GOP lawmakers from other states hope to replicate Arizona's messy election 'audit'


Republicans in Pennsylvania and Georgia want to force more reviews of 2020 presidential election results.

Republicans across the country are trying to copy Arizona's shoddy and scandal-plagued audit of the 2020 election results in an effort to keep up the lies that the contest was rife with fraud and stolen from Donald Trump — neither of which are true.

Republicans in both Pennsylvania and Georgia, which, like Arizona, President Joe Biden narrowly carried in the 2020 election, are trying to force similar audits of their states' election results, even though past reviews have failed to turn up any evidence of fraud.

The moves are giving credence to election experts' fears that Arizona's audit — which has been messily run by a Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist — will be copied by Republicans in other states who want to sow doubt about the system of elections.

On Wednesday, Republican state legislators from Pennsylvania toured the Arizona audit facility to learn the process.

State Sens. Doug Mastriano and Cris Dush, and state Rep. Rob Kauffman visited the coliseum where the firm Cyber Ninjas is conducting a hand recount of the 2020 election.

"We'll bring the information back to the Senate leadership, we'll back-brief them on the way ahead and then hopefully we can come up with an approach here to make sure every person in Pennsylvania can rest assured they have one vote and it counts," Mastriano, who was at the insurrection at the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, told a local radio station, according to the Associated Press.

And the Washington Examiner reported on Wednesday that more than 500 Republicans in Georgia sent a letter to GOP Gov. Brian Kemp to demand he launch a "forensic audit" of the state's presidential results — even though three previous reviews found no fraud or irregularities.

"We believe that anyone who has a problem with a statewide forensic audit in Georgia has something to hide," reads the letter signed by delegates to the state GOP convention, grassroots activists, and Vernon Jones, who is challenging Kemp in the Republican gubernatorial primary. "Our goals are simple: We want to discover the underlying problems that occurred last year and ensure that we never make those same mistakes again."

A group of election conspiracy theorists filed a lawsuit to try to force an audit of Georgia's results, but that process is on hold as Fulton County election officials seek to dismiss the litigation.

Three audits of Georgia's results have found there were no problems with the election. Trump simply got fewer votes than Biden, the first Republican presidential nominee to lose the state in nearly 30 years.

And an audit of Pennsylvania's results found that Biden did indeed get more votes than Trump.

But Trump has refused to admit defeat, continuing to lie about the election being stolen from him. He made the claim multiple times on his blog, which he deleted on Wednesday because he was angry it was getting measly readership.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Trump has grown obsessed with the audits, believing they will prove that he actually won the election. The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported that Trump falsely believes he will be "reinstated" as president in August.

Experts say these audits are all part of the GOP effort to sow doubt about the integrity of American elections to help justify the slew of voter suppression legislation state Republican lawmakers have either passed or are trying to pass across the country.

"Now we have a playbook out there, where if you don't like the results — by the way in an election that wasn't particularly close ... you just claim you didn't lose and in fact the process itself was rigged against you," Matt Masterson, a former Department of Homeland Security official who worked to ensure the 2020 elections were secure, told NPR News.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.