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Release: Statement from the Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party on Today’s Hearing

PHOENIX – The Arizona Democratic Party Chair, Raquel Terán released the following statement. Originally shared on their website.

“Today’s hearing showed how unprepared Senate President Karen Fann and her ‘audit’ team, Cyber Ninjas, truly are. We heard the Cyber Ninjas’ own attorney admit that blue pens, which, unlike red pens, are capable of making machine-readable marks that permanently alter already cast ballots, were distributed to volunteers and staff in violation of Arizona law*.

The revelation of the blue pens was pointed out by local reporter Jen Fifield. This kind of discovery is exactly why reporters should be allowed to have free access to every step of this process, as is usually the case during legitimate audits.

“Today’s temporary restraining order required that the Cyber Ninjas turn over all documents regarding their internal procedures, which should have been made immediately available to the public if this were a transparent or credible process. We are looking forward to the first actual explanation of their procedures and we sincerely hope that these documents are in keeping with best practices as has been demanded by the Arizona Secretary of State.

“Finally, the lack of transparency from President Fann and the Cyber Ninjas as to the actual cost of the audit makes the question of posting a $1 million bond laughable. The Arizona Democratic Party will not risk our supporters’ hard-earned dollars to pay off the Cyber Ninjas for a procedure they are billing Arizona taxpayers to the tune of $150,000 and fundraising on OAN with the help of Lin Wood, an election conspiracy theorist who called for the execution of former Vice President Mike Pence. The fact of the matter is that no one knows the actual cost of this sham audit and President Fann and the Cyber Ninjas have not once made this figure public.

“We are calling on Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich to put an end to this madness and protect our election systems from conspiracy theorists.”

*EPM chapter 11, section VIII (p. 225): “Hand count board members shall not bring cellular phones, other electronic devices, or pens with black or blue ink into the official hand counting area.”

Chapter 11, section I (p. 214): “Board members may not bring any electronic devices, black pens, blue pens, or cell phones into the designated location of the hand count.A.R.S. § 16-602(B)(7)

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