On Monday, writing for The Arizona Republic, columnist EJ Montini called on Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) to put a stop to the controversial partisan "audit" of Maricopa County votes, ending an exercise broadly panned as trying to validate conspiracy theories from former President Donald Trump.
"The Arizona governor doesn't want to do something that might offend Dear Leader and get himself Liz Cheney-ed or Jeff Flaked or Cindy McCain-ed, something that would result in a political excommunication, something like … telling the truth," wrote Montini. "But Ducey is not a stupid man. He is not a gullible man. And he has a family. He has sons. I'd guess the governor would like his offspring to continue living in a democratic republic headed by an elected president, not a banana republic headed by a delusional narcissist who has shown nothing but disdain for Ducey, no matter what the governor does."
Stopping the audit will be easy, argued Montini: "He can do so in an instant by following these simple instructions: First, take out a pen. Done. He would not even need to use it, but only threaten to use it."
The audit, which is taxpayer funded but conducted by a private company from Florida, has garnered national outrage for pursuing ludicrous conspiracy theories, including searching for traces of bamboo in ballots to prove they were faked in Asia. Even many Republican voters are fed up with the scheme, and one influential Arizona right-wing talk radio host who initially hyped the effort to re-audit the votes now calls the project a "clown show."
But Republicans in other states want to repeat the fiasco, with Georgia Republicans sending a delegation to Arizona to "get a blueprint" for a meaningless audit.
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