Cyber Ninjas ‘dead voters’ claim debunked by Arizona attorney general: ‘Many were very surprised to learn they were allegedly deceased’

Now-defunct company was commissioned to investigate baseless claims of fraud in Arizona

John Bowden
Tuesday 02 August 2022 21:30 BST
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Lawyer says Cyber Ninjas, company that led controversial Arizona election audit, is now defunct
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A company whose investigation into alleged voter fraud at the behest of Trump loyalists in Arizona was only able to uncover one single instance of a fraudulent ballot cast under the name of a voter who was dead, according to the state’s top elections official.

Mark Brnovich, Arizona’s attorney general, issued a letter to Republicans who led the effort to demand a recount of the 2020 election in the state Senate on Monday. In the letter, Mr Brnovich outlines how the Cyber Ninjas’s investigation had led to hundreds of baseless allegations of fraud involving the names of “dead” voters who in fact turned out to be alive.

In Mr Brnovich’s words, “[w]e investigated all individuals that Cyber Ninjas reported as dead, and many were very surprised to learn they were allegedly deceased”.

The letter goes on to depict a sloppy investigation run by amateurs who lacked understanding of elections terminology and processes. Mr Brnovich wrote that the now-defunct company in one case hadn’t even bothered to discern a distinction between those who were registered to vote, but deceased, and those who allegedly were deceased but had submitted ballots.

“Some were so absurd the names and birthdates didn’t even match the deceased,” he wrote.

According to Mr Brnovich, after “hundreds” of man hours investigating the claims brought forward by Cyber Ninjas, “only one” of the nearly 300 people alleged to be dead voters by the company turned out to have been a case of a ballot submitted under a deceased person’s name.

Donald Trump and his allies, among other false accusations and conspiracies about the 2020 election, have alleged that hundreds of thousands, if not more, of votes were cast on behalf of dead voters in Joe Biden’s name. That claim, like all others, has been unsubstantiated by evidence.

Arizona was one of the key states where Mr Trump’s team sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and a widespread effort by Mr Trump and his allies in the weeks after election day itself to do just that has been uncovered by the January 6 committee in the House. Others invovled in the effort included Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas whose involvement has led to calls for Mr Thomas to be removed from the bench.

The state’s House speaker, Rusty Bowers, has testified about how Mr Trump’s team pressured him to call a special session of the legislature in the hopes of passing a resolution to “decertify” the state’s election results and nominate a slate of Trump-supporting electors who would cast votes in the president’s favour on January 6 when the Senate certified the election results.

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