The Arizona election audit has been a bad joke from day one. Atop the absurdity of the exercise itself, the process to uncover widespread voting irregularities in Maricopa County — which multiple investigations have already found didn’t exist — has been riddled with process problems and months of delays amid seemingly endless legal wrangling. And the outcome of the exercise, which was ordered by some of the less-hinged Republicans in the state senate and run by a team of dodgy “experts” called the Cyber Ninjas, has always seemed preordained to deliver the news that Donald Trump wanted to hear: that the former president, who lost narrowly in the Grand Canyon State, actually won it.
But sometimes the Cyber Ninjas surprise you.
Multiple outlets reported that the audit will finally be released today — and it shows that Trump not only lost but that he shed votes in the final tally.
The Washington Post has some of the details from a draft report:
After nearly six months and almost $6 million — most of it given by groups that cast doubt on the election results — the draft report shows that the review concluded that 45,469 more ballots were cast for Biden in Maricopa County than for Trump, widening Biden’s margin by 360 more votes than certified results.
The draft report found the count to have “no substantial differences” from the county’s certified tallies.
The Post reports that the draft also states that while there is no evidence of any major problems with paper ballots or vote-tabulating machines, further investigation is warranted. Will Arizona Republicans now call for an audit of the audit?
In any case, the news will come as a surprising relief to Democrats and many of the state’s more sane Republicans, who have decried the audit as an embarrassing fishing expedition. But lest you think this circus has dissuaded the GOP in other states from trying to sow doubt about the voting process to placate Trump, Texas announced on Thursday that it would audit the 2020 results in four Democratic-leaning counties, at the former president’s demand.