The Republican-backed so-called “forensic audit” of the election in Arizona’s Maricopa County confirmed President Joe Biden’s win and actually showed that he won by a larger margin than the county previously reported, according to a leaked draft report obtained by the Arizona Republic.
Former President Donald Trump and his allies have claimed for months that the audit led by Cyber Ninjas, a Trump-linked Florida firm, would prove their baseless allegations of fraud and irregularities. Instead, a hand count performed in the audit added more than 300 votes to Biden’s total and debunked several Trump conspiracy theories, including “Sharpiegate” and claims that tens of thousands of absentee ballots were counted that were never sent by the state.
Maricopa County Board Chairman Jack Sellers said the overall results in the draft report confirm “the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters.”
“That should be the end of the story,” he said. “Everything else is just noise.”
Republicans still cry fraud:
The draft report seeks to “minimize the ballot counts and election results and instead focus on issues that raise questions about the election process and voter integrity,” according to the report, though “analysts say those findings are misleading and built on faulty data.”
“What has been found is both encouraging and alarming. On the positive side there were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official canvass results for the county,” the draft states.
Republican lawmakers have been quick to seize on concerns raised by the audit while dismissing the finding confirming Biden’s win.
Trump claims win:
Trump claimed that the findings show that the audit “has uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD” even though a spokesman for the audit denied that.
“Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!” Trump said in a statement. “This is a major criminal event and should be investigated by the Attorney General immediately. The Senate’s final report will be released today at 4:00PM ET. I have heard it is far different than that being reported by the Fake News Media.”
But Randy Pullen, a spokesman for the audit, told KJZZ that the audit found “anomalies” but not evidence of Trump’s claims.
“Was there massive fraud or anything? It doesn’t look like it,” he said.