Claim of Arizona fix kept Trump hopes of electoral fraud claims alive for months.
A Republican-backed review of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona’s largest county ended Friday without producing proof to support former President Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election, the Associated Press reports.
After six months of searching for evidence of fraud, the firm hired by Republican lawmakers issued a report that experts described as riddled with errors, bias and flawed methodology. Still, even that partisan review came up with a vote tally that would not have altered the outcome, finding that Biden won by 360 more votes than the official results certified last year.
The finding was an embarrassing end to a widely criticized, and at times bizarre, quest to prove allegations that election officials and courts have rejected. It has no bearing on the final, certified results. Previous reviews of the 2.1 million ballots by nonpartisan professionals that followed state law have found no significant problem with the vote count in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix. Biden won the county by 45,000 votes, key to his 10,500-vote win of Arizona.
For many critics the conclusions, presented at a hearing Friday by the firm Cyber Ninjas, underscored the dangerous futility of the exercise, which has helped fuel skepticism about the validity of the 2020 election and spawned copycat audits nationwide.
“We haven’t learned anything new,” said Matt Masterson, a top U.S. election security official in the Trump administration. “What we have learned from all this is that the Ninjas were paid millions of dollars, politicians raised millions of dollars and Americans’ trust in democracy is lower.”
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