BIden DOJ Steps In To Stop Arizona Audit

( The Department of Justice is apparently not going to let the state of Arizona conduct audits of its own elections.

This week, the DOJ reviewed details about the audit that’s taking place in Maricopa County, and said there are details in it that “raise concerns” about its integrity. In fact, members of the DOJ told the state senate president in Arizona that the audit, which is led by Republicans, may indeed violate federal law.

Cyber Ninjas is the private firm that is conducting the audit at a sports arena located in Phoenix. However, the DOJ has concerns because the company doesn’t have any experience in elections. In addition, the person leading the effort at the company allegedly promoted various conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.

Local Republican officials in Maricopa County apparently objected to the audit in general, and to Cyber Ninjas leading the effort. Two audits were conducted last year in the country of the election.

Still, state Senator Karen Fann chose Cyber Ninjas to conduct the audit. In the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden carried Maricopa County by more than 45,000 total votes.

The DOJ sent a letter to Fann on May 5. In the letter, Pamela S. Karlan, who serves as the principal deputy assistant attorney general with the Civil Rights Division, said the involvement of Cyber Ninjas could be illegal.

The letter, which was obtained by local news station KNXV, reads:

“Federal law creates a duty to safeguard and preserve federal election records. The department is concerned that this is not happening in Maricopa County, where the records are no longer under the ultimate control of election officials, are not being adequately safeguarded by contractors, and are at risk of damage or loss.”

A second concern for the DOJ is the stated intent of Cyber Ninjas to “identify voter registrations that did not make sense, and then knock on doors to confirm if valid voters actually lived at the stated address.” As Karlan wrote, this “raises concerns regarding potential intimidation of voters,” something that federal statues prohibit.

Karlan’s letter asks for Fann to send a response detailing the steps the state Senate plans to take to ensure their audit doesn’t break any federal laws.

Last week, some voter rights groups express concerns about the audit, too, asking the DOJ to “deploy federal monitors” to safeguard the more than 2.1 million ballots that were cast in Maricopa County.

In a letter the groups sent to the DOJ, they said they believed both Cyber Ninjas and Republicans in Arizona were breaking the law. The letter reads:

“Specifically, [the parties] are violating their duty under federal law to retain and preserve ballots in federal elections, which are and have been in danger of being stolen, defaced, or irretrievably damaged.”

They also said the parties are “preparing to engage in conduct which will constitute unlawful voter intimidation in violating of the Voting Rights Act and other federal laws.”

That letter apparently got the DOJ interested in the case. Now, they are intervening in a case that looks to be a states’ rights issue.