PHOENIX – Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers on Wednesday visited an ongoing audit of the 2020 Republican-ordered polls and called on their state to conduct a similar review, the latest sign that political fights for last year’s election are far from over.
Arizona Senate Republicans have ordered an audit of approximately 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, which began in April. President Biden won Arizona by just over 10,000 votes out of more than 3.3 million votes cast statewide, in part thanks to a victory of about two percentage points in Maricopa.
Three Pennsylvania Republican state lawmakers visited the audit site at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on Wednesday and met with several Arizona GOP lawmakers to discuss electoral matters, according to the state senator. Arizona Republican, Wendy Rogers, who tweeted about the visit.
Pennsylvania Republican Cris Dush, a freshman senator from the north-central state, has said he would like his state to undertake a similar audit of the 2020 ballots, which supporters say is supposed to ensure transparency. “Forty-seven percent of the population of this country does not trust electoral integrity right now,” Dush said in an interview. “And my constituents are very angry, with the lack of any movement to try to find out what happened.”
Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano, a Republican, also called on Pennsylvania to conduct an audit, which he said could potentially focus on one Republican-leaning county and one Democratic leaning one. Mr. Biden won the state last year. “I don’t want to spill anything,” he said. “I’m just trying to find out what went well, what went wrong?” And how can we have better elections in the future?
Previously, Mr. Mastriano had traveled to Washington on January 6 to protest the presidential election results, although he said he left before protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol. “When it seemed like things were not going in the right direction… my wife and I and several people who were with me, we left,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.
Mr Mastriano recently told a Pennsylvania media outlet that former President Donald Trump asked him to run for governor next year. He didn’t say if he would show up.
Critics of the Arizona audit, including the Republican-majority Maricopa County supervisory board, say the audit was mismanaged and executed by an unqualified contractor and could undermine confidence in the voting system by amplifying unproven allegations.
Calls for a review of the 2020 elections have been made elsewhere. In Georgia, a state judge recently ordered Fulton County, the state’s most populous, to allow a voting group to inspect and scan mail-in ballots cast in the 2020 election. Fulton County, which includes most of heavily Democratic Atlanta, was at the center of Mr. Trump’s anger after his narrow loss in the state.
Also on Wednesday, Democrat Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, said she would run for governor in next year’s election.
Ms Hobbs’ profile has risen within the Democratic Party because she defended the state’s handling of the 2020 election against allegations by Mr Trump and some of his supporters alleging widespread electoral fraud in Arizona and elsewhere. There is no evidence of large-scale wrongdoing, and Mr. Trump’s Justice Department said there was no evidence of fraud significant enough to call the outcome into question.
In an almost three-minute video announcing her campaign, which addressed a number of issues, Ms Hobbs review included of the audit ordered by the Republicans in Maricopa.
“The other side is not offering policies to improve our lives,” she said in the video, which showed footage of the audit. “They come up with plots that only make our lives worse.”
Current Republican Governor Doug Ducey is due to resign in January 2023 due to term limits. A number of candidates from both parties have said they will run for him.
Write to Alexa Corse at [email protected]
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