After 3 days of waiting, Arizona Senate still has not received Cyber Ninjas' draft report

Mary Jo Pitzl
Arizona Republic

Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this article misstated the name of a Senate staff member on the review team. Names of additional members of that group also have been added to the article. 

For a third day, Republican leaders of the Senate on Wednesday were still waiting for even a partial draft of the 2020 election audit report they expected to receive Monday from their contractor conducting the review.

While a nine-member review committee met Wednesday as previously planned, there was no draft report from the Cyber Ninjas, the contractor, to actually review.

On Monday, Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, said she expected to receive only a partial draft report because three people on the Ninjas' team, including CEO Doug Logan, were "quite sick" with COVID-19. One of them was hospitalized, though it was not Logan. That person's name was not disclosed.

Despite the expectation of a partial draft, nothing had materialized Wednesday, according to two attorneys on the review team.

In fact, the team's meeting "could have been an email," attorney Kory Langhofer joked when asked what was the point of a review meeting with nothing to review. 

In addition to Langhofer, the review team includes Fann, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert; Garth Kamp, the Senate's senior policy adviser on judiciary matters; Greg Jernigan, the Senate attorney; Senate liaison to the audit Ken Bennett; audit spokesman Randy Pullen; and Thomas Basile, Langhofer's law partner at Statecraft and Logan.

Doug Logan's role is to present the work and answer questions, team members say.

Arizona audit: Judge orders Cyber Ninjas to preserve documents

Another new contract in the works 

Meanwhile, Fann told the Arizona Daily Independent that she is looking for a contractor to conduct a review of the voter signatures on mail-in ballots. Maricopa County delivered the envelopes to the Senate last Thursday in response to a Senate subpoena.

The review would look for ballot envelopes that lacked the required voter signature, as well as a comparison of signatures with some of those in the county's voter-registration database, she told the website.

Fann did not reply to a request from The Arizona Republic for an interview on the audit's status. Earlier this week, she said the signature review would be part of the final report on the audit.

That brings to three the number of findings that should be part of the report when it is publicly released: the Ninjas' conclusions on its review of the ballots cast last fall for president and U.S. Senate in Maricopa County; the signature review; and the results of a machine count of the number of ballots cast. Fann ordered that last count as a check on the Ninjas' work.

It is unclear who is handling the machine-count and signature check reports, or when those reports will get to the Senate.

Delays dog audit timeline from start

The delay in receiving the Ninjas' draft report is just the latest setback in what Fann had hoped would be a fairly quick review of election procedures to look for ways the voting system could be improved.

She has continually said the audit is intended to improve voter integrity, not to overturn the results of the election. Despite that, many people believe otherwise and are counting on the audit to produce proof that the Nov. 3 election was fraudulent.

The audit was originally expected to last a month; it is now entering its fifth month. The Senate had to extend its lease on state fairgrounds buildings multiple times as the Ninjas needed more time to complete their work.

The fairgrounds work wrapped up in late July, amid hopes a report would be out by late August. But with less than a week left in the month, that goal appears unattainable.

Reach the reporter at and follow her on Twitter @maryjpitzl.

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