Arizona's Republican-led state Senate will begin an "audit" of November's election on Friday, and the spectacle will be broadcast online by the right-wing One America News Network.
President Joe Biden won the typically red-leaning state, and multiple bipartisan reviews have upheld Donald Trump's election loss, but Arizona's GOP lawmakers aren't ready to let the results stand -- and they're assembling a team of cranks to recount Maricopa County's 2.1 million ballots once again, reported The Daily Beast.
"You've got this former lawmaker who lost his last election," said state Rep. Athena Salman (D-Tempe). "You've got someone who was an elector for Donald Trump. You've got someone that's literally on the Brady list because they have a well-documented history of lying ... This is one of the guys that they bring in and say, 'That's who we need looking at these ballots and determining whether or not these are quality votes'?"
Former state representative Anthony Kern tweeted Monday that he would be involved in the recount, and Arizona's House Democrats responded by tweeting out a photo of him outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, although he insists he never went inside and has not been charged with any crimes related to the riot.
One of Arizona’s election auditors reporting for duty. #ShamAudit https://t.co/Q8vqyjPkEd https://t.co/Oe7PiD3Eim— Arizona House Democrats (@Arizona House Democrats)1618850467.0
The recount will be led by the Florida-based cybersecurity company Cyber Ninjas, whose owner Doug Logan frequently retweeted conspiracy theories by former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell -- who argued in her response to a massive defamation suit filed by a voting technology company that no reasonable person could have taken her claims seriously.
Logan also interacted on Twitter with rabidly pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood and former 8kun administrator Ron Watkins, who appeared to accidentally admit that he was the eponymous "Q" in the right-wing Qanon conspiracy theory.
"We are not commenting on the politics swirling outside of the audit," said a spokesperson for Logan. "The transparent and accountable audit process will speak for itself."
The audit will be livestreamed by OANN, which aired a highly inaccurate report in February on "The Arizona Election Heist," which falsely claimed 11,676 more ballots were counted than there are voters in Maricopa County -- when, in fact, 2,089,563 ballots were cast, or just over 80 percent of the county's 2,595,272 registered voters.
The network's Christina Bobb, who was responsible for that misleading broadcast, has also been raising money for the Senate audit.
Voices & Votes is excited for our second pledge to the AZ audit! We're raising funds to help cover costs of the pa… https://t.co/GdJ9AUOwNP— Christina Bobb (@Christina Bobb)1618534696.0
Reporters from other outlets have been told they may attend the audit as observers, but they cannot use notebooks or cameras during the recount.
The audit's outcome is ultimately irrelevant, because multiple bipartisan reviews have upheld Biden's win, which the state and U.S Congress have certified, but Salman, the state's House minority whip, fears the precedent that's being set by this assorted cast of kooks.
"They can't de-certify the election results for 2020," she said. "I wholeheartedly believe that they're testing the boundaries to see whatever they can get away with, so that they can do this whole performance again, and manufacture the results that they want coming into the 2022 election cycle."