‘Never heard of them’: Arizona GOP audit firm unknown even in home state

“Doug Logan? Cyber ​​Ninjas? No, I don’t know these guys. Never heard of them, ”said Christian Ziegler, vice president of the Florida Republican Party and resident of Sarasota, echoing a dozen Florida Republicans and election professionals interviewed by POLITICO.

The relative anonymity of the company is a curious anomaly in Florida, one of the nation’s biggest battlegrounds, where key political players are generally familiar with the companies that provide electoral services and technology.

In a state like Florida – a place synonymous with razor-sharp elections and one that has been telling the story for more than two decades – Cyber ​​Ninjas’ lack of name identification and lack of audit experience voters among insiders stand out. And that calls Arizona Republicans into question say the company is correct about the controversial job of auditing the 2.1 million votes cast in Maricopa County, which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area. The 2020 presidential results gained national attention there due to unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.

Cyber ​​Ninjas’s website does not indicate that it has experience with election audits, but instead markets to customers who want to be protected from hackers.

“Although it often seems [hackers] must use black ninja magic to accomplish their amazing feats; the reality is that most security breaches are carried out using types of security vulnerabilities that we have been able to prevent for over 10 years, ”says the website, which features archive photos of ninjas and people. at generic business meetings.

Cyber ​​Ninjas’ audit is pushed by the GOP-led Arizona Senate, leading dubious Arizona Democrats to label it a “fraud.” This is being largely carried out out of the sight of journalists or independent observers. Cyber ​​Ninjas asked a judge to keep the process’s procedures secret and also wanted to ban the press and the public from the courtroom on Monday for a hearing on the matter.

The so-called audit is one of the last dying gasps of Donald Trump supporters who continue to cling to the fiction that widespread fraud cost him the presidency in 2020. This conspiracy theory has been put forward on the accounts from Cyber ​​Ninjas and Logan himself before. the posts were hit.

The new audit won’t change the state or nation’s 2020 election results, but it risks further fueling allegations of fraud in Arizona election results.

In recent days, Trump has repeatedly highlighted the criticism in written statements that also attacked Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who the former president has not forgiven for refusing to question the state election results. Official results reported that Trump lost the state by just over 10,000 votes.

The state has been an obsession with Trump since election night, when Fox News was the first to project that Joe Biden would win the once-red state – a result synchronized with pre-election polls that showed Biden a narrow lead.

Maricopa County, which is controlled by a majority GOP supervisory board, issued a forensic audit in February, no irregularities were noted.

Nonetheless, the GOP-controlled Arizona State Senate assigned the ballots for another review and hired four private companies to conduct the “audit,” which began on Friday. Cyber ​​Ninjas is leading the team.

“These guys are well qualified, well experienced,” Arizona Senate President Karen Fann said of Cyber ​​Ninjas, according to the Republic of Arizona.

If the firm or Doug Logan gained this experience in Florida, it is news to prominent Republicans there.

“I don’t know if I’ve bumped into him or the company before,” said Republican consultant Jamie Miller, a former state GOP executive director who lives in Sarasota.

“I’ve never heard of it,” said Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan, who first won his post in a 2006 election marred by problems with a touchscreen voting machine. The state then banned voting machines following the election to Congress.

Ben Gibson, a Republican lawyer who represented Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in the 2018 Florida Senators and Governors Reports, had also not heard of Cyber ​​Ninjas until now. Same goes with Florida’s top Republican consultants Roger Stone, Ryan Tyson, and Anthony Pedicini.

Top Republican electoral law lawyers Tim Baker and Dan Nordby have also told Politico that Cyber ​​Ninjas is not ringing the bell. Florida’s leading Democratic electoral lawyer Mark Herron said he only heard about the company when Rachel Maddow mentioned the name on her MSNBC show.

Barry Richard, who represented George W. Bush in the famous 2000 Florida presidential recount, and JC Planas, a former Republican lawyer and recount veteran, were also unaware of the company.

Logan did not return the calls or an email for comment. It is not known why her company was chosen for this position.

According to the independent Arizona mirrorLogan wrote a paper, bristling with conspiracy theories surrounding the voting machine companies, which was posted on attorney Sidney Powell’s website. She is now being sued by those voting machine companies, Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, as well as a host of other Trump supporters for defamation.

The Arizona Republic newspaper also found social media posts from Logan and Cyber ​​Ninjas that question their impartiality.

“The parallels between the statistical analysis of Venezuela and this year’s elections are astounding,” Logan wrote on Twitter in December, before deleting his account, according to the Republic.

In a statement released to the local Arizona press, Dominion criticized Cyber ​​Ninjas as a partisan audit.

“The firms selected to conduct this audit are beyond any bias,” said the press release. “Publicly available information shows that they are led by conspiracy theorists and QAnon supporters who helped spread the big lie. Dominion supports all forensic audits conducted by independent, federally accredited voting systems test labs – but it isn’t. Over a thousand independent checks and recounts have taken place across the country since election day, and they all demonstrated the accuracy and reliability of our voting systems.

In Florida, a few GOP insiders couldn’t help but laugh at Cyber ​​Ninjas’ name or its low production value website, which features stock photos of ninjas and people at meetings. generic business.

“They’re ninjas,” said David “DJ” Johnson, former executive director of the Florida GOP. “When they snap their fingers, they just disappear. They need a special stone to do this, the absentee voting stone. Once they have this stone, they can simply vanish into the wind.

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