Biden won Arizona by roughly 10,500 votes, making his victory of about 45,000 votes in Maricopa County crucial to his win.One expert and critic of the review who had seen a draft report of the findings called those red herrings.â€œThe whole report just reflects on the Ninjasâ€™ lack of understanding of Arizona election law and election administration procedures,â€ said Benny White, a Republican in Tucson who is an adviser on election law and procedures.On Thursday night, without acknowledging the findings of the draft reports that had been rippling across Arizona for half a day, the former president said in a statement, â€œEverybody will be watching Arizona tomorrow to see what the highly respected auditors and Arizona State Senate found out regarding the so-called Election!â€.Election experts said the inquiry run by Trump partisans with unrestricted access to ballots and election equipment failed to make even a basic case that the November vote was badly flawed, much less rigged.The Republican president of the State Senate, Karen Fann, insisted that the review was a nonpartisan effort to reassure voters that the election had been well run, but faith in that pledge ebbed after she chose Cyber Ninjas, a firm with no prior experience in elections, to oversee the inquiry.While the reportâ€™s authors declared that their monthslong review of votes in Maricopa County represented the â€œmost comprehensive and complex election audit ever conducted,â€ the hand count of 2.1 million ballots and a review of voting machines and systems was plagued from the start by missteps and accusations of incompetence and partisan influence.Some elections officials said the draft reports offered an unlikely vindication of what they have been insisting for months: that Arizona ran a transparent, credible election in November.â€œThe numbers match up,â€ said Adrian Fontes, who as county recorder oversaw the election in Maricopa County and is now a Democratic candidate for secretary of state.The report takes an extended look at marker bleed-through on ballots, which was the source of a debunked conspiracy known as #Sharpiegate that claimed ballots filled out with a felt-tipped pen could not be read by machines in Arizona.Election experts pointed to the corrosive effect of the decision to stage a partisan review of the election results, with copycat versions in other states and further eroding trust in democratic institutions.Reputable election experts have said for months that the Senate review would be wrong if it concluded that Mr.
Trump lost Arizona because 74,822 Republicans, including 59,800 in Maricopa County, were unhappy enough with the former presidentâ€™s performance in office that they decided not to vote for him.The Republican who is now Maricopa Countyâ€™s chief election officer, Stephen Richer, published a 38-page broadside last month in which he rebutted fraud claims and excoriated Republican politicians who have remained silent in the face of efforts to undermine the November results
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