Arizona GOP official blasts company carrying out election recount: 'Insane just from a competence standpoint'

·2 min read
Auditors at tables in Maricopa County, Arizona, examining ballots during an audit of the general election in the county.
Auditors in Maricopa County, Arizona, examining ballots during the audit, run by a company called Cyber Ninjas. Matt York/AP
  • A GOP official slammed the election audit underway in Arizona's Maricopa County.

  • He told CNN that the audit, run by Cyber Ninjas, was "insane just from a competence standpoint."

  • The state's GOP backed the audit, but some Republicans have since criticized it.

  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

The election audit in Arizona being run by Cyber Ninjas is "insane just from a competence standpoint," a local GOP elections official said.

Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County recorder, blasted the effort in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday.

The audit, initiated by the GOP-led Arizona Senate in April, aims to review 2.1 million ballots from the 2020 presidential election cast in Maricopa County, which Joe Biden won.

Cyber Ninjas, a digital-security firm that the Senate contracted to run the audit, has come under significant criticism from Democrats and several GOP officials in the county, including Richer.

A screenshot of CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewing Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.
CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewing Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer on Monday. CNN

Observers have raised concerns about security and equipment, while volunteers appear to be pursuing far-fetched theories about votes having been flown in from Asia.

Before the audit, Cyber Ninjas had no experience running election processes. Its CEO, Doug Logan, has expressed support for conspiracy theories about the election.

"This is not the audit you want," Richer told CNN. "This is far from the gold standard of audits.

"You're looking for the Ernst & Young of accounting, or the Latham & Watkins of law firms. You're not looking for a newbie company who has never done this before."

He added that he had gotten little sense of what exactly Cyber Ninjas aimed to produce, beyond "some sort of report" that might come back in July or later.

He also said the audit wouldn't hold much weight with anyone other than "the 'stop the steal' crowd," referring to people who believe that the election was subject to mass voter fraud that prevented Donald Trump from winning.

Despite dozens of court cases, there's been no evidence that such fraud took place.

"Let's be honest, this Arizona audit isn't going to convince anyone outside of the crowd that already believes the election was stolen," Richer told CNN.

Richer has been outspoken in his criticism of the audit. In May, he called Trump "unhinged" over his claims about the election.

"We think that the Arizona Senate boarded this train without knowledge of where it was going, and I don't think it's going to a good place," Richer said on Monday.

Cyber Ninjas did not immediately reply to Insider's request for comment.

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