Republican leaders from several states have visited the Maricopa County audit site in Arizona, where investigators are examining the 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election. The audit, which began on April 23rd, is being conducted at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
The inflow of Republican members from other states is seen by some as an indicator of future audits nationwide. Kelli Ward, Chairwoman of the Arizona GOP, tweeted: “#AmericasAudit is soon to be #AmericasAudits! Arizona is leading the way to #ElectionIntegrity in America.”
Visiting the audit site
On June 2nd, two Pennsylvanian Republican Senators, Cris Dush and Dough Mastriano, along with state Representative Rob Kauffman, visited the audit site. Mastriano stated that he wanted audits in two counties in his state, with one leaning Republican and the other Democrat.
“Specifically, I like this approach in Arizona because it is scientific… I mean, what I saw there, there is no way that they can be accused of slanting or bias because it’s just counting votes, looking at ballots, and then doing the forensic analysis,” Mastriano said.
On June 8th, Alaskan Republican Representative David Eastman also visited the Arizona audit site. According to Anchorage Daily News, he stated that the audit visit would help in determining whether any of the lessons learned by Arizona could be applied in Alaska.
“I am grateful for the efforts that those in Arizona are making to increase confidence in their elections and hope we will be able to increase the confidence that Alaskans have in our elections as well,” Eastman said.
Three Republican legislators from Georgia, Marty Harbin, Burt Jones, and Brandon Beach, visited the Coliseum on the same day. Previously, Beach and Jones had signed an amicus brief in a Supreme Court lawsuit that sought to nullify the 2020 election results in four states.
The next day, the audit site was visited by Republican Vernon Jones, who is running for Governor in Georgia. On June 10th, Colorado Republican Representative Ron Hanks and Virginia state senator Amanda Chase also traveled to the audit site.
On June 11th, Republicans from several states visited the Coliseum:
- Wisconsin Republican Representatives Janel Brandtjen, Chuck Wichgers, David Murphy, and Rachael Cabral-Guevara. The trip was funded by Voices and Votes, a group backed by conservatives.
- Michigan Republican Kristina Karamo, who is running for the Secretary of State post.
- Utah Republican Representative Steve Christiansen.
- Oklahoma Republican Jackson Lahmeyer, a candidate for State Governor.
In addition to the above, officials from Washington, Oklahoma, Arkansan, Missouri, and South Carolina also visited Arizona’s audit site, according to Kelli Ward’s tweet.
The Arizona hand recount is nearing completion, and by some accounts, may have already been completed. In an interview with the Associated Press one week ago, Republican Ken Bennett stated that only a small number of boxes remained to be counted, and that the hand recount would be completed by the end of the month. The Gateway Pundit reported that the hand recount would be completed by the end of the day on June 14, but that results would still not be reported for several days.
Some workers have been tasked with taking photographs of every single ballot for a second stage review, aimed at ensuring that fake ballots are not involved in the audit process. After the audit concludes, a final report is expected in late July or August.
Meanwhile, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland recently stated that the Department of Justice (DOJ) intends to scrutinize election audits for voting law violations. His comments have attracted criticism from Republicans, with Arizona Republican Senator Wendy Rogers warning Garland against any kind of intrusion.
“You will not touch Arizona ballots or machines unless you want to spend time in an Arizona prison. Maybe you should focus on stopping terrorism. The Justice Department is one of the most corrupt institutions in the USA,” Rogers said in a tweet.
In a letter to Garland, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich stated that his office is “not amused by the DOJ’s posturing and will not tolerate any effort to undermine or interfere with our State Senate’s audit to reassure Arizonans of the accuracy of our elections.”
Brnovich stated that he is ready to “defend federalism and state sovereignty against any partisan attacks or federal overreach,” and warned that Arizona will not allow the Biden administration to “abuse its authority, refuse to uphold laws, or attempt to commandeer our state’s sovereignty.”
With reporting by Arvind Datta.