Background and Talking Points: AZ GOP Senate Election Audit (aka the Fraudit)

Contributed by Tom Sonandres

What's the purpose of the audit?

Sen. Fann said only to put election integrity back into our system, not to expose election fraud or relitigate the 2020 election. If so, why did Trump praise Republican state senators “for the incredible job they are doing in exposing the large-scale voter fraud which took place in the 2020 presidential election.” When did election integrity leave the system? AZ courts, election officials, post-election audits, the Republican governor and attorney general found elections fair and rejected all claims to the contrary.

Why was a contract awarded Cyber Ninjas which is not accredited by the US Election Assistance Commission to inspect voting machines?

Why wasn't this a nonpartisan audit? Cyber Ninjas says its work will be nonpartisan. But how is this possible when its partisan CEO Doug Logan claimed there was fraud in the 2020 election against former President Trump, used the hashtag “#StopTheSteal,” claimed that Dominion Voting Systems ballot tabulation machines, including those used in Arizona, facilitated election fraud?

Audit spokesman Republican Ken Bennett said that a partial $150,000 contract was awarded Cyber Ninjas rather than a "way more" full-cost contract to minimize taxpayers' money. Please elaborate since the Senate has more than a few million dollars in available funds to pay for a full audit, and since the partial partisan audit draws private funding from the stop-the-steal partisans (e.g., One American New Network, Trump lawyer Lin Wood and his private Patriot donors, Sen. Fann's partisan "grassroots" people).

Sen. Fann and Mr. Bennett assert they will find out the sources of Cyber Ninjas' private funding. Why didn't the Senate contract with Cyber Ninjas stipulate disclosure of donors? A full audit contract would have invoked Senate rules requiring disclosure.

What confidence do AZ taxpayers have in the integrity of the audit when audit principals:

  • Couldn't say if three-person teams hand counting the 2.1M ballots will have at least one Democrat and one Republican?

  • Would not provide the basis for determining which voters will be contacted to confirm voter registration?

  • Would not disclose who, besides the Senate, is paying for the audit.

  • When blue pens, prohibited because of distorting tabulation machines, were in use, until revealed and replaced by red and green pens.

  • When it has not been clarified if paid staff counting ballots have any election background, including training in signature verification.

  • When the Senate attorney said state law and the state elections procedural manual did not apply to the audit, except for laws protecting ballot secrecy and the confidentiality of voter registration information.

How credible is an audit with such extensive secrecy?