Thanks, Cyber Ninjas

Thanks, Cyber Ninjas
Contractors hired by Cyber Ninjas examine ballots in Maricopa County, May 6, 2021. (Photo: Matt York, AP)

Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, U.S. Republicans have learned, after a quack team’s audit dragged arse for months. In a surprising twist, the Cyber Ninjas — the utterly unqualified “Stop the Steal” company Arizona state senate Republicans and unknown backers hired to audit Arizona election results — counted even less votes for Trump and more for Biden than officially tabulated in Maricopa County. Their methods included, among other things, checking the paper ballots’ “feel” and folds, which would have proven nothing about ballots’ validity. The news comes from a leaked draft report of their findings.

The Cyber Ninjas were expected to slice and dice numbers that fit their denialist narrative. The company’s CEO Doug Logan starred in a “documentary” called “The Deep Rig,” about baseless fraud claims. (“If we don’t fix our election integrity now, we may no longer have a democracy,” he reportedly said. The election was declared by high-level Trump appointees and election security officials as the most secure in history.)

According to the New York Times, which viewed the draft, the Cyber Ninjas found 261 less votes from Donald Trump and 99 more for President Joe Biden. (Biden has been our nation’s president for eight months.)

Maricopa County was key to Biden’s victory and may have seemed Republicans’ best bet to tip the election back to Donald Trump. Biden secured a slim victory of less than 10,500 additional votes in Arizona, and if they could just move 45,000 votes around in Maricopa County, Republicans could try to decertify the election. Some state senators said they’d already decided it was time for a state “recall.”

The Arizona state senate enlisted the ninjas to perform the “forensic audit” in March. A judge had to force the Cyber Ninjas to disclose their methodology, which included quack UV light inspection to “compare to representative specimens” with their eyes, whatever conclusions might be drawn.

The Cyber Ninjas have been stalling the release, apparently indefinitely; they passed their May, late May, then August deadlines, claiming to have fallen ill with covid-19. They didn’t seem terribly eager to lay their cards on the table as today’s deadline approached, either. Responding to a Maricopa County Superior Court judge’s ruling that they would have to cough up the findings, their attorney submitted a letter last week stating that they didn’t recognise “any involuntary legal obligation to do so.” While they sat on the numbers, election integrity advocates warned that the mere existence of their months-long audit poisoned faith in democracy.

The Cyber Ninjas were not immediately available for comment.