Former Arizona GOP lawmaker who promoted 'Stop the Steal' campaign gets kicked off Maricopa election audit

Former Arizona GOP lawmaker who promoted 'Stop the Steal' campaign gets kicked off Maricopa election audit
Anthony Kern in 2014, Gage Skidmore
This far-right Republican attended Trump’s ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on January 6 — and was seen at the Arizona recount

A former Arizona lawmaker who was present at the U.S. Capitol and supported former President Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally will no longer be allowed to participate in the election audit in Arizona.

Contractors opted to restrict Anthony Kern, a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives, from participating in the Maricopa, County ballot audit over concern about "optics," according to AZ Central. On Thursday, May 13, Ken Bennett, the Arizona Senate's audit liaison, weighed in with his concerns as he revealed when the decision was made to remove the former lawmaker.

"He was here for two or three days," Bennett, said Thursday. "Once it was identified that that wasn't the best optics, I think the contractor removed him from the counting tables."

Another conflict of interest also centered on the fact that Kern's own ballot was among the 2.1 million ballots he was helping to recount. The blowback about Kern's participation in the audit came after an Arizona reporter spotted him, snapped a photo, and shared it on Twitter to raise awareness about his involvement in the already controversial audit.

On April 23, Kern was seen counting ballots for the first time and was last seen on May 3, according to reports. On Friday, Kern was asked about his removal and opted to keep his response brief. He said, "You guys have your own narrative. No, I'm not going to talk to you."

Although Kern's involvement in the audit has sparked and concern, the truth is he has actually been hiding in plain sight the entire time. Prior to the start of the audit, Kern took to Twitter to express excitement about his involvement.

"Very exciting to be involved in Arizona's massive and historic election audit which begins today. All of us should want fair and honest elections in our great State! The nation is watching Arizona!" he tweeted at the time.

Kern's removal from the Maricopa audit comes months after he fiercely defended and supported the former president's Big Lie claiming the presidential election was stolen from him. The former lawmaker also traveled to Washington, D.C., to support Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally and was seen at the U.S. Capitol as the mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the federal building.

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