Republicans Now Want to ‘Audit’ Election Results in States That Trump Won
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers / The Daily Beast / Photos via Getty
The Arizona Senate's arbitrary, controversial scrutiny of 2020 ballots has become a popular target for Republican lawmakers looking to undermine the battlefield results Joe Biden won. And now the exam craze has even spread to the states that Biden lost.
Following the success of the Arizona audit attracting right-wing media attention, Republican lawmakers in the Trump-winning states are calling for Arizona-style audits or other election inspections of their own.
The Republican hunt for evidence of voter fraud, including in states that voted for Trump, shows how widespread the idea has spread within the party that the election has been stolen.
Focusing on fraud allegations enables Republican officials to gain money and attention from loyal Trump supporters, according to former Republican National Committee communications director Doug Heye. It also helps lawmakers align with Trump's claims of widespread fraud and flatter themselves with the energized Trump base trying to claim more power in the party.
How Trumpists attempt to hijack an election audit in a small New Hampshire town
"This is about two things, and these are symbiotic," said Heye. "The continued loyalty to everything that affects Trump and the appeasing of the grassroots or that part of the grassroots that still can't accept a clear loss."
Donald Trump won the conservative Utah by more than 20 percent. But Utah's Steve Christiansen (R) still traveled to Phoenix to see the Arizona exam in person and told The Daily Beast that he would like to see a similar 2020 ballot exam in his own state. Christiansen has asked a Utah legislative committee to consider its own review of the state's ballot papers.
"I wanted to make sure I got to Arizona during the exam," Christiansen told The Daily Beast.
The prospect of trials that could somehow question Biden's election victory has become a tenet for Trump supporters who cannot cope with the former president's defeat, as Republican parliaments across the country feel that the election has been stolen in order Electoral restrictions enforce the country. Some Republican voters have also become fixated on a "domino theory" about the election, which says that if the Arizona test proves a fraud in their elections, other states that have voted for Biden will fall like dominoes notices.
That doesn't explain why Republicans in states that voted for Trump are now demanding their own exams. When asked why he wants an exam in a state Trump has easily won, Christiansen said he was concerned after seeing proven evidence of election fraud across the country.
When asked about evidence of election fraud, Christiansen referred The Daily Beast to a controversial document by former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro. The Washington Post described the 30-page dossier as "perhaps the most embarrassing document produced by a White House official."
"For me, it's all about having free and fair elections," said Christiansen.
Republicans outside of Arizona have taken up this state's audit despite the fact that the trial - conducted by a little-known company whose founder flirted with QAnon conspiracy theories - was reportedly riddled with errors and procedural changes. At one point, election inspectors even hunted for “bamboo fiber” to prove the ballot papers were made in Asia and for fictional “watermarks” that some Trump supporters mistakenly believe were included on the ballot papers to detect fraud .
And yet Trumpist supporters are not deterred by this. Christina Bobb, host of One America News, has begun suggesting to politicians attending the Phoenix Audit that their own states should conduct similar investigations, even those who voted for Trump.
Jackson Lahmeyer, a 29-year-old Oklahoma pastor attempting to introduce Senator James Lankford (R-OK) from right, told Bobb in Phoenix that he was "blown away" by the Arizona exam and described it as "logistical." Masterpiece. "
After Lahmeyer requested similar audits in other battlefield states that voted for Biden, Bobb Lahmeyer asked if Oklahoma should conduct its own audit.
"I would even go so far as to say that it would be important in Oklahoma, even if Oklahoma wasn't exactly one of the controversial states," said Bobb, who raised funds to pay for the Arizona exam while claiming to make a report as a journalist on it.
Lahmeyer quickly agreed and called the 2020 presidential race a "stolen election".
On Monday, Lahmeyer shared his views with The Daily Beast, saying he believes Oklahoma either doesn't need "that thorough scrutiny" or no scrutiny at all.
Trump won North Carolina by more than a percentage point. But in that state, members of the state parliament's conservative Freedom Caucus are calling for an inspection of the voting machines in use in 2020 to see if they could have been somehow undermined into electoral fraud.
In a statement, the Freedom Caucus said its members want to check voting machines to see if they have modems that could connect to the internet. In a statement posted on Facebook, State Representative Keith Kidwell (R) said he wanted the voting machines to be inspected by outside technicians and promised to "ask these people the tough question about what's wrong with the machines."
Surreal GOP 'Audit' in Arizona is out of joint - and is just getting started
The North Carolina state electoral committee told The Daily Beast that it was working on a response to lawmakers. Kidwell and State Representative Jeff McNeely (R), who has also requested an inspection of the machines, did not respond to requests for comment.
Conspiracy theories seem to have already infiltrated the North Carolina Freedom Caucus' urge to investigate electoral fraud. In an interview with The Gateway Pundit, an influential right-wing blog that frequently advertises hoaxes and picks up on the idea of an audit in North Carolina, McNeely said he was familiar with what the blog called "weird food trucks at polling stations." "
The greater importance of the food trucks in terms of voting remained unresolved.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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