“Lawyers for Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based company the Arizona Senate hired to lead a recount of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million general election ballots, are asking a judge to keep secret its procedures for the recount and shut out the public as well as the press from a hearing in which the documents might be discussed. Judge Christopher Coury asked the company on Friday to turn over its plans and procedures amid concerns about the security of the county’s ballots and voter privacy. But the company argued on Sunday that filing the documents in court publicly would compromise the security of its recount. And it argued that the records include protected trade secrets. The company also maintained that the documents are protected by legislative privilege, as it is working on behalf of the state Senate” the Arizona Republic reports.
“The push to keep details of the recount process under wraps comes as part of a lawsuit that the Arizona Democratic Party and County Supervisor Steve Gallardo filed against the state Senate to stop the recount altogether, contending it violates various state election laws. The prospect that a court might block voters from seeing how their ballots will be handled during the unprecedented undertaking adds to mounting concerns about its transparency, given that its funders remain a mystery and news briefings were immediately placed on an indefinite hiatus. The lawsuit took another turn Sunday evening when Coury recused himself from the case, noting a lawyer who had recently signed on to represent Cyber Ninjas had worked in his office within the past few years. Coury previously had scheduled a hearing on the case for Monday morning, but it will have to be reassigned to another Maricopa County Superior Court judge. Coury ordered, during a hearing on Friday – the first day of the recount – that the process follow all state laws. He even left open the option of stopping the recount until Monday if the Democratic Party could post a $1 million bond to cover any potential costs from the delay.”