What’s the Price Tag on the Senate’s Partisan Review of the 2020 Election?

By Connor Van Ligten

September 17, 2021

Although the exact price of the Arizona Senate’s partisan review of the 2020 presidential election results is unknown, it’s costing the state a lot of money. Between the contractors conducting the audit, machinery that may need to be replaced, and more, the price tag is a hefty one. Here’s a breakdown of the costs of the so-called audit.

$150,000 to Cyber Ninjas— at a minimum

Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity firm from Florida, was hired by the Arizona Senate to oversee the audit. Cyber Ninjas is being paid $150,000 by the Arizona Senate for their services, however, Senate President Karen Fann has acknowledged that Cyber Ninjas is likely being paid more through additional contributions from private fundraising efforts.

A $2,833,220 claim to be paid out to the County Board for replacing voting equipment

Due to the fact that Cyber Ninjas was not accredited by the federal U.S. Elections Assistance Commission to work with elections equipment, Maricopa County filed a claim to the Arizona Senate. The claim stated that the voting equipment may no longer be certified and the Senate needs to pay a fee of $2,833,220 to replace it.

$165,044 for delivery and retrieval costs —with a catch

Maricopa County also included an additional fee of $165,044 for delivering and retrieving the voting equipment to and from the audit location, among other various costs. However, the County said in its claim that it is willing to waive these fees if a settlement for the above $2.83 million fee is reached.  

$100,00 for analyzing the voting machines —or $0 to throw them out

To analyze the voting machines and determine if they can be used again, the County would likely have to pay $100,000. This fee can be avoided if the County does not use the machines again after the audit, although they’ll still have to replace them regardless.

Total: At least $3.2 million

It’s difficult to estimate the total cost of the audit, due to the unknown amount of money coming from private donors. Additionally, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has threatened to withhold millions of dollars in state funds from Maricopa County if they do not “fully comply” with a Senate subpoena relating to the audit by September 27. The final tally comes out to at least $3.2 million, but the final number could be much higher. 


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