Individuals from the Brennan Center, the Carter Center, RSM Election Solutions, and Verified Voting wrote a letter to Arizona State Senate President Fann urging the Senate to refrain from auditing the Maricopa County election results. For press inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
April 13, 2021
The Honorable Karen Fann
President of the Arizona State Senate
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Dear President Fann,
As specialists in election administration and security, we share a desire for accurate and trustworthy democratic elections. Collectively, we have decades of election administration and election auditing experience in the United States and abroad.
We are deeply disturbed by the Arizona Senate’s recent decision to engage Cyber Ninjas, a firm which news reports say was “founded by a Trump supporter who promoted conspiracy theories as part of the Stop the Steal movement,” to audit ballots cast in Maricopa County’s November general election. This is despite the fact that Trump administration officials described the 2020 election as “the most secure in American history.”
Two earlier substantive audits, one by bipartisan teams and the other by federally accredited Voting System Test Laboratories, found no discrepancies. These audits provided assurance of the accuracy of the results, which included victories for both Democrat and Republican candidates at the federal, state and local level.
At this point, additional audits will have little value other than to stoke conspiracy theories and partisan gamesmanship – or worse. This troubling conclusion is further supported by the selection of a firm that appears to lack independence or technical expertise, both of which are required under the most basic principles of auditing. Moreover, the absence of these basic qualifications has contributed to proposed procedures, such as deploying agents acting on behalf of the government to physically appear at Arizonans’ residences to “collect information,” which are unlikely to be effective and may be a violation of state and federal law.
In short, this appears to be a decision driven by politics rather than a search for the truth. We urge the Arizona Senate to stop efforts that could undermine confidence in our elections and accept the Maricopa County election results. Arizonans and the American people deserve better.
Paige Alexander, CEO, Carter Center
Elizabeth Howard, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice
Mark Lindeman, Co-director, Verified Voting
Ryan Macias, Owner, RSM Election Technologies