Republicans are using lies about voter fraud to justify suppressing the vote in future elections.
The audit directly refutes claims from Donald Trump and his allies that voting machines were rigged and hacked to switch votes from Trump to now President Joe Biden.
The audit was requested by Republicans in the state Senate after Biden carried Maricopa County — the state's largest — in the 2020 election.
It was conducted by a firm hired by the Republican head of the state Senate and ultimately found the "tabulation equipment and election management system provided an accurate counting of ballots and reporting of election results."
On Nov. 4, Maricopa County conducted its first audit, a "hand count audit of election results" that found a "100% match to the vote tabulation machines."
Audits of nine other counties in the state conducted after the election also found no discrepancies.
The audit results come as Republicans across the country are using their baseless voter fraud claims to roll back voting rights.
GOP lawmakers in state legislatures have to date introduced 253 bills seeking to make it harder to vote, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice published on Wednesday.
The report followed an earlier roundup released Feb. 8 that showed Republicans in state legislatures across the country had filed 165 bills to restrict voting — meaning that in recent weeks the number of bills seeking to make it harder to vote has skyrocketed.
Arizona was one of the states Trump ally Sidney Powell unsuccessfully sued using baseless claims that voting machines switched votes. Her lawsuit failed, and the voting machine company Powell repeatedly accused of being rigged against Trump sued Powell for a staggering $1.3 billion.
The audit released Tuesday provides yet more proof that Powell's conspiracy theories are bunk.
Still, voting rights experts are worried about how the voter fraud lies Republican voters now believe will be weaponized to make it harder to vote.
"I don't say this lightly. We are witnessing the greatest roll back of voting rights in this country since the Jim Crow era," Michael McDonald, an election expert at the University of Florida, tweeted.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.