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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Arizona’s secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, is offering a large and well-deserved “buyer beware” for the partisan so-called ballot audit which has been dragging on since the spring.
Former president Donald Trump’s MAGA supporters have been pretending to count votes under the watchful eyes of the “Cyber Ninjas,” in an exercise which carries all the solemnity of a clown-car disaster, since Arizona’s Republican-controlled Senate authorized the so-called audit, spurred on by Trump’s “Big Lie,” his baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him due to massive Democratic fraud.
The so-called audit involves the counting of all 2.1 million votes from Arizona’s largest jurisdiction, Maricopa County — overseen by Cyber Ninjas, an obscure cybersecurity company, the CEO of which isn’t exactly an impartial judge given that he’s known to have promoted a number of baseless election-related conspiracies.
In fact, bizarre conspiracy theories have been a mainstay of this exercise which has taken over Phoenix’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum — with volunteers, at one point, probing for bamboo fibers in the ballots because they were convinced illegal ballots had been shipped from China.
“But right now it seems like they are just continuing to lead by conspiracy theory. Those who know that this fraud is a farce aren’t willing to speak up about it. And certainly no indication that the state’s top law enforcement officer is going to act on our request to investigate,” said Hobbs. “In fact, he didn’t even need a request from my office. He should have just acted on the reports alone. Every layperson can look at this and say this really does look like an attempt to interfere and should warrant further investigation.”
The audit itself is dangerous because it’s corrosive for US democracy, and because it’s clear that those running it have a predetermined outcome — proving Trump as the true winner of Arizona’s 11 electoral votes — which they are set to prove, according to Hobbs.
“They are just making this stuff up. I mean, honestly, right now anything you see coming out of these people’s mouths you can just assume they made it up to just continue to pile on because that’s their goal, is to continue to sow doubt, to undermine integrity of our election, and they’re just making it up,” she said.
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