WASHINGTON, D.C.—Republicans in the Arizona state senate are determined to carry on with yet another unnecessary audit of the Maricopa County 2020 election results. They’ve hired private firms to conduct the audit, including one led by a conspiracy theorist who has promoted Trump’s Big Lie and other election fraud fantasies. And now, the state senate is accepting outside donations to fund the audit—mere days after Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed new legislation banning private donations to county administrators to help support timely, safe and secure elections, a move Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) said was “to satisfy the conspiracy theorists within his own party.”
The hypocrisy is shocking. Republicans claim that election administration is a “government function” and thus severely underfunded and overworked administrators should not be allowed to accept donations from nonprofits that would help them run elections smoothly. Meanwhile, Republicans in the legislature are more than happy to accept private donations to fund their performative, potentially unconstitutional election audit in furtherance of the lie that there was widespread voter fraud in Arizona.
The source of these funds and what they are used for may never be disclosed. Senate President Karen Fann (R), who is leading the audit effort, has admitted the money she and other GOP allies are helping raise may go directly to the private firms hired for the audit—meaning no government paper trail of the funds and their disbursement would ever exist.