PHOENIX — You remember all those claims of dead people voting in 2020?
Well, according to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, rumors of their death have been greatly exaggerated.
In a letter Monday to Senate President Karen Fann, the state’s chief prosecutor said he looked at the reports she forwarded from Cyber Ninjas, the firm she hired to “audit” the 2020 election, of 282 people who had allegedly died in early October 2020 yet cast ballots in the Nov. 3 general election.
That followed the Senate-ordered “audit” of the election returns in Maricopa County.
Brnovich said, in essence, there was no there there.
“Our agents investigated all individuals that Cyber Ninjas reported as dead,” he said. “Many were very surprised to learn they were allegedly deceased.”
In fact, the attorney general said, only one of 282 listed voters on that report actually was deceased. The others were not only quite alive but also are current voters.
But it wasn’t just what Cyber Ninjas had provided that Brnovich concluded was largely unfounded.
The attorney general said his agency’s Election Integrity Unit looked at the names of another 409 allegedly dead voters that came from other sources.
And then investigators went through yet another report of 5,943 names, which made no distinction between dead voters and dead registrants.
“Once again, these claims were thoroughly investigated and resulted in only a handful of potential cases,” Brnovich told Fann.
“Some were so absurd the names and birth dates didn’t even match the deceased,” he reported. “And others included dates of death after the election.”
And Brnovich said while his agency has previously prosecuted other instances of dead people voting, even those cases “were ultimately determined to be isolated incidents.”
The report comes a day before the Republican primary where Brnovich is in a five-way contest to be the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate. Recent polls showed him trailing Blake Masters and Jim Lamon.
It also comes as he has faced often blistering criticism from Trump supporters for what some contend has been his inability or unwillingness to properly investigate their claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Brnovich’s office did release an interim report in April where he recommended some changes in election laws. That, however, produced no indictments nor evidence of fraud beyond a handful of people who had voted someone else’s ballot.
But Brnovich said Monday that the Election Integrity Unit will continue to do — inquiries into the hotly disputed election.
The new report is the latest in a series which have shown that the findings of Cyber Ninjas, which had never conducted an election audit before being hired by Fann, were misleading or wrong outright.
Other claims have since been debunked, including people voting duplicate ballots, machine-filled-in ballots, missing signatures on absentee ballots, and tallying machines liked to the internet.
In fact, a hand tally of all nearly 2.1 million Maricopa County ballots found that Democrat Joe Biden actually defeated Donald Trump in the county by a slightly larger margin than reported by the tabulation equipment.
The attorney general was careful not to criticize Fann or her decision to hire Cyber Ninjas.
“We supported the Arizona Senate’s ability to conduct an audit of Maricopa County’s elections and understand the importance of reviewing the results,” he said. “However, allegations of widespread deceased voters from the Senate audit and other complaints received by the Election Integrity Unit are insufficient and not corroborated.”
There was no immediate response from Fann.