But official records show — and the investigators’ own machine count of the 2.1 million ballots effectively confirmed — that those 40 boxes actually contained 48,371 ballots, or 15,692 more than were counted.
The worksheet indicated that nine of the boxes had not been counted at all. But even if those boxes were excluded from the tally, the count of the remaining boxes fell 4,852 ballots short of the correct total, the experts said.
With similar reviews now set for Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas, it’s increasingly clear that Arizona’s partisan review succeeded while it failed — by amplifying baseless talking points while failing in any factual way to back up Mr. Trump’s claims of a rigged election.
The Arizona-style reviews in other states seem likely to follow the same script with the blessing of the Republican political leaders who are promoting them, said Nate Persily, a Stanford University law professor, elections expert and scholar of democracy.
“For those who are pushing the fraud narrative, the actual truth is beside the point,” he said. “The idea that the election was stolen is becoming a tribe-defining belief. It’s not about proving something at this point. It’s about showing fealty to a particular description of reality.”
Indeed, in the wake of the initial Cyber Ninjas report, Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate only furthered their resolve to press ahead with a review of the election, one that includes a request for drivers’ license numbers and partial Social Security numbers of all 7 million Pennsylvania voters.
“The historic audit in Maricopa County is complete and significant findings have been brought to light,” said State Senator Doug Mastriano, a Republican and leading proponent of the election review, in a statement last week. “If these types of issues were uncovered in Maricopa County, imagine what could be brought to light from a full forensic audit in other counties around the U.S. who processed mass amounts of mail-in ballots.”
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