The long-awaited final report on the Arizona Senate’s election “audit” is scheduled to be presented Friday afternoon, but its circulation among journalists and others on Thursday led to the early news that the recount had confirmed what actual independent audits had found months ago: That Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Maricopa County.
It is important to remember that this result does not confer any legitimacy to the sham process. From the beginning, the “audit” was a political stunt designed to provide a pretext for restricting voter access. And for the five months it has drawn on, it has fueled more election conspiracy theories, undermined faith in democracy, and inspired election-deniers and partisan actors to adopt similar election reviews in other states.
While headlines have focused on the fact that the recount marginally increased Biden’s lead over Trump, reviews of the draft report have found that it still attempts to cast doubt on the results and on the integrity of the election. “Unfortunately, the report is also littered with errors & faulty conclusions about how Maricopa County conducted the 2020 General Election,” said the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
This week, American Oversight updated its report on the findings of our investigation into the “audit.” The Arizona Senate’s release of tens of thousands of documents, as ordered by the court in our litigation for the records, revealed further evidence of how the operation was compromised by partisan interests and deference to conspiracy theories.
And we still don’t have full transparency into the process, as the Senate has failed to turn over documents held by lead contractor Cyber Ninjas, which multiple Arizona courts have ruled are public records and must be released. On Thursday, we asked the court to hold the Senate in contempt for failing to comply with court orders to release the records.
Meanwhile, the Texas secretary of state’s office, under pressure from Trump, has announced a “full and comprehensive forensic audit” of election results in four large counties. Here are some headlines from similar efforts in other states:
Despite the dangerous consequences of undermining faith in our elections — the Jan. 6 Capitol attack being the most potent example — the Big Lie remains a powerful force on the right.
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