The Arizona vote audit is a big win for Trump even if it finds no fraud -- here's why
US President Donald Trump photo (AFP / Nicholas Kamm) and screen capture of Arizona audit count

In a column for the Bulwark, conservative commentator Amanda Carpenter detailed how a group of Republican lawmakers in Arizona worked around the legislature to push through an audit of the ballots in Maricopa County that will likely be used as a blueprint for conservatives in other states.

She also noted that every investigation will be a win for Donald Trump no matter what the verdict afterward.

According to the former GOP policy advisor, "To this day, there's never been an actual vote by anyone in the Arizona state government on this so-called "audit." There was never any discussion by a legislative body about protecting the security (and privacy) of those ballots. Or what practical issues might arise if the government lost possession of the ballots and related election equipment. The Senate president and Senate Judiciary chairman just . . . well, did it."

She then added, "And for the long parade of Trump-aligned GOP legislators who made the pilgrimage to Arizona to observe the audit, the lesson is straightforward: They might be able to pull off 'audits' in their states, too."

Why this is important, she explained, is that every audit feeds into a conspiracy that there was wide-ranging election fraud in 2020 because there can never be 100 percent proof that everything was on the up and up because that is how conspiracy theories work.

Pointing out that the head of Cyber Ninjas -- which is overseeing the Arizona audit -- has a sketchy past, Carpenter noted, "The people who commissioned the audit, the people who paid for the audit, and the guy overseeing the audit, all made their views on the election clear months ago and now, on the big screen."

Making her case that the outcome won't matter for Donald Trump and his fans, she wrote, "....the Cyber Ninjas have the same fallback plan as every other conspiracy theory in the history of humankind. All they have to do is offer the possibility that fraud could have maybe happened, somewhere, somehow. Go ahead, prove it 100 percent beyond the shadow of the doubt otherwise. In their minds, the burden of proof is on you to prove everything went perfectly, not on them to prove enough bad stuff happened to throw things off course."

Carpenter added that the audit --despite disparaging reports -- has already been an unqualified success for conservative propagandists because its very existence is something election fraud conspiracists can lean on after any election loss no matter how resounding.

"It showed how a few motivated actors can throw the political system into chaos for months after an election is concluded. And, bonus, it has provided loads of #content for the MAGA media and its various anti-anti-Trump sympathizers," she wrote before warning, "Until someone, whether at the Department of Justice or elsewhere, definitely demonstrates otherwise, [Arizona Senate President and Republican] Karen Fann has shown there's a new way for elected officials upset with the outcome of an election to delegitimize its results."

You can read more here.