By Alexander Lomax
In my 16 years in Arizona, I have witnessed quite a few low moments from the AZ GOP. What is currently going on with our farce of an election audit may take the cake, however.
Our elections are amongst the most sacred of rituals in our society, with a proper amount of checks and balances in place to ensure accuracy. On top of all of the traditional checks, including the accuracy of our vote-counting machines verified at 100% accuracy by all 3 county parties, we have a split government with split duties for elections. With a Democratic County Recorder in charge of mail-in ballots and the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors tasked with managing day-of voting, it was a system uniquely hedged against any games.
None of this matters, however, since a former President can’t take a loss, and an entire party is groveling to his capricious whims in the hope that he may provide the golden ticket of an endorsement, or at least not attack them.
The battle cry was transparency, but the outcome has been disturbingly un-transparent. The sources of funding for this audit are a complete mystery, as is the methodology. Observation has been strictly limited, with reporters mostly in the dark unless they were able to sneak in due to the horribly lax security.
The firm Cyber Ninjas (leaving aside the incredibly sophomoric name for such a charged endeavor) was tasked as the right expert to take this role on, and they have bombed. Along with the fact that they have had no election experience before this, along with the aforementioned security issues, allowing with the fact that they showed a heavy bias before this, they have managed to underwhelm. How can they explain putting blue and black pens along with ballots? Did they not consider the potential for true fraud? Or did they consider it and we’re ok with the potential outcome? Considering their stated biases, that’s hard to answer.
Let’s be honest: when the people who hire you want to see an outcome, and when you have already demonstrated that you believe in that outcome, you will find a way to make that outcome reality, facts be damned. Tiny idiosyncrasies inherent in all elections will be blown out of proportion, questions with reasonable answers will be presented (sans answers) and used to sow doubt, and hundreds of thousands in AZ will continue to believe in non-existent fraud.
Regardless of the outcome, this purposeful deceit will have serious negative ramifications, and all of Arizona will be worse off because of it. Senate President Karen Fann should be disgusted at herself, but shame isn’t a trait that the ruling party here has traditionally been concerned with.