For Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters, the Republican-led Arizona Senate’s “forensic audit” of more than 2 million ballots last November offered a chance to prove election fraud, or even overturn Joe Biden’s victory. Right-wing media were enthralled by the ballot counters’ often bizarre practices, including hunts for ballots made of bamboo fibers and suspicious ballot folds that would supposedly indicate Democratic election theft.
But more than four months have passed since the initial date the report on the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County was first promised, and the audit’s supporters are getting restless. The ballot count ended this summer and the ballot-counters even held a two-month reunion on Wednesday night. A number of issues have delayed the report, including a COVID-19 outbreak that infected the head of audit operator “Cyber Ninjas” and two of his employees.
State Senator Wendy Rogers (R), whose advocacy for the audit has turned her into an up-and-coming figure on the national Republican fringe, this week acknowledged critics who have called the audit, in her words, “fake” and “not real.” Rogers claims the final report will be delivered to the Arizona state Senate next week.