Arizona Republican rips his own party after anti-voter fraud crusade comes up almost entirely empty
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (Gage Skidmore)

Republicans in Arizona have repeatedly pledged to crack down on purported "voter fraud" in their state -- but a new report reveals they have very little to show after years of effort.

The Washington Post has conducted an analysis of actions taken by a special unit in the Arizona attorney general's office intended to ferret out voter fraud cases and found that it has only prosecuted 20 cases over the span of three years, which is only slightly higher than the 16 cases of voter fraud prosecuted in Arizona in a previous six-year period.

What's more, none of the cases prosecuted point to the kind of sweeping, systemic voter fraud that former President Donald Trump has falsely claimed cost him the 2020 presidential election.

Included among the prosecutions are "six felons who cast ballots though their voting rights were not restored, and three women who turned in ballots for their mothers, who had recently died," the Post reports.

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Rusty Bowers, the longtime Arizona House Republican leader, tells the Post that this experience shows that conservatives' fears about "voter fraud" costing them elections are vastly overblown.

"We’ve invented the smoke in order to say there’s a fire," he told the Post.

But Republican State Sen. Kelly Townsend says that the lack of mass arrests for voter fraud is proof that the office isn't doing enough work.

"It does make you wonder why aren’t they doing anything," complained Townsend, who was instrumental in creating the Arizona voter fraud investigation unit.