Election Experts Call Cyber Ninjas' Arizona Audit Findings 'Laughable,' Say Company Lied

A group of prominent election analysts released a Friday report dismissing as "laughable" Cyber Ninjas' findings in a controversial audit of Maricopa County, Arizona's 2020 election results, alleging the Florida-based company lied.

Arizona state Senate Republicans hired Cyber Ninjas to conduct the audit of the county's results based largely on Donald Trump's groundless claims that the national election was "rigged" or "stolen" in favor of President Joe Biden. Despite the former president's continuing allegations, he and his allies have never provided any evidence substantiating them.

After spending several months on the audit—which was widely criticized by many Democratic and Republican officials—Cyber Ninjas released its findings last Friday. The recount found that Biden actually gained an insignificant number of votes, compared with the official results, while Trump lost some votes.

Throughout the process, election experts criticized the company's techniques and inexperience in conducting audits. Now that the so-called audit has been completed, experts continue to find flaws with the company's approach and findings. In fact, several are alleging that the company simply "made up the numbers."

Cyber Ninjas
Election experts have criticized Cyber Ninjas' techniques and inexperience in conducting audits. Above, a contractor working for Cyber Ninjas, which was hired by Arizona state Senate Republicans, transports ballots from the 2020 general election at Phoenix's Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1. Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

"Having zero experience in election audits, the Ninjas announcement that they had confirmed, to a high degree of accuracy, the election results of the second largest county in the country is, we believe, laughable," Larry Moore—the founder and retired Chief Executive Officer of the Clear Ballot Group, which pioneered independent audits of the primary voting-system companies—wrote in an explanation accompanying the report published Friday.

Besides Moore, the report on Cyber Ninjas findings was authored by Tim Halvorsen, a retired chief technology officer of the Clear Ballot Group, and Benny White, an election attorney and former member of a county's election integrity commission. They named their organization the Audit Guys, with the slogan "Fighting disinformation with facts."

"The assertion that Trump had lost 261 votes was, we believe, a 'shiny object' designed to convey believability to an otherwise unbelievable hoax," Moore wrote in his summary of their report's findings.

The analysts discovered that the hand count by Cyber Ninjas appeared to fall short by about 16,000 ballots—approximately a third of the total number of votes contained in the 40 ballot boxes they analyzed. The election experts explained that the numbers actually contradict the primary finding of the company's election review—that the hand recount nearly matched the Arizona county's official results.

"It's the Senate's own data," Moore told The Arizona Republic, which first reported on the election experts' analysis. "This blows apart everything that's happened in the past nine months. Anybody with a hand calculator and five minutes could figure it out."

Newsweek reached out to Arizona's Republican state Senate president, Karen Fann, for comment but did not immediately receive a response. In remarks to The Arizona Republic, Fann defended Cyber Ninjas. She reportedly said the new analysis was "a lie that borders on inflammatory."

Maricopa County carried out two independent and nonpartisan audits of its election results before state Republicans hired Cyber Ninjas to conduct a partisan review. Multiple Republican officials from the county, including some who publicly campaigned for Trump, have slammed the Trump-backed audit and said its results cannot be trusted. They have also pushed back against claims that the election was rigged, asserting that it was secure and well managed.

"The events surrounding the Maricopa Hoax are a shameful episode in America's history," Moore wrote in a Friday post on the Audit Guys website. "Each of us feels lucky to be able to serve America, to protect our elections, debunk lies and confront those who would use their power to spread disinformation and doubt about America's electoral systems—the heart of our democracy."