Arizona audit divides wobbling state GOP

Elections

State Senate Republicans’ audit of the 2020 vote in Maricopa County has others worried the party is marginalizing itself ahead of the midterms.

A contractor working for Cyber Ninjas, who was hired by the Arizona State Senate, transports ballots from the 2020 general election at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 1, 2021 in Phoenix, Ariz. | Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

By JAMES ARKIN

 

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Arizona Republicans have an opportunity in 2022 to claw back ground they’ve lost as the state shifted towards Democrats. But first, the fight over 2020 has to end.

Republicans in the state are still divided over the results of the last election, months after President Joe Biden was sworn into office. An ongoing and extraordinary audit of the 2020 vote count in the state’s largest county — rooted in conspiracy theories and the false belief that Biden’s election was not legitimate — is deepening the schism six months after the election, with no clear end in sight.

The GOP-controlled state Senate subpoenaed ballots from Maricopa County, where more than half of Arizona’s voters live, and hired a previously unknown private firm to conduct the audit. Republican supporters say the effort is necessary to ease concerns of voters about the 2020 vote count.

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