trump in Maricopa County will be answered with a “yes,” according to a draft version of the final report leaked to media on Thursday. And there was no proof of massive or organized fraud.
That report, Arizona Daily Independent has learned, was shared earlier this month with various attorneys for the parties. Sources close to two of the attorneys, Alex Kolodin and Bryan Blehm, said Thursday night the lawyers were not involved in the leak and were stunned anyone would have undermined the process that way.
Other audit findings, such as 10 different types of paper used to print ballots and missing election files, was not previously revealed by the county.
It is not known whether Friday’s audit report will include findings of the audit team’s review of the procedures followed by then-County Recorder Adrian Fontes and his staff to verify the signatures on more than 1.9 million ballot affidavit envelopes. Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai is overseeing that part of the audit at Fann’s request and is also expected to be present at the Senate.
According to Maricopa County, there were 1,915,487 early ballots received, verified, and counted during last fall’s election. Questions were raised during some of the election lawsuits as to whether Fontes authorized his staff to lower the threshold for matching the affidavit signatures against voter files.
The official county election canvass reports another 587 early ballots were never counted because the signature on the affidavit envelopes could not be verified. Another 1,455 ballots were never counted because of a missing signature on the envelopes.
Ayyadurai, who holds a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has reportedly identified concerns with the procedures used by Fontes’ office during the election but has not yet made any formal statements of his findings.
Once Fann and Petersen receive the audit report, the next step will be for a senate committee to hold a public hearing to further discuss the findings. However, the report is not the only news related to the Senate’s audit.
Last week Maricopa County announced it will pay for a Special Master to work with county and Senate officials in a review of the county’s routers and internet activity in the weeks before and after the general election.
In addition, two lawsuits remain open concerning audit documents in the possession of Cyber Ninjas’ officials and sub-contractors. A Maricopa County judge ruled those documents are public records and thus need to be released.
That ruling was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court, but Fann and the Senate’s attorney suggested in a recent legal filing that a court order may be necessary to get Logan and his team to comply and promptly release the documents.