The electoral Arizona audit, which was launched in April of this year and lasted for more than five months, found that Biden had won the state, according to a preliminary draft from the final report obtained by the media. In fact, the report increased Biden’s lead over Trump in the state, announcing that the former received 99 more votes than those counted by the canvassing board.
The auditors, a company called Cyber Ninja, were hired by Arizona Republicans in response to former President Trump’s constant claims that widespread voter fraud robbed him of the 2020 election.
Although many politicians and media outlets have cast doubts on both the competency and integrity of the audit company — as its founder was associated with Trump’s campaign alleging that the 2020 election was fraudulent — it appears that the final report the company will release later this Friday will hardly be received as good news by Trump’s team since it does not encounter any type of conclusive evidence that Biden lost the state in 2020.
Donald Trump issued a statement arguing that the audit company, which he said was “highly respected” found “significant and undeniable evidence of fraud” during its audit. Another Trump ally, Boris Epshteyn, tweeted that the media was trying to “spin” the Cyber Ninja audit, saying that the audit actually cast more doubts in the election by raising some questions over the electoral procedures used during the election.
Despite the results of the Maricopa-based Arizona audit, some conservatives in the state have now called for conducting a statewide audit. Matt Salmon, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, has called for a statewide audit to be conducted in Arizona.
The Maricopa County Elections Department said that the draft report released only confirms that their board’s work is to “run elections for Maricopa voters, & do it accurately, securely, transparently & w/ the law”.
Arizona audit will be copied in other states
Similar audits have been announced in the crucial swing states of Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin while Texas (a state that Trump won) has also announced it will hold an audit over the vote in four of the states’ largest counties: Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Collin.
In Pennsylvania, state Republicans started their voting audit earlier this august with the purported aims not of reversing the electoral results of last year but of “restore faith in the system by strengthening election security”. The audit has been accused by Democrats of being unnecessary and a “partisan fishing expedition”.
Michigan, another state that switch from voting for Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020, also held an extensive audit conducted by the Republican-led state Senate earlier this year. The final report of the audit concluded that although it is clear that the state needs to update its electoral laws in order to improve Michigan’s handling of the election there was “no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election”. Republicans in the MI House of Representatives have condemned the report, saying it dismissed evidence of potential irregularities in the elections.
The aftermath of the 2020 election: Lawsuits, recounts, and audits
After it was clear in November that the voting count would ultimately favor Biden over Trump, the latter campaign and legal team announced a long list of legal actions to contest the legitimacy of the results. With lawyer Sidney Powell and former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani spearheading the legal efforts to challenge the results, however, out of the more than 60 lawsuits introduced only one actually succeeded.
In fact, Powell is now mired in a lengthy and potentially costly lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, a company that Powell and Giuliani targeted over their role in the allegations of voter fraud in 2020.
A state that was also in the middle of the discussion over voting legitimacy was that of Georgia, which voted Democrat in 2020 for the first time since 1992, with President Trump claiming that widespread fraud took place in the GOP-dominated state. The results in Georgia were in fact quite close, with the state conducting two recounts after election day which shaved Biden’s advantage over Trump by a few thousand votes, not enough to overcome the difference between both candidates.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who was a full defender of Georgia’s controversial electoral reform bill earlier this year, has consistently defended the election on his state. In a 10-page-letter to congress, Raffensperger defied all the points brought against the way elections were handled in Georgia. In fact, not only Georgia did two recounts of the presidential vote, but actually conducted a statewide audit after the election, confirming that Biden had defeated Trump.
Former Attorney General, William Barr, who had been appointed by Trump, released a memo back in November allowing U.S. attorneys to pursue any substantial allegations of voter fraud before the election was certified. However, in December the AG determined that there was no evidence of widespread election fraud.
The electoral audit in Maricopa County captured the national headlines over the last few months, and it will probably not be the last one.