A private contractor conducting a Republican-commissioned review of 2020 presidential ballots in Arizona’s largest county announced late Wednesday that it has collected more than $5.7 million in private donations to fund the process.
The controversial ballot review, which included a hand recount of Maricopa County’s nearly 2.1 million ballots and a review of ballot tabulating machines, has been underway since April. It was ordered by the state’s Republican-led Senate, which agreed to spend $150,000 in taxpayer money to fund the audit. But the Senate allowed Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm hired to lead the process, to collect donations as well.
It has been clear for months that the lengthy ballot review, which was conducted by dozens of workers, some working nearly round-the-clock, was being largely financed by allies of former president Donald Trump. The newly released figures put that fact in sharp relief: More than 97 percent of the audit’s costs have so far been shouldered by donations from five organizations led by people who have promoted the false claim that the election was stolen.