Arizona Senate President Karen Fann on Tuesday said that the 2020 presidential election audit’s ballot count led by Cyber Ninjas differed from the Maricopa County tally, and that the discrepancy prompted the election review team to acquire new machines to recount the ballots.
“They haven’t released a number yet,” Fann, a Republican, said during in an interview with KTAR. “However, we do know that those numbers do not match with Maricopa County at this point.”
Jack Sellers, the chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors, told the Arizona Mirror that he was not surprised by the claim.
Cyber Ninjas has “cycled through processes and procedures, chasing conspiracy theories while volunteers with no elections experience tried to accurately count votes as they spun by on turntables. Elections experts from across the country have said this method is flawed and will produce incorrect results,” he said.
The Arizona Senate Democratic Caucus also pushed back against Fann’s remarks, saying in a Twitter post, “This is a lie.”
The caucus and county did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to Maricopa County’s official canvass (pdf), there were 2,089,563 ballots cast in its 2020 general election.
Fann’s remarks come as the ballots cast in Arizona’s largest county in the 2020 election were set to be counted for a third time on orders from the state’s Senate.
The ballots submitted in Maricopa County for the presidential contest were tabulated, as normal, by election officials. They were recounted by hand by audit teams hired by the state Senate in a process that was completed late last month.
The Senate was set to conduct its own recount, which will provide a number to compare with those from the county and from the auditors, and focuses on the number of ballots and not the actual votes, unlike the first two tabulations.
The Senate is using two counting machines that it purchased to complete the count.
Maricopa County officials oppose the audit. The county Board of Supervisors called for it to end in May. County officials announced recently that they would replace all of the election machines afterward because of concerns about the equipment being probed by auditors. They’re poised to vote on Wednesday whether to allocate $2.8 million to replace the equipment.
Fann told conservative radio host Mike Broomhead that the new count would begin on July 13.
She defended Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, which critics say has insufficient audit experience.
“I’m confident because it’s not just them,” said Fann. “Everybody keeps just counting on them when actually they are working with a number of other contractors that have experience in audits and in their expertise in their own fields … This is a joint effort.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the Senate’s audit liaison, for comment.