State Watch

Republican says ’embarrassing’ Arizona recount ‘makes us look like idiots’

A GOP state senator blasted the 2020 election vote audit in an Arizona county, saying “it makes us look like idiots.”

“Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point,” Arizona state Sen. Paul Boyer, who previously supported the audit in Maricopa County, added on Friday, according to The New York Times.

Republicans in the Arizona state Senate advanced an audit of the 2020 election vote in Maricopa County last month, even after multiple audits since November found that the vote was counted accurately.

President Biden won Arizona’s 11 electoral votes over former President Trump by a little less than 11,000 votes. 

The defeat in Arizona surprised and enraged Trump, who has repeatedly argued fraud cost him his reelection despite a lack of evidence supporting the claim. Fox News was the first network to call Arizona for Biden on election night.

The election results were certified by state officials months ago, which effectively finalized President Biden’s win in Arizona.

Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate signed off on the Electoral College vote in January — after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building to stop the count, leading to the former president’s second impeachment. 

The Arizona recount is being carried out by the state Senate itself, after GOP senators used their subpoena power to call for election officials to hand over all of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots, in addition to its voting machines and voter registration information.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors tried to block the subpoenas. A judge, however, declared that the GOP lawmakers’ demands were valid and directed the officials to deliver the requested materials.

According to the Times, approximately 250,000 of the county’s 2.1 million ballots have been processed in the hand recount that is a main component of the review. Officials have marked May 14 as the completion date for the audit, but at the current counting rate, the hand recount would not be finished until August, The Times noted.

Arizona senate Republicans have said they are spearheading the audit to restore voters’ confidence in the elections process and to help them decide if changes to the state’s election laws are needed, a move that a number of other states with GOP-controlled legislatures took after the 2020 election.

The Department of Justice issued a warning last week, writing that the Maricopa County audit could be violating both federal voting and civil rights laws, according to a letter obtained by CNN. The letter came from Pamela Karlan, the principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

Arizona Republicans, however, dismissed the Justice Department’s concerns and rejected the need for federal assistance or involvement in the process.

Also last week, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) raised concerns about the procedures in the audit, specifically calling attention to workers reportedly leaving ballots and computers unattended during the recount.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Maricopa County audit Maricopa County recount
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