The Arizona Republic confirms court filing, demanding election audit records and the public’s right to know

State Senate officials have refuted the public’s right to know, and the news organization wants all relevant documents brought to light.

State+Senate+President+Karen+Fann%2C+a+Republican%2C+has+been+a+driving+force+behind+Arizona%27s+%22audit%22+of+the+2020+election.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

State Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, has been a driving force behind Arizona’s “audit” of the 2020 election.

Nicole White, Reporter

The Arizona Republic has filed an action with the Maricopa Superior Court, seeking disclosure of all records — including internal communications and emails — from members of the partisan Arizona state Senate conducting the 2020 election audit along with the taxpayer-funded lead contractor, Cyber Ninjas. 

The state’s oldest news organization, first established more than 130 years ago, has repeatedly sought records from the partisan Senate election audit through public records requests that have repeatedly been denied.

On Wednesday, the Republic filed a special action in Superior Court. Now, the news organization is trying to access all financial and communication records surrounding the audit, from both the Senate and the private contractor the body hired to do the work.

“The Republican Senate audit debacle is made up of members who refuse to accept the election results, even though our state’s election has been verified as valid months ago. ”

The documents, according to the Arizona Republic, are public records and of great public interest “because the audit is being conducted under the direction of the Senate, a public body, and the Senate is required to make available records that are in the custody or control of Cyber Ninjas.” 

The Florida-based contractor possesses many of the public’s personal voting records. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan is a firm supporter of former president Donald Trump.

“All of the financial records, how the audit is being conducted, how much is being paid to Cyber Ninjas, even the communication exchanges between these partisan officials of what— specifically—is not publicly known,” a former state official told Northeast Valley News Saturday on the condition of anonymity. “The Republican Senate audit debacle is made up of members who refuse to accept the election results, even though our state’s election has been verified as valid months ago.

“This audit has been conducted in secrecy and is essentially doing work with information that belongs to the public.” 

Arizona Republic executive editor Greg Burton explained why now is the time for the newspaper to spring into action, nearly seven months after the 2020 election concluded.

“The news organization is taking action because the audit is directed by a group of partisans from the Senate who themselves were on the ballots,” Burton said. “Despite promises by Senate leaders that its vote audit would be transparent, the operations of the recount have been carried out largely in secret by hired outside parties performing the functions of elected leaders.”