Columnist details the 2 key ways the Arizona election 'audit' backfired for Republicans
Cyber Ninjas' audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County, Arizona did not end the way former President Donald Trump and his sycophants were hoping. The audit not only found that now-President Joe Biden won Arizona, but also, showed a higher vote count in his favor than the official government vote counts. Liberal Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent, however, is not celebrating the audit results, which he fears will be used to justify voter suppression despite showing a Biden victory.
"The conclusion to this ugly saga did backfire, in that it blew up efforts to sustain the big lie about 2020," Sargent wrote. "But the real story here is that it blows up the big lie that Republicans investigating 'election fraud' are merely trying to restore confidence in our elections, when in fact they continue to try to undermine it."
Although it was ordered by pro-Trump Republicans in Arizona — at taxpayers' expense — the Cyber Ninjas audit was not an actual vote recount by government election officials. Cyber Ninjas, based in Florida, is a private company that was founded by far-right conspiracy theorist, Trump devotee and QAnon supporter Doug Logan.
"A mea culpa: Like many others, I expected that this audit would flagrantly manufacture evidence that the election was stolen from Trump," Sargent explains. "I was wrong about that. However, this outcome does confirm many of our worst suspicions, as the draft itself shows that the audit's function was, and is, to continue sowing doubts about our election system."
Sargent notes that Randy Pullen, a spokesman for the audit, told KJZZ-FM (a National Public Radio station in Phoenix) that Cyber Ninjas didn't find "massive fraud" in Maricopa County.
The columnist, in response, argues, "That's reassuring, right? Well, no, it isn't. That's because the audit also magically did purport to 'find' serious problems with the vote counting. As The Post notes, it 'undercut' its own conclusion about the validity of the outcome by suggesting that some ballots might have been 'improperly accepted and counted.'"
Sargent also notes that Cyber Ninjas' "report declares that its own confirmation of Biden's win was 'inconclusive.' Why? Because, it says, the county's elections officials didn't 'cooperate,' thus 'actively interfering' with the audit and preventing it from being 'complete.'"
Sargent continues, "It gets worse. The report also recommends reforms, some of which would make (it) easier to purge voters from the rolls and less likely that people are sent mail ballots…. So, we can see what's really happening here. Yes, the audit isn't declaring outright that the election's outcome was indeed fraudulent. But it is declaring there are still many reasons to doubt that outcome, that elections officials who actually operated in good faith are covering this up, and that the right response is more voting restrictions."
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