WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday afternoon, the Arizona Senate released the long-awaited and frequently delayed results of its “audit” of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County. The effort, backed by nearly $6 million from pro-Trump groups and led by a company founded by a “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theorist and with no experience in election procedures, did not find evidence to suggest the county’s original canvass of the vote was inaccurate in any way.
The entire audit process the Senate led has been resoundingly criticized by election experts and both Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and the Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. While the report did not find any substantial differences from the officially certified results that showed President Biden winning the county by over 10,000 votes, it does allege various irregularities with the vote count that election experts dismiss as betraying a complete lack of understanding of how elections are conducted. While the results are disappointing to Republicans who hoped the audit would validate former President Trump’s unfounded claims of a stolen election, Republicans are likely to use the report’s recommendations — based on faulty data and methodology — to justify more laws restricting the voting rights of Arizonans. The failure to deliver a favorable result to the former president will also not stop ongoing efforts in other states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Texas.