A Majority of the People Leading Arizona's Bogus Election Audit Are Now 'Quite Sick' From Covid

The scene inside the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum during the audit.
The scene inside the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum during the audit. Maria Polletta/Pool Photo

The findings of Arizona’s highly partisan “audit” of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results — which were due to be released to state Senators on Monday — have been delayed. Again.

This time, the hiccup is due to an absurdly timed Covid outbreak: A majority of the five-person team leading the audit — including Doug Logan, the conspiratorial CEO of Cyber Ninjas, the firm running the ballot review — have contracted the virus, and are “quite sick,” per a Monday statement from Senate president Karen Fann. For now, the audit's theatrics can continue.

In her statement, Fann wrote that the Senate had received "a portion of the draft report from the election audit analysis team." But there’s no word yet on how complete that portion is, nor what the new timeline is for the release of the audit’s findings. Fann said the Senate’s legal team will start reviewing the limited draft on Wednesday.

Fann also said the Senate hadn't received images of ballot envelopes it had subpoenaed from Maricopa County until last week, adding to the delay. But the county had, in fact, sent the Senate those images back in April, county elections spokesperson Megan Gilbertson told New Times. Typical of the dysfunctional audit, the images had, apparently, been lost.

“We provided the images again on Thursday,” Gilbertson said.

Last week, Maricopa County officials were nervously preparing for the flood of disinformation that the ballot review’s findings are likely to unleash when they eventually become public. On Thursday, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer released a 40-page letter, pleading with Arizona Republicans to acknowledge that Cyber Ninjas’ ballot count was a sham (with section titles like “Me, a RINO?” and “I Was Never Anti-Audit”).

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs — who has also endured a constant slew of right-wing harassment — released a report on the partisan audit Thursday as well. It detailed the many problems with the supposed “audit,” including the fact that Cyber Ninjas has no election experience to speak of, and its methods are bizarre. The ballot count was largely crowdfunded by its fanatic supporters. Its operations have been shrouded in secrecy.

Those last-ditch attempts to set the record straight, though, now appear to have been premature — as the audit's leaders battle a virus that's a target of misinformation by their favored fringe news outlets. Their conclusions on Arizona's election fraud conspiracies, it seems, will have to wait.
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Katya Schwenk is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. She previously reported for VTDigger and the Indypendent.
Contact: Katya Schwenk