There are no amount of audits that are going to appease any of these individuals who believe in conspiracy theories. — Raquel Terán, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party
There are no amount of audits that are going to appease any of these individuals who believe in conspiracy theories. — Raquel Terán, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party
Democrats fight 'sham audit' in Arizona, saying Republicans aim to justify voter suppression
  • A GOP-led audit of the 2020 vote in Maricopa County is "fomenting the big lie that the election was stolen," the head of the Arizona Democratic Party told Insider.
  • Republicans selected a firm to conduct the audit, Cyber Ninjas, that has no experiencing counting votes.
  • The company is led by a man who promoted false claims of election fraud in 2020.
It's a "sham audit," Raquel Terán, chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, says of the vote count underway this week in Maricopa County. Initiated by Republicans and led by a firm that has no prior experience handling ballots, the $150,000 in taxpayer is being used to perpetrate a fraud, she told Insider — "fomenting the big lie that the election was stolen."

Last week, an Arizona judge agreed that there was something to Democrats' arguments, ruling that Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based company selected to lead a reexamination of the vote in Maricopa County, should hand over any documents describing its internal processes. Democrats also had a chance to suspend the process altogether, albeit at a cost: $1 million bond.

The problem, Terán said, is they did not have the money.


"It was beyond absurd for us that the bond was set so high," Terán said. And Democrats had no confidence that Cyber Ninjas would come back with a fair and accurate reporting of the financial damages incurred by the order; ultimately, she said, the party decided it did not have a million dollars to lose.

Cyber Ninjas, meanwhile, decided it also did not want to lose its purported trade secrets: documents detailing how it plans to ensure the credibility of its audit process. It filed those documents with the court on Sunday, requesting that they be kept under seal and away from the prying eyes of the media.

The company also asked the judge who had ordered them to hand over documents to recuse himself, appearing to manufacture a conflict of interest over the weekend by hiring one of his former interns to join their legal team. A new judge, on Tuesday, will consider Democrats' push to unseal those internal communications detailing security procedures and how it purports to know the difference between a valid and invalid ballot.

Cyber Ninjas did not respond to a voicemail requesting comment. But, Terán said, "it doesn't seem like a coincidence to us."

The Arizona GOP, for its part, has crowed over Democrats' inability to come up the money to stop the audit. "We are restoring faith in our country and our elections," the party states in a fundraising appeal.

... For Arizona Democrats, the worst fear is not Republicans believing falsehoods about the 2020 election. "There are no amount of audits that are going to appease any of these individuals who believe in conspiracy theories," Terán told Insider.

Rather, she said, it's what those falsehoods could do to Democratic voters, in the form of new laws passed in the wake of whatever the Cyber Ninjas find when they are through searching next month. New ID requirements, for example, and efforts to remove people from mail-in ballot rolls if they either don't vote or vote in person for two election cycles — all different means of what Terán terms "voter suppression."
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/democrats-fight-sham-audit-in-arizona-fear-voter-suppression-2021-4