Former President Donald Trump and his allies continue to spread the lie that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him by Democrats engaging in widespread voter fraud, and scrounging for any evidence to back the claims up.
A key focus has been the partisan autopsy of Maricopa County, Arizona—the state's largest county, which was crucial to now-President Joe Biden's victory in the state. Arizona's Republican legislature forced an audit of the county's votes, overseen by Cyber Ninjas, a private firm with no elections experience, whose top executive posted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election in the past.
The audit was repeatedly marred by conspiracy theories and efforts to keep its methods hidden from the public. One official said they were scouring ballots for bamboo fibers, based on the fantasy that votes were somehow smuggled from Asia. Another audit worker was also found to be a participant in the deadly failed insurrection against the U.S. Capitol that Trump's election lies sparked.
Now, after months of speculation and millions of dollars, a draft of the report on Maricopa County's ballots has leaked, further confirming that the election was not stolen from Trump. In fact, Biden gained 99 votes and Trump lost 261, further widening Biden's margin of victory in the state.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, whose majority-Republican members have been vocal in their opposition to the audit, shared the news on Twitter.
BREAKING: The #azaudit draft report from Cyber Ninjas confirms the county’s canvass of the 2020 General Election wa… https://t.co/sFzlbyTMgL— Maricopa County (@Maricopa County) 1632450548.0
They went on to note:
"Unfortunately, the report is also littered with errors & faulty conclusions about how Maricopa County conducted the 2020 General Election."
Few were surprised that the audit failed to vindicate Trump's election delusions.
Breaking—Joe Biden won and is president… still… again. https://t.co/By82AGhYB9— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding) 1632454120.0
this is extremely funny https://t.co/FUbRE64COl— Talia Bracha Lavin (@Talia Bracha Lavin) 1632452743.0
The giant sucking sound you hear is another attempt to impugn fair elections losing air. Waste of money, time and d… https://t.co/E22NrWbARd— Kara Swisher (@Kara Swisher) 1632484186.0
I don't know, guys. I'm beginning to think Biden won this election fair & square... https://t.co/s34vl0L3ZL— Darrin Hall (@Darrin Hall) 1632483307.0
When it comes to Arizona's 2020 presidential election, I can officially say: I AM tired of all the winning!… https://t.co/Th54j9Qy4b— Judy Stahl (@Judy Stahl) 1632487661.0
Like clockwork, Republicans who pushed the nonsense audit began working to move the goalposts.
Mail in and absentee voting is ripe for fraud. We need a full canvass of Arizona. And Attorney General @brnoforaz needs to do it.— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸) 1632453053.0
The “Biden Won" story is the left trying to get ahead of tomorrow’s Arizona Audit report by cherry picking the hand… https://t.co/Z2yQw6WxVP— Melissa Tate (@Melissa Tate) 1632457013.0
I just talked to Doug Logan via phone. The leaked draft is simply a draft and is only a partial report. Tomorrow's… https://t.co/8UjKixZ9n8— Wendy Rogers (@Wendy Rogers) 1632452954.0
Despite further confirmation that the election wasn't rigged, copycat audits are still sprouting up in places like Pennsylvania and Texas (which Trump won).