In a scathing opinion piece published in the conservative National Review, the Republican in charge of elections
in Maricopa County
slammed the ongoing recount
initiated by the GOP-dominated Arizona
County Recorder Stephen Richer slammed the “wildest election conspiracy theories” behind the Cyber Ninjas
firm running the recount on Thursday, noting that it is inexplicably auditing ballots in only one of the state’s 15 counties — and only two races — won by Democrats Joe Biden
, now president, and Mark Kelly, now a U.S. senator.
What really astounds Richer is the "tiny cybersecurity
firm" Cyber Ninjas from Sarasota, Florida
, which no one had ever heard of before.
“This is the first election audit ever run by Cyber Ninjas,” Richer writes, adding, “You did not read that wrong: Cyber Ninjas had run zero election audits prior to being handed the lead position in possibly the most consequential post-election audit ever.”
“Unsurprisingly, no one in the elections community had ever heard of Cyber Ninjas. Neither Christian Ziegler, vice chairman of the Republican Party
of Florida — where the Cyber Ninjas are from — nor Rep. Vern Buchanan, whose election in 2006 resulted in changes to Florida election law, had previously heard of, or worked with, Cyber Ninjas,” Richer notes.
Richer likened the situation to Americans' tax returns being audited for the Internal Revenue Service by someone with "no applicable professional credentials," who had "never previously run a tax audit," and who "believed that Hugo Chavez" — Venezuela's late dictator — had "nefariously controlled your tax-auditing software." Oh, and the auditor had "publicly stated prior to examining your taxes t
That’s a dig at Doug Logan, the owner and operator of Cyber Ninjas, who wrote a report claiming, among other things, that Chavez somehow from the grave rigged the presidential election against Donald Trump
. Logan has also retweeted messages like: “I’m tired of hearing people
say there was no fraud. It happened, it’s real, and people better get wise fast,” Richer notes.
Logan “authored a report titled ‘Election Fraud Facts & Details’ for conspiracy-theorist-in-chief Sidney Powell, who has begun singing a very different tune since being sued by Dominion for defamation
,” Richer adds.
The Cyber Ninjas are also poring over ballots in search of watermarks, which aren't used in the state's ballots, and traces of bamboo, which they believe would be evidence of tampering by China
, according to Richer.
According to Richer, there is “no documented process for vetting audit workers,” but “that component is now being managed by Patrick Byrne, another election conspiracy theorist and friend of Sidney Powell.”
Richer declares that the vote in Maricopa County, which is home to two-thirds of the state's voters
, is completely legitimate; the count and machines have been rechecked numerous times under the strictest protocols, and the election has survived eight court challenges.
“Maricopa County accurately tabulated the November 3 ballots,” Richer declares in the op-ed. “I say this without any bias or skin in the game. The irony of all of this is that I was merely a candidate in November, defeating the incumbent Democrat who was previously the county’s top elections official. (I guess he forgot to rig his own election? Or was it a clever ruse?)
“Cyber Ninjas? I'm not going to believe a word they say, and I'm a Republican who voted for Trump,” he concludes.
You can read the rest of Richer's op-ed here.