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Ken Bennett, chief audit officer in Arizona, says Cyber ​​Ninjas may be cooking up the numbers.

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On Saturday, Donald Trump appeared in public for the third time in a post-presidency era at a rally in Phoenix, repeating the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him and playing the noise man in the transparent Arizona election scrutiny who appears ready to demand the alike. .

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However, Trump’s visit came just as the vetting process itself was start to unravel in spectacular fashion. It started prior Trump’s comments, when on Friday the Arizona Senate scrutinizer, previous Senate Republican Secretary of State Ken Bennett, was barred from his audit site. And continued through the weekend, as previous backers of the audit went out against her And Bennett himself thought about whether to resign.

Nominally, Maricopa County — Arizona’s largest county that contributed most to Joe Biden’s thin triumph margin in the state — is being reviewed on behalf of Senate Speaker Karen Fan, who began the process in the spring and pushed for it to persevere for months over the objections of local Republican officials and even Some members of its legislative conference. (This is following results in the state have been certified by the state’s Republican governor and previous partial audits have accurately matched the original count.) However, the audit itself is conducted by an uncertified outside group called “Cyber ​​Ninjas,” run by A Florida man who adopted the 2020 election plots named Doug Logan, and was funded by other “Stop Theft” conspiracy theories.

Van Bennett chose to oversee this process for the Senate. On Friday, though, he was not even allowed into the building by the audit team. By Monday, he was pouring tea about several audit areas that had been hidden from him by Logan and the Cyber ​​Ninjas, threatening to cease his job, all but asserting that Logan’s audit had cooked up a artificial result. (On Monday, it was mentioned Assistant Audit Coordinator Randy Boleyn was continuing to deny him entry to the facility.)

You’d better start on Friday, when the Arizona Republic published an article titled “Ken Bennett, Arizona Senate Coordinator, Barred From Entering Arizona Election Review As Tensions Grow With Contractors.”

The Republic reported that Bennett “was not allowed into the building at the state fairgrounds where the audit is taking place, a day following he shared statements with outside critics of an ongoing vote counting.” These critics were a pair of outside data analysts.

As stated by the Republic:

Data that Bennett provided to outside analysts, Larry Moore and Penny White, showed that the results of an automated continuous count of ballot papers were in line with the county’s tally.

If this trend continues, it could lead to questioning the results of the number of Cyber ​​Ninjas, because Fann said that the number of Cyber ​​Ninjas does not match the count of the county.

Through appearance With cautious local talk show host James T. Harris on Monday, Bennett confirmed he had provided the data to Moore and White, that he had been banned from the site, that this wasn’t the first time he had been denied information about the audit, and that he was ready to delicate his resignation to Fann Before you ask him to stay on the job.

“The reason I’m about to step down as a contact is because I can’t be part of a process where I’m removed from critical aspects along the way that make the review legitimate and have integrity when we release the final report, and unfortunately there have been a lot of these situations,” Bennett said.

He continued, “The tip of the iceberg came out final Friday when it was denied access to the alike audit.”

Bennett went on to say that, although nominally responsible, he was excluded from the actual collection of numbers and denied information about how the audit was planned to validate its findings, if any.

“I’m the liaison and I think when people hear that word, they think, ‘OK, he’s the liaison,’” Bennett said. “But it wasn’t, and let me just share a few examples of why I’m standing here on the cliff.”

Bennett went on to provide a detailed description of the times he had fallen out of the loop regarding critical audit procedures, which – given the unprecedentedly complicated, bizarre and unpredictable nature of auditing practices – require some explanation.

In one such case, Cyber ​​Ninja refused to donate Bennett information about his aptitude to reconcile the ballots that had to be duplicated—such as corrupt ballot papers or ballots from military voters abroad—and the duplicates themselves.

“I asked the auditors, ‘When we’re done with the duplicates, please donate me a blanket reconciliation on whether we’re competent to identify one of those for every one of them’ and that hasn’t been available now for a couple of months,” Bennett said.

In another case, the complicated scrutiny of the vote count—which involved three counters to quickly read ballot papers from a lazy Susan, determine their totals, and send them across the room to be reconciled and entered into a spreadsheet—confused Bennett.

“There have been grave issues with the aggregation spreadsheet when counting sheets are carried over to the end of the room and fed into the spreadsheet,” Bennett said. “In the first several weeks of scrutiny, there were major issues with that.”

Bennett said he’s been told the unnamed problems with the lazy spreadsheet dance have been fixed, and it appears he’s taken the Cyber ​​Ninjas word for a while, but he told the auditors he wanted to explain it to him eventually. ‘I said, ‘Well when we get to the point where you can show me, I want to look at this spreadsheet and make sure we can show the audience that each of these stat sheets is properly mirrored somewhere else where they can be adding and moving away from our totals’ ’” Bennett continued. “And a week or two later I was told that the auditors told these people, ‘Don’t share anything with Secretary Bennett.’”

Typically, Bennett was not allowed to see the final tally of the audit – which Fann confirmed earlier this month would differ from the official count – even though the audit was completed weeks ago. And apparently, as I predicted in May, these numbers be will prove the way.

“That number must have been significantly distinct from the Maricopa County census because all of a sudden the Senate started talking about a third census,” Bennett said. This sort would be “to check only how many ballots are there”.

If a third census was commissioned, Bennett said he insisted that an self-reliant third party do it, but instead, Cyber ​​Ninjas insisted they do it themselves and denied Bennett access to the process. This led Bennett to conclude that the Cyber ​​Ninjas might cook their numbers to match those in the unused number.

“We have to make sure that we don’t resort to balancing power with their number or giving them something too beforetime that will allow them to rebalance our number,” Bennett said. “I even asked Mr. Pullen what the procedures were for us to do this third count so that we could be sure we were self-reliant of the second, and he refused to tell me. And I was just shocked that I had become so concerned that there was a balance of power.” (Power balancing is an accounting term that basically means cook books.)

Local Republican election officials, who have been debunking scrutiny’s lies about the count for weeks, celebrated Bennett’s respite from scrutiny.

“The one person on review with any previous lofty-profile involvement with the Elections Department has now been fired,” Maricopa County Republican, Maricopa County Registrar Stephen Richer said. chirp on Friday. “The adult has left the room.”

Bennett’s transformation is really noteworthy given that he was one of the clown car drivers for the lies representing the Arizona audit, who falsely denied me that there were various actions taken in the audit room and was sitting next to Doug Logan spreading misinformation during multiple Senate briefings.

“He’s willing to lie to promote the conspiracy and what disappoints me is that he’s gracious enough — that considerate of stuck-up salesman — that people would fall asleep believing him, because he’s so gracious about it,” Adrian Fontes, a previous Democrat and Maricopa County Registrar and current candidate for Secretary of State, told me, In May when discussing Bennett. “But he is lying. It is an outright lie.”

In fact, just two weeks ago, Bennett sat down as Logan falsely claimed that 74,000 votes by mail were inexplicably not sent to voters. Fact-checkers immediately debunked that claim — the lost votes were actually almost votes from beforetime polling stations — but that didn’t quit Trump from repeating it several times, including during a Saturday rally, to claim triumph in Arizona.

And while Bennett – and even Logan Himself– BACKED ON THE LIE ABOUT 74,000 BOTTLES THAT TRUMP KNEW, JUST LAST WEEK In conversation with HarrisBennett denied there was any confusion and inaccuracy in the scrutiny and blamed “misinformation” on the media.

“All you hear from the secretary of state’s office and the mainstream media is there’s confusion and inaccuracy,” Bennett said at the time. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Now, exactly one week later, Bennett says he is “extremely concerned” there will be counting inaccuracies and that during the audit he was very confused about what procedures were used to validate the numbers. On Monday, Republic newspaper Jane Fifield reported that Bennett was enduring forbid From the audit site by Pullen – at the alleged request of the Arizona Senate – but it would somehow remain to manage the audit without access to the building. (Bennett has not commented on Fifield.)

As Maricopa County’s Republican supervisors realized weeks ago, it was lengthy overdue to shut down these artificial photos, which Bennett is now even banned from attending. Maybe he should take a hint?


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