's secretary of state
informed Maricopa County
officials on Thursday that hundreds of the state's vote-tabulating machines should no longer be used due to the inept, partisan company hired by Senate Republicans
ballots cast in the November presidential election.
The machines should not be used again because there is no way of knowing if they were tampered with while out of the county's custody and under the control of Senate Republicans and the controversial Cyber Ninjas
company conducting the recount, according to a letter from Secretary of State Katie Hobbs
to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
The state may have to spend millions of dollars on new machines, according to reports.
The Ninjas are subjecting ballots to ultraviolet light in a crackpot hunt for bamboo fibs in a circus recount of 2.1 million Maricopa County votes
by a company with no experience with ballots or elections
and that is run by a right-wing conspiracy theorist who was convinced months ago that any audit would turn up hundreds of thousands of votes for Donald Trump
Hobbs claims that when the county was forced last month to hand over voting
machines to Senate Republicans and the Cyber Ninjas, who then had total control without supervision, a strict “chain of custody” procedure to ensure the integrity of votes was broken. Critics believe that countless ballots have already been altered, stolen, trashed, or gone missing.
A breach in the chain of custody constitutes a serious “cyber incident to critical infrastructure
— an incident that could jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of digital information,” Hobbs warned, noting that access must be strictly limited and tracked, but Cyber Ninjas’ procedures, “if any,” are unknown, and “troubling security lapses” have been observed.
Hobbs stated that if the county uses the machines again, her office will consider “decertification proceedings,” which would prohibit their use.
I support election integrity and, as such, cannot support the continued use of these machines. https://t.co/pwjQjpnkWp—
Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) May 20, 2021
The list of mistakes made by Cyber Ninjas is tearing Republicans apart in the state. State GOP
Sen. Paul Boyer said earlier this month that he regrets initially supporting the recount. “It makes us look like idiots,” he said of the vote audit launched by Senate Republicans. “I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point.”
Early this week, Trump raged about voter files that the Cyber Ninjas couldn't find — but only because workers didn't know where to look, according to Jack Sellers, the Republican chairman of the county's Board of Supervisors, and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, also a Republican, who called Trump "unhinged" for parroting — and then amplifying — the Cyber Ninjas' claims.
Wow. This is insane. I'm literally looking at our voter registration database on my other screen right now. As a party. As a state. As a country. If we don't call this out... pic.twitter.com/5tDy1wsZg6— Stephen Richer—Maricopa Cnty Recorder (prsnl acct) (@stephen_richer) May 15, 2021
Sellers and the rest of the county board sent a scathing letter to the president of the state Senate on Monday, demanding that the audit be stopped immediately because it has “become a spectacle that is harming all of us.”
The operation, according to Sellers, is a "circus" involving "purple lights and spinning tables" and bamboo hunts, which are "not things that serious auditors of elections do. You are photographing ballots and... sending those images to unidentified places and people
“It is time to put an end to this,” the letter concluded, “for the sake of the Senate, the country, and the Democratic institutions that define us as Americans.”
After several recounts failed to find any irregularities, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey certified the Arizona vote nearly six months ago. Democrat Joe Biden
defeated Trump by 10,457 votes in the state, and by more than 2 percentage points – approximately 45,000 votes – in Maricopa County.