ORLANDO, Fla. — Frank Artiles, the former Republican lawmaker accused of bribing a spoiler candidate to run in an important South Florida state Senate election, had a business relationship with the political consultant behind an advertising campaign that boosted that candidate and similar ones in two other races — including one in Central Florida, records released Friday show. Emails and invoices obtained by prosecutors show that Artiles was working as a $5,000-a-month contractor for Let’s Preserve the American Dream, a politically active nonprofit with ties to the business-lobbying group Asso...
The Republican-backed "audit" of ballots in Maricopa County that Trump supporters were hoping to confirm widespread election fraud in Arizona has ended — and not only did it fail to find any substantial fraud, it actually slightly revised down the number of Trump ballots and up the number of Biden ballots.
But Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward had a different conclusion. On Friday, she called for a do-over of the whole thing.
Amazing report from Dr. Shiva. Many questions for Maricopa County as well as exposure of incompetence & possible ma… https://t.co/wp2eJdrt8X— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸) 1632517577.0
"Dr. Shiva" is a reference to Shiva Ayyadurai, an election conspiracist and anti-vaccine truther who has claimed he was the inventor of email and that Dr. Anthony Fauci is a "Deep State" agent. He was hired by the Arizona State Senate to take part in the audit.
The audit swiftly grew controversial due to giving selective access to right-wing news organizations and for pursuing conspiracy theories, including hunting for bamboo fibers in ballots to prove they were forgeries from Asia. Even some Trump supporters, like right-wing talk radio host Mike Broomhead, ultimately turned on the effort.
Bizarre pictures from Arizona as anti-vaxxers and election conspiracy theorists swarm the state Capitol
Conspiracy theorists converged on the Arizona state Capitol on Friday as dueling rallies were held.
"I'm outside the Arizona State Capitol where there's an anti-vax Medical Freedom Rally on one side of the street and preparations for an election fraud protest on the other," New York Times correspondent Jack Healy reported.
ABC 15 reporter Zach Crenshaw posted photos of the two groups.
I’ve seen the usual, armed militia-types. Oath Keepers, III %’s, and Proud Boys (in street clothes because “this i… https://t.co/dtdLZgpw90— Zach Crenshaw (@Zach Crenshaw) 1632502254.0
The Republican Party of Arizona was there.
The Republican Party of Arizona is at the Capitol watching the live results of the Arizona Audit! Come on down and… https://t.co/3A3a7PDYTV— Republican Party of Arizona (@Republican Party of Arizona) 1632516247.0
Here are some more images from the scene.
Sheriff Lamb up now:
“We're going to find out what kind of patriots you are. We're going to find out who is willing to die for freedom."
“How much resistance do you have?" pic.twitter.com/2B8uTC6D6P
— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) September 24, 2021
The scene inside and outside the Arizona state Capitol today in Phoenix as the results of the 2020 election review… https://t.co/Y8zIJ1NNvf— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins) 1632517220.0
As the hearing began, we had a few hilarious disruptions. This guy was playing a banjo and harmonica, but got screamed away buy some heavily armed folks. pic.twitter.com/EXWEMLEnPn
— AZ Right Wing Watch (@az_rww) September 24, 2021
Some photos from the rally happening now at the AZ Capitol. We’re now just over two hours away from getting the off… https://t.co/bivRUstywX— BrieAnna J. Frank 🌵 (@BrieAnna J. Frank 🌵) 1632506002.0
Current scene at the Arizona state Capitol: Hundreds of people have gathered to hear the results of the #AZAudit w… https://t.co/DGhV6sD0Q6— James Klüg (@James Klüg) 1632511004.0
Quick break, today's just a weird mix of everything. There's anti-vaxxers, Ivermectin fans, pro-audit folks, "justice for j6" people, some who were at J6 themselves, militias, AZ politicians & candidates, etc. pic.twitter.com/DmpyS3qmTH
— AZ Right Wing Watch (@az_rww) September 24, 2021
Couple of pics of the anti-vaccine, anti-mandate rally happening outside the Arizona Senate today ahead of the offi… https://t.co/EnQZlXOJ5T— Stacey Barchenger (@Stacey Barchenger) 1632511845.0
Was approached by three people that asked me why I’m wearing a mask outdoors at an anti-vaccination rally. The wor… https://t.co/q3H1asIwX3— Hunter @ 12 News 🌵🌻 (@Hunter @ 12 News 🌵🌻) 1632505516.0
Most controversial speaker by far was candidate for governor and former TV reporter @KariLake. The crowd started… https://t.co/ksAtVYC3Lm— Hunter @ 12 News 🌵🌻 (@Hunter @ 12 News 🌵🌻) 1632508805.0
Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (@sherifflamb1) also spoke at the anti-vaccine rally, telling the crowd they may los… https://t.co/1kO2cOWoCa— Hunter @ 12 News 🌵🌻 (@Hunter @ 12 News 🌵🌻) 1632510350.0
Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan on Friday admitted that his team of "auditors" made a mistake when they claimed that they found more than 74,000 "phantom" mail-in ballots.
During his presentation of the Arizona "audit's" findings, Logan explained that they mistakenly claimed that Maricopa County, Arizona had counted 74,000 additional mail-in ballots with no record of them having ever been sent because they were rushed for time, as reported by ABC 15 polling analyst Garrett Archer.
"Logan says that the 74k error that was made in the summer was because the analysis was quick since they were trying to justify canvassing," Archer writes.
CNN fact checker Daniel Dale earlier this year explained that the supposedly "phantom" mail-in ballots weren't mail-in ballots at all, but were rather ballots from people who had voted in person even though they had requested mail-in ballots as a precaution in case they weren't able to go to the polls.
"This county uses two early voting files that are not meant to be used for forensic audits," Dale explained on CNN this past July. "One of them are ballots requested by voters, one is ballots submitted by voters. That ballots requested file stops getting updated October 23rd of this year, but the ballots submitted file keeps getting updated with in-person votes until ten days later. You have thousands and thousands of in-person votes between October 24th and the day before the election where there won't be a corresponding entry on ballots requested file."
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