Trump's failed 'audit' still opens the door for the GOP to ransack American elections: columnist

According to news that broke late Thursday, the results of a months-long hand recount of the 2020 vote in Maricopa County, Arizona, has confirmed that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and there was no mass voter fraud designed to "steal" the election from former President Donald Trump.

Writing in The Washington Post this Friday, Greg Sargent says that the audit's conclusion won't prompt Republicans to confirm that confidence in our elections is restored. Instead, he writes, "they'll use it to continue undermining that confidence, for the express purpose of justifying further anti-democratic tactics."

"Despite finding there was no fraud, the audit -- overseen by a firm paid millions by Trump allies -- also magically did purport to 'find' serious problems with the vote counting," Sargent continues.

As Sargent points out, Arizona elections experts speaking to the New York Times said the claim of serious problems with the vote counting are nonsense. In addition, the report declared its own finding that Biden won as inconclusive because the county's election's officials didn't "cooperate," and thus were "actively interfering" with the audit and preventing it from being "complete." Furthermore, the report recommends reforms which would make it easier to purge voters from the rolls and less likely for people to send mail ballots -- reforms that Republicans could seize on to restrict voting in the future.

"So we can see what's really happening here," Sargent writes. "Yes, the audit isn't declaring outright that the election's outcome was indeed fraudulent. But it is declaring there are still many reasons to doubt that outcome, that elections officials who actually operated in good faith are covering this up, and that the right response is more voting restrictions."

Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.