World GOP Election Analyst 'Aghast' at Arizona Audit as State Senator Threatens U.S. Attorney General
The Phoniest Argument About Election Security
The Arizona audit will only undermine faith in democracy.“We are here to make sure Arizona voters can have faith and confidence that elections conducted in this state and this county have integrity,” Ken Bennett, a former Arizona secretary of state working for the state Senate on the audit, said in April. “We’re going to be able to tell everyone in Arizona in a few weeks that they can have complete trust in their elections—or we have some areas that can be improved.
A Republican election analyst who voted for former Presidentin the 2020 election said he's "just aghast" at the way the GOP-backed election audit in Arizona's Maricopa County has moved forward. Meanwhile, a Republican state senator threatened to imprison Attorney General after he announced that the Justice Department would scrutinize any post-election audits to ensure they comply with voting laws.
of Maricopa County's 2.1 million ballots has been widely criticized, including by a number of . Arizona's Republican state President Karen Fann and fellow state GOP lawmakers pushed forward the audit based on former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" by President and the .
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Maricopa County previously conducted hand recounts in November, as well as a December audit that did not uncover any irregularities.
"I'm just aghast at what is happening in the coliseum," Benny White, a GOP election analyst who has been involved in audits in Wisconsin, Maryland and Arizona, told local ABC affiliate channel 15.
"They're trying to create a completely new record. Then I suppose they were going to present that and say here is the truth. Don't believe what was published in November," White said.
"If they were going to present the results of this audit or so-called audit as something that had credibility, that had reliability, that voters could look at and say there is some truth... They need to have some way of verifying what they're doing is complete and accurate," he warned.
Arizona Sec. of State Says Audit Could 'Produce the Result That They Want'
The audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County is being conducted by a company called Cyber Ninjas.Hobbs, a Democrat, spoke to CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday about the controversial audit of the 2020 presidential election results and discussed how it is being conducted.
Arizona state Senator Paul Boyer, a Republican, told The Hill in May that the audit process has been "embarrassing." Boyer's remark, as he initially supported the process moving forward.
"The way they're doing it, it's embarrassing," the GOP lawmaker said. "It makes me embarrassed to be a state senator at this point."
In a Friday speech, Garland said that the Justice Department would scrutinize post-election audits—like the one going forward in Arizona—for any violations of voting laws. He pointed out that they were based on false claims that have already been wholly debunked and litigated.
"Many of the justifications proffered in support of these post-election audits and restrictions on voting," the attorney general said, "have relied on assertions of material vote fraud in the 2020 election that have been refuted by the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of both this administration and the previous one, as well as by every court—federal and state—that has considered them."
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Retired attorney John Pirich called audits pushed for by Trump and GOP allies "nothing more than a publicity stunt."Trump and many of his supporters continue to baselessly claim that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" by President Joe Biden and the Democrats. These claims have been thoroughly debunked, with dozens of their election challenge lawsuits failing in state and federal courts. Audits and recounts in key battleground states have also reaffirmed Biden's victory.
Video: Trump loyalists seek to replicate Arizona ‘audit’ in more states (MSNBC)
In response to Garland's speech, GOP Arizona state Senator Wendy Rogers threatened to put Garland in prison.
"You will not touch Arizona ballots or machines unless you want to spend time in an Arizona prison. Maybe you should focus on stopping terrorism. The Justice Department is one of the most corrupt institutions in the USA," Rogers tweeted on Friday.
In a February email, Fann admitted that she does not believe the audit will uncover fraud as Trump has claimed. "Personally I don't think we will find anything outside of the normal irregularities we have every election but am willing to go this extra mile if it puts these questions and concerns to rest,".
Publicly, she has defended the audit as important to reassure Republican voters about the election results' integrity.
Although Trump and his allies continue to claim that Biden won the election through widespread fraud, there is no evidence to support this extraordinary allegation. Dozens of election challenge lawsuits have failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans rejected the often bizarre claims.
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"We would've been one of those battleground states," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.Harris County, home to the city of Houston, wanted to mail out applications for mail-in ballots to its approximately 2.4 million registered voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the conservative Texas Supreme Court blocked the county from doing so after it faced litigation from Paxton's office.
Audits and recounts in key battleground states—including in areas where the electionby pro-Trump Republicans—have reaffirmed Biden's win. Former U.S. Attorney General , who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, said in December that there was "no evidence" to support the claims of widespread fraud.
Furthermore, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at thethere was "no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."
Newsweek reached out to Fann for further comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
GOP Lawmaker Dislikes 'Cyber Ninjas' Name But Calls Skepticism of Election Audits 'Foolish' .
"They're a security firm and the security that they had was impressive," Republican Wisconsin state Rep. Dave Murphy said of Cyber Ninjas. "Just a very impressive operation."Murphy is one of four Wisconsin GOP lawmakers who recently traveled to observe the audit in Arizona. The audit has been widely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans over its alleged biases, lack of transparency and a lack of previous election auditing experience from the firms and individuals conducting it.