Andy Biggs and co. want a full audit of Maricopa County's vote? OK by me (with conditions)
The Great Arizona Sharpie Conspiracy ran dry. Cries of bias, “green button” errors and glitches in the tabulation equipment have gone nowhere.
We are now up to Lawsuit No. 3 in the Republican Party’s effort to overturn Arizona’s vote for Joe Biden, this one objecting to Maricopa County’s hand audit of a sampling of the vote by voting center rather than by precinct.
But even if Republicans win the lawsuit, it won’t satisfy them.
So now comes Plan D. Or is it E?
Republican Reps. Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and David Schweikert are now calling for a full hand audit of Maricopa County’s election results.
“Americans and Arizonans must have full confidence in our election processes and systems in order to maintain the bedrock of our constitutional republic,” Biggs said, in a statement on Monday. “Although Arizona conducts elections with far more transparency and accountability than other states, there have been some issues raised about the integrity of some of our election systems within the state.”
The only real issue being this: Trump didn’t win.
The last lawsuit involved 191 votes
So now they’re asking for a hand check of every one of the more than two million votes cast in Maricopa County.
“Hundreds of voters in Maricopa County have signed affidavits alleging their ballots cast in the November 3 election may have been discounted,” they wrote, in a letter on Friday to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “Every voter has the right to know that his or her ballot was accurately tabulated.”
That’s apparently a reference to last week’s “green button” lawsuit alleging that voters were not given a chance to fill out new ballots when tabulation machines flagged their ballots for errors. The state Republican Party set up a website to find voters who claimed to be victims of green button mischief.
The Trump campaign and the GOP, in that lawsuit, claimed the president lost “potentially thousands” of votes when poll workers prompted voters to “press the green button” and submit their flagged ballots, invalidating their vote in whichever race the error was made.
Only it wasn’t “potentially thousands” of votes that Trump lost. It was 191 votes – votes that presumably would have been split between the two candidates – and the lawsuit fizzled within days of being filed.
A hand audit was a 100% match
Now we are, according to the congressmen, back up to “hundreds of voters” who say their ballot “may have been discounted.” So they want a hand count of every ballot in the county.
All two-plus million of them.
There is nothing in state law that requires it. There is no evidence of fraud or error that warrants it.
In fact, the hand audit of roughly 8,000 early and polling place votes – the one mandated by state law and witnessed by representatives of both parties – turned up a 100% match with the results tabulated by Dominion Voting Systems equipment.
That’s because the problem wasn’t with the machinery. It was with the candidate.
Trump just flat out lost Arizona and his most ardent supporters cannot accept that.
“A manual audit of ballot images will provide full transparency of Maricopa County’s election results,” the congressmen wrote. “This will ameliorate concerns voters have expressed, will tamp down rumors, and will assuage the concerns of non-Arizonans calling our election results into question.”
A full count won't change the outcome
I can’t imagine that the Board of Supervisors will go along with the request, given the fact that no problems were found during the sample audit.
And given the fact that even if every one of those "hundreds of voters" who claim their ballots "may have been discounted" are right in their suspicions, Trump still lost the county by 45,109 votes.
And I really can't see the supervisors going along with it given the fact that the GOP-dominated board actually handled oversight of Election Day voting this year rather than have Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, do it.
Still, I know that Biggs is correct. Many Arizona voters have indeed lost faith in our elections process, thanks to the non-stop conspiracy theories that have been thrown out over the last two weeks by Trump and Republican party leaders.
Do it, but only if we have these 4 things
So, in the interest of restoring faith in our democratic process, the supervisors should go along with the request of Biggs et al, to do a hand audit of every vote.
I would, however, require four things from the congressmen:
1. Provide actual evidence that fraud and/or widespread errors exist. Tweets don’t count.
2. Pay up front the millions of dollars it will cost to conduct this hand audit, which, by the way, must be completed by Nov. 23.
3. Agree to accept the results of whatever portion of the vote can be audited by Nov. 23. This shouldn't be an attempt to delay the inevitable but to restore the faith in our elections system.
4. And finally, offer a guarantee that when the audit is done and Biden is once again declared the winner, the Paul Gosars and the Kelli Wards of the world will cease with the crybaby conspiracy theories, accept the will of the people and move on.
Your candidate lost. It happens.