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2020 Election Fight Still Alive in Arizona—and It's Heated

Audit is underway, but Republican election officials in Maricopa County call out 'insane lies'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2021 10:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you thought the fighting over Election 2020 was over, think again. It's not only still underway in Arizona—tensions have reached a boiling point. But this isn't about Democrats pushing back against GOP claims. It's about GOP election officials in the state's most populated county pushing back in dramatic fashion against fellow Republicans in the state Senate. Coverage:

  • The audit: The state Senate, led by GOP President Karen Fann, ordered an audit of election results that began last month. It's being conducted by a Florida company called Cyber Ninjas, whose chief executive has publicly backed former President Trump's allegations of rigged voting, reports the Washington Post.

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  • The allegations: The auditors say they uncovered irregularities in Maricopa County, such as deleted files. But the county Board of Supervisors—made up of four Republicans and one Democrat—isn't having it. The GOP chairman, Jack Sellers, dished off a detailed refutation of the auditor's claims, as well as a scathing letter to Fann, and he criticized "a grift disguised as an audit" at a meeting on Monday, per the New York Times.
  • Details: No files were deleted, Sellers said Monday. The auditors "can't find the files because they don't know what they're doing," he added, per the AP. County officials were supposed to attend a meeting on Tuesday called by Fann about all this, but they're done cooperating. "I will not be responding to any more requests from this sham process," said Sellers, per the Times. "Finish what you call an audit and be ready to defend your report in a court of law. We all look forward to it." The paper notes that the county has investigated and upheld its 2020 results three times. Biden won by a narrow margin among the 2.1 million votes cast.
  • Trump: Former President Trump weighed in with a statement over the weekend, picking up on the auditor's claims and declaring that the "entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED!" per the Washington Examiner. The county's top election official, Republican Stephen Richer, called Trump's allegations "unhinged" in response. "We can't indulge these insane lies any longer," he wrote. "As a party. As a state. As a country. This is as readily falsifiable as 2+2=5." The supervisors' letter similarly complained that the audit is making the state a "laughingstock."
(Read more Arizona stories.)

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