Republicans in Arizona still smarting after Joe Biden’s win there have hired a little-known cybersecurity consultancy to perform an election ‘audit’ in the state’s most populous county, according to reports.
Florida-based Cyber Ninjas has no previous experience in managing election recounts and is run by a man who has shared conspiracy theories online about the supposed illegitimacy of the US election results last November, according to The Guardian.
The report cited Doug Logan as claiming his personal views are irrelevant because the audit itself will be run transparently via streamed video. However, journalists are reportedly banned from observing the count, and there are question marks over who the financial backers of the project are.
The $150,000 put up by the Republican-dominated state senate was reportedly added to by funds raised from the right-wing One America News Network, which went direct to Cyber Ninjas.
Logan has also refused to commit to bipartisan counting teams, only that they would be comprised of members of law enforcement, the military and retirees.
The manual recount for Maricopa county began last Friday and there are also plans to go door-to-door to ask people how they voted in certain precincts. Ballot paper fibers will be scanned to look for fakes and both the voting machines and the data they generated will apparently be reviewed.
However, question marks are already being raised over the way the ‘review’ is being handled.
Experts cited by The Guardian claimed that paper counts tend to be error-prone and questioned a lack of transparency around how voter intent would be decided.
There have already been pre- and post-election checks of the voting machines in Maricopa county and a check of a representative sample of ballots. Two separate audit firms reported no issues with the voting software or counting equipment used.