The head of a Florida-based technology company who has used social media to promote a range of election fraud claims and conspiracy theories has been hired by the Arizona Senate to oversee the recount of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million general election ballots.
The company, called Cyber Ninjas, will lead a team that includes three other firms as part of the $150,000 contract the Senate has awarded to conduct an unprecedented audit of the county’s election results.
But a deleted Twitter account that appears to belong to the Cyber Ninjas founder Doug Logan suggests he has already made up his mind about the security of Arizona’s elections. It includes a litany of unsubstantiated allegations about fraud in the last election.
“I’m tired of hearing people say there was no fraud. It happened, it’s real, and people better get wise fast,” said one post he shared around the end of 2020.
He also appears to have shared posts by Sidney Powell, an attorney who supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., both prominent proponents of conspiracy theories about the last election.
While the account was deleted, old posts from earlier this year remain archived online.
Neither Logan nor the company immediately responded to requests for comment from The Arizona Republic on Wednesday. None of the three other companies the Senate hired responded to inquiries, either.
Senate President Karen Fann said she was confident in the firms, however.
“These guys are well qualified, well experienced,” Fann said. She did not immediately respond to a follow-up question about the Twitter account that appeared to belong to Logan.
The audit team also will include CyFIR LLC, Digital Discovery and Wake Technology Services, Inc.
Cyber Ninjas’ LinkedIn page says it was founded in 2013 and employs between two and 10 people.
The company’s ninja-themed website says it specializes in “all areas of application security, ranging from your traditional web application to mobile or thick client applications.” That includes ethical hacking, training and general consulting.
There is no mention of whether the company has experience working on elections or voting systems.
In announcing the hiring, the Senate said members from one of the firms, Wake Technology Services, have performed hand-count audits in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, and in New Mexico, and have assisted in election fraud investigations since the 1990s.
The Senate said another firm, CyFIR, has worked on computer forensics, identifying a breach at the Office of Personnel Management in 2015, for example.
What the companies were hired to do
The Senate said the scope of work includes scanning all the ballots, a full manual recount, auditing the registration and votes cast as well as the vote counts and the electronic voting system.
Fann said Senate leadership will not have direct involvement in the audit and that the firms will issue a report in about 60 days.
It remains unclear whether the Senate will take custody of the county’s ballots or if the county will retain control of them.
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, speaks to the media in Phoenix on May 26, 2020. (Photo: Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press)
Fann said that the Senate does not yet have an agreement with Maricopa County on whether the work will happen at county facilities.
“We’d rather keep everything secure where it is so there are zero questions about chain of custody,” said Fann, R-Prescott.
A spokesperson for the county recorder said the Senate has not had any recent discussions with the office about the audit or using its facilities.
Democrat: ‘It’s about undermining the will of the voters’
Fann has argued that the audit is merely meant to allay concerns about the last election after former President Donald Trump disputed his defeat.
“This is not about overturning an election,” Fann said on Wednesday. “This is 100% about instilling confidence in our elections.”
But many Republican lawmakers who have pushed for an audit had also called for overturning the results altogether. They have not waited for the outcome of the Senate’s review to promote a range of conspiracy theories about the election.
Steve Gallardo, the only Democrat on the county board of supervisors, has argued the Senate is trying to undermine the results of the election after Republicans lost the presidential race here, along with a U.S. Senate seat.
“This isn’t about finding the truth. It’s about undermining the will of the voters. This is about not liking the results of the election. You lost the election. Deal with it,” Gallardo said at a press conference outside the Capitol last week.
The county already has performed several audits of the election, including a hand count of ballots required under state law and logic and accuracy tests on the voting machines. The audits showed that votes were counted correctly and machines were not tampered with.
Under pressure from the Senate to do more, the county also hired two independent firms to conduct a thorough examination of the voting machines.
The auditors found that the election was sound. The county used certified equipment and software, no malicious hardware was found on voting machines, the machines were not connected to the internet, and the machines were programmed to tabulate ballots accurately, according to a letter from county election directors to the supervisors.
unty Board Chairman Jack Sellers said he is waiting for more detail on the Senate’s audit before commenting.
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