A full forensic recount of the ballots cast in the 2020 presidential race in Maricopa County is presently underway. Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based company leading the recount process, reportedly anticipated a possible attack by Antifa elements. The analysis is included in the court documents submitted by Cyber Ninjas as part of the lawsuit filed by Democrats who raised concerns about whether the audit would adhere to state regulations.
Denied their request to the court to keep them sealed, Cyber Ninjas submitted three documents. Exhibit D9, a document which contains security information and details regarding the possible Antifa attack, was initially placed under “attorneys eyes only” designation, only to later be unsealed as well. Exhibit D9 lays out several scenarios that could disrupt the audit process which is scheduled to conclude on May 14. One such scenario detailed possible threats coming from nearby areas like the storage farm to the West of the Railroad tracks, West of 19th Avenue, and South of McDowell if the Grant/19th/McDowell intersection gets disrupted.
“Antifa will likely use the backed-up traffic in those six lanes to slow police and fire response to any perimeter breach operation: Any ad-hoc or opportunistic incendiary attack. Traffic disruption in the six-way intersection will impede response to any small fire and likely result in a fully engulfed chemical/tank farm scenario. Such a condition would compound distractions, causing a significant safety concern to the small carnival operating to the South-West of the Fairground Campus, and allowing nearly unmitigated access and entry/breach to hostile actors on the southern perimeter between the Main Gate and Service Gate,” according to the document.
Aside from Antifa, the audit team also predicted the possibility of a bigger militia threat in the surrounding areas where the auditing is being conducted. However, such a threat was deemed to have a low probability of materializing. The security plan developed for the audit involved 24×7 monitoring of the building interior while the ballots are present. 2.1 million ballots will be manually counted in the audit process, which began on April 23.
Democrat Katie Hobbs has been highly critical of the audit. As Arizona’s Secretary of State, she cast a shadow on the endeavor, stating that her concerns regarding the reliability of the audit have been validated based on the initial reports.
Former President Donald Trump said that the audit will prove that the election held in Arizona was a scam. Even if the audit does show a different outcome for the election, the official results will not be changed, as Biden’s victory has already been certified. Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said that the main purpose of the audit is to let the public regain faith in the electoral system.
While Democrats have accused Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan of conservative bias, he has ensured transparency, pointing out that the audit process is being live streamed online. Logan’s now-deleted Twitter account used to contain memes that cast doubt over the results of the 2020 election. “There’s a lot of Americans here, myself included, that are really bothered by the way our country is being ripped apart right now… We want a transparent audit to be in place so that people can trust the results and can get everyone on the same page,” he said in a statement.
Representatives from the leftist organization Brennan Center for Justice have sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DoJ) to “protect” the ballots being recounted in the Arizona audit, claiming that the process violates election and voting laws, and suggesting that the audit group might damage the integrity of ballots by using technologies and materials that will cause the ballot paper and marks to deteriorate.
The letter stated, “we are very concerned that the auditors are engaged in ongoing and imminent violations of federal voting and election laws. Specifically, we believe that the senate and its agents, including Cyber Ninjas, are 1) violating their duty under federal law to retain and preserve ballots cast in a federal election, which are and have been in danger of being stolen, defaced, or irretrievably damaged, and 2) preparing to engage in conduct which will constitute unlawful voter intimidation in violation of the Voting Rights Act and other federal laws.”
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward struck back, calling the letter the Democratic Party’s attempt to derail the audit. She defended the audit, stating “Arizona is off limits to the federal government trampling on our constitutional rights and our sovereignty… When it comes to managing our own election, we believe in the U.S. Constitution.”
Ward also accused partisan groups like the Brennan Center and “Protect Democracy” of working with Marxist and BLM groups to destroy America.” They are coming with their lawyers, with their money and with their agenda to attempt to derail this full forensic audit that is being done by qualified experts,” she said.
Election integrity bill
Meanwhile, Arizona Republican senator Kelly Townsend recently voted against an election integrity bill being pushed by her party, on grounds that the bill actually targets the 2026 election rather than the upcoming 2022 election, as it will take two election cycles for the reforms to come into effect. She vowed to vote ‘yes’ on the bill after election reform for 2022 is passed, making three demands.
Townsend’s number one priority is to ensure the chain of custody of the removable data storage devices that contain results of the election, the hard drives of tabulation machines, and thumb drives which store the images of adjudicated ballots. She wants the tabulation machines to have no internet connectivity before, during, or after the election, and also proposed tightening the election process to allow legally authorized election observers to observe the proceedings of the counting process post the election.
Conservative group Heritage Action had a contradictory view of Senate Bill 1485, maintaining that the integrity bill would be effective immediately, because it would “clean up the state’s early voting list” by removing early voter registrations that have remained inactive for two election cycles consecutively.