Photo: Sean Hobson via Creative Commons 2.0
The election in Maricopa County, the nation’s second-largest voting jurisdiction, went off without a hitch. That didn’t stop three Republican congressmen from sending a formal request to the county’s board of supervisors to perform a full audit of all 2 million ballots cast earlier this month.
There are two things that are not quite clear regarding the request: what they feel the issue is that would require the ballots to be audited and who they think this is going to help.
Republicans outnumber democrats in the number of registered voters in Maricopa County by about 100,000. Despite these numbers, President-elect Joe Biden won Maricopa County by 45,000 votes.
It certainly could indicate that independent voters are leaning to the left. However, the results in down-ballot elections could also point to Republican voters favoring Biden over Trump, a hard fact with which to reckon.
In nearly all down-ballot races in Maricopa County, republicans kept their seats including US Representatives Andy Biggs of Gilbert, David Schweikert of Fountain Hills, and Paul Gosar of Flagstaff who sent the email requesting the hand audit.
It’s not impossible that republicans ditched their top ballot position candidate in favor of Biden but still cast their ballot along party lines the rest of the way down. Trump was a difficult candidate for a lot of Arizona republicans to continue to support.
Signs dotting roads placed by “Republicans for Biden” have reminded us that, though the voters still consider themselves Republicans, they have only jumped ship on Trump. This certainly could explain the success of republicans in down-ballot races.
I can’t wrap my brain around what they are hoping to accomplish with an audit, particularly Schweikert who won his race in Congressional District 6 against Dr. Hiral Tipirneni by only 18,000 votes.
If it’s an act of solidarity with the Trump campaign to continue to make accusations of wrongdoing and demand recounts in order to try and recapture the state for that ship seems to have already left the harbor. The lawsuit against the state of Arizona that was once considered in order to retake the state from Biden has already been dropped.
Demanding an audit of the ballots is nothing more than a desperate attempt to waste the county’s time and resources in order to delay a formal announcement of the certification of the election results, which is scheduled to happen on Nov. 30 with all desputes settled by Dec. 8.
Let’s be clear that they are not asking for the system to be audited. The Republican congressmen are asking for a full hand audit of all 2 million ballots. That would take an inordinate amount of time to complete.
What’s hard to stomach about this is that there is nothing that would lead anyone to assume that anything went wrong or was improperly managed during the election. The initial hand audit of ballots showed that the process worked and that the ballots were accurately processed and counted.
The email sent to the board of supervisors did not call out and specifics that would lead anyone to believe that this level of scrutiny was warranted. It’s merely in line with a party cry that something went wrong that no one can put their finger on.
What went wrong was that Trump has lost the presidency and the seriously die-hard supporters of the president are having a hard time letting go.
The party can’t have its cake and eat it, too. There is plenty for them to celebrate in election results and the numerous wins, especially in senate races where democrats hoped to win seats to shift the power of the senate.
The president certainly isn’t doing anything to help the matter as he continues to send angry tweets insisting that he has won the election and refuses to concede to Biden. This is all the more reason why the Republican party needs to come together in order to allow the acceptance of election results.
If the election had been ridiculed with issues, technical difficulties, and massive delays in counting I could understand that people would want to ensure that there is accountability. However, I’ve not heard accounts of voters seriously disenfranchised by the system or making accusations that their vote didn’t count.
Even if there was a more public outcry, it is incredibly unlikely that any hand audit is going to change the outcome of the election. That's a pipe dream to which these congressmen are still clinging.
It’s time to let go and let people get back to work. We are in the midst of a serious spike in cases of Covid-19 and need to transition the leadership of our country in order to allow Biden to get a plan together in order to make headway on the pandemic.
We all knew that the transition of power was not going to be smooth but this is unnecessary, particularly in a county where republicans still maintain a high level of control.
The longer republicans keep making baseless claims of wrongdoing, the longer it takes to certify elections, the longer it takes to present Trump with the final writing on the wall. That is what the country needs in order to put the spike in the ground and call it a day with the election.
I’m all for public process and transparency and we’ve received that. Now, it’s a matter of stepping down graciously and moving forward. It’s not only needed for Maricopa County but for the whole country.