- Ken Bennett, director of Arizona’s Maricopa County audit, has been locked out of the vote recount.
- This is after he shared sample data with external analysts that matched the official vote tally.
- A local news outlet said Bennett was barred from the state fairgrounds, where a new vote count is underway.
Ken Bennett, a Republican official and spokesperson for the Maricopa County election audit, was barred last week from entering the audit building.
According to a report from local news outlet The Arizona Republic, former Arizona Secretary of State Bennett was banned on July 23 from entering the state fairgrounds where the Maricopa County audit is still going on.
A new vote recount was ordered by Arizona Senate President Karen Fann last week. During this separate count, the 2.1 million ballots will be tallied up again via high-speed paper counters to check the Cyber Ninjas’ work.
Speaking to the news outlet, Cyber Ninjas spokesperson Rod Thomson denied barring Bennett from the premises, saying the order came from Fann’s office.
Fann suggested on July 13 that the official vote count and the Cyber Ninjas’ hand-counted tallies did not match up, which necessitated a further recount. However, the data that Bennett provided to Moore and White corroborated the county’s officially certified vote numbers. This could, potentially, call into question any results or conclusions drawn from the Cyber Ninjas’ audit.
Biden won the election in Maricopa County last November by more than 45,000 votes. Meanwhile, Trump has continued to allege that there were voter irregularities in Arizona, both in statements and at rallies.
The Maricopa County audit is being run by the Cyber Ninjas, a private Florida-based consultancy that has no prior experience handling election ballots. Doug Logan, its founder, is a “Stop the Steal” supporter who promoted several election conspiracy theories in favor of former President Donald Trump. Most recently, Logan even appeared in an election conspiracy theory film alleging the CIA was behind election misinformation.
Cyber Ninjas wants the methods it uses to recount the votes to be kept secret, citing trade secrets and proprietary equipment. But the effectiveness of the audit was called into question after workers from Cyber Ninjas were seen leaving ballots unattended and laptop computers unlocked. The Cyber Ninjas have also been criticized for investigating far-fetched theories that 40,000 Biden ballots were smuggled in from Asia, by looking for traces of bamboo and “Chinese paper” in the voting ballots.
Fann, Bennett, and the Cyber Ninjas did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.