GOP-led Arizona election review closely matches Biden’s margin of victory
Officials in Maricopa County, whose county supervisory board is controlled by Republicans and whose top election official is also a Republican, celebrated the draft report as a justification for their election results.
“You don’t need to dig deep into the draft copy of the Arizona Senate / Cyber Ninja Senate Audit Report to confirm what I already knew – candidates certified by the County Board of Supervisors. Maricopa, the governor, secretary of state and attorney general – did, in fact, win, “board chairman Jack Sellers, a Republican, said in a statement.” This means the Counting equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to, and the results reflected the will of the voters.That should be the end of the story.
POLITICO reviewed copies of a draft report released by the Maricopa County Registrar’s Office and Arizona Secretary of State’s Office, both of which have consistently opposed the effort in the state. Arizona media – including Arizona Republic, KJZZ, and the Arizona Agenda newsletter – have all previously reported on various versions of the report.
A spokesperson for the secretary of state said the office could not speak to the authenticity of the draft and declined to share how the office received a copy. But a spokesperson for the effort told the radio station their project was “not the final report, but it’s near.” POLITICO’s requests for comment sent to a separate review spokesperson and Doug Logan – the head of Cyber Ninjas, the company hired by the State Senate to lead the effort – were not immediately returned early Friday morning.
A final report release and hearing are scheduled for Friday afternoon in Arizona.
The Arizona review has been marred by significant glitches, spanning months beyond its originally intended runtime, while apparently improvising processes on the fly and playing on conspiracy theories that included verification of bamboo fibers in ballots. The effort was also largely funded by Trump’s allies.
State election officials and outside experts opposed it at almost every step of the way and scoffed at the label of “audit” attached to it. Logan, who is leading the effort, echoed some of Trump’s conspiracy theories and has no discernible experience in running or reviewing elections.
Nonetheless, the nearly equivalent tally is unlikely to stop Trump and his supporters from further attacking the American democratic system. The draft report noted irregularities with tens of thousands of ballots and suggested changes to the state’s electoral law “which strengthens the electoral process to provide additional certainty in upcoming elections.”
“Everyone will be watching Arizona tomorrow to see what highly respected listeners and the Arizona State Senate have found out about the so-called election!” The former president said in a statement, hours before the draft report was made public.
Arizona’s effort has also inspired reviews or surveys emulated in states across the country, including efforts supported by GOP legislative leaders in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Most recently, the Texas Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday night that it would review the 2020 election in four of the most populous counties in the state , after Trump publicly issued a letter to GOP Governor Greg Abbott calling for one earlier today.
Trump also pressured Republican officials across the country to brag about his election lies, often lashing out at Republican election officials who said their elections were not rigged. He supported Republicans seeking to become secretary of state for their state who have parrot these lies – including state representative Mark Finchem, one of the main supporters of the review in Maricopa.