Tuesday, April 27, 2021

AZ, crazy AZ, hands over 2.1 million ballots to fraudster

You really cannot make this sh!t up. Well, I guess you can if you are a Republican in Arizona.

Charlie Sykes, in the morningshots.thebulwark.com, has some observations on your batsh!t crazy Arizona’s mishandling of 2.1 million ballots on a totally worthless audit. Now the reason I say “your” is because I’m too ashamed of our state and its throughly crazy GOPlins. Therefore it must be someone else’s fault for the ongoing fraudit.

Nothing, Gerard Manley Hopkins once observed, “is so beautiful as Spring/ When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush.” It is, as Tennyson wrote, the season when “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

It is also, apparently, the time for crackpots to bitterly cling to their delusions and push bizarre audits of an election that took place nearly 6 months ago.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Arizona election audit, which is surely one of the most guana-soaked bits of weirdness in our never-ending Season of Crazy.

The story so far: the AZ GOP Senate, pondering ways of keeping alive the Big Lie that the state’s electoral votes were stolen from TFG, “used its subpoena power to take possession of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County and the machines that counted them, along with computer hard drives full of data.”

They ordered the “audit,” despite the fact that three previous recounts had shown no problems, and no evidence of fraud. Despite that, the GOP senators insisted on a hand recount of 2.1 million ballots cast in the county that represents two-thirds of the vote statewide.

This is where it gets even stranger. “They’ve handed the materials over to Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consultancy with no election experience, run by a man who has shared unfounded conspiracy theories claiming the official 2020 presidential election results are illegitimate.”

The NYT has some details:

The head of Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based firm that Republican senators hired to oversee the audit, has embraced Mr. Trump’s baseless theories of election theft and has suggested, contrary to available evidence, that Mr. Trump actually won Arizona by 200,000 votes. The pro-Trump cable channel One America News Network has started a fund-raiser to finance the venture and has been named one of the nonpartisan observers that will keep the audit on the straight and narrow.

Predictably, the “audit” has so far been a clusterf*ck.

The audit has been beset by amateur mistakes that critics view as evidence the auditors are not up to the task. Hand counters began the day using blue pens, which are banned in ballot counting rooms because they can be read by ballot machines. For days leading up to the audit, a crew from a group of Phoenix television stations, azfamily, had unfettered access to the supposedly secure facility as auditors were setting up equipment and receiving ballots and counting machines.

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The Arizona story is worth keeping an eye on for at least two reasons: (1) It will likely be used to feed the Big Lie and sundry conspiracy theories, and (2) it is an indication of the metastasizing Crazy in the GOP. Notes the NYT:

Critics in both parties charge that an effort that began as a way to placate angry Trump voters has become a political embarrassment and another blow to the once-inviolable democratic norm that losers and winners alike honor the results of elections.

“You know the dog that caught the car?” said Steve Gallardo, the lone Democrat on the Republican-dominated Maricopa Board of Supervisors. “The dog doesn’t know what to do with it.”

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