The official .GIF of the Arizona fraudit, allegedly.

Giphy

The worm may be turning on the Arizona GOP's big and endless fraudit, where they're UV-scanning the ballots for signs of stray bamboo or whatever, to prove that the Arizona elections in 2020 won by Democrats (but not the ones won by Republicans) were FRAUD from 'GIIIIIIIIINA. (The fraudit is paused right now, because the fraud-finding center was needed for important high school graduation purposes. But after that they'll find the fraud!)

Last week, Arizona GOP state Senator Paul Boyer said out loud that the whole charade "makes us look like idiots."

Now, a week later, the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County, which is heavily Republican, is sounding the same "you're making us look like idiots" alarm. And they've sent a letter to Karen Fann, the Republican Arizona Senate president, asking her to please stop this shit.

In a fiery public meeting and subsequent letter to state Senate President Karen Fann, the board members said the audit has been inept, promoted falsehoods and defamed the public servants who ran the fall election.

Calling the process a "spectacle that is harming all of us," the five members of the board — including four Republicans — asked the state Senate to recognize that it is essential to call off the audit, which officials have said is only about one-quarter complete.

"It is time to make a choice to defend the Constitution and the Republic," they wrote. "We stand united together to defend the Constitution and the Republic in our opposition to the Big Lie. We ask everyone to join us in standing for the truth," they added, using a term that refers to the false claim that the election was stolen.

"Our state has become a laughingstock," the county officials wrote. "Worse, this 'audit' is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic."

They called it a "sham" and also a "con." The Washington Post notes that the Democratic county sheriff and the Republican county recorder also joined in signing the letter.


The Post reports that this comes after the board had some fun on Friday talking about the fraudit on Twitter:

On Friday, the county used its official Twitter account to blast the Senate's review, repeatedly using the hashtag "#RealAuditorsDont" in a long thread. Entries included "#RealAuditorsDont Release false 'conclusions' without understanding what they are looking at" and "#RealAuditorsDont Hire known conspiracy theorists." Citing the county's own previously concluded audits, they wrote, "We know auditing. The Senate Cyber Ninja audit is not a real audit."

That is a pretty good list of things #RealAuditorsDont do!

This latest tempest started last week when Fann alerted the county board of supervisors that her very real and very expert crack team of QAnon Inspector Gadgets had allegedly found MANY IRREGULARITIES with the election. After that letter, and after a meeting of the board last week — again, four out of five of them are Republicans — the Republican chairman, Jack Sellers, made a statement calling bullshit on the Cyber Ninjas and the entire fraudit:

Sellers said those claims, described in a letter by state Senate President Karen Fann (R), were "false and ill-informed."

"I know you have all grown weary of the lies and half-truths six months after the 2020 General Election," he wrote. He added that the private contractors — led by a Florida firm called Cyber Ninjas, whose founder has promoted baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election — "are in way over their heads."

"This is not funny," he wrote. "This is dangerous."

That was greeted by many HUFFINGS AND PUFFINGS from Arizona Republicans who apparently don't believe in democracy and don't mind looking like idiots. Here's a huffing, and also a puffing, from Warren Petersen, the chair of the judiciary committee in the state Senate:

And of course, they are huffing and puffing about the letter they just got back from the county board. Here's Fann:

Sounds like she doesn't like this new letter!

We included a couple excerpts above, but it really is a thing FOR BEHOLDING. The Board of Supervisors seem pretty mad! They demand Fann and the frauditors stop spreading "false" and "defamatory" accusations about them, including on Twitter, which are "beneath the dignity of the Senate."

For instance, the frauditors are accusing the county of deleting data. To which the Board replies (bolding ours):

Your tweet, which relies on the "modified date" shown in the screenshot as evidence of wrongdoing, is demonstrably false; the only thing it does demonstrate is your auditors' incompetence. Their stunning lack of a basic understanding for how their software works is egregious and only made worse by the false tweet sent defaming the hardworking employees of Maricopa County.

That the Senate would launch such a grave accusation via Twitter not only before waiting for an answer to your questions, but also before your so called "audit" demonstrates to the world that the Arizona Senate is not acting in good faith, has no intention of learning anything about the November 2020 General Election, but is only interested in feeding the various festering conspiracy theories that fuel the fundraising schemes of those pulling your strings. You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum, hunting for bamboo and something they call "kinematic artifacts" while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.

That's just page two.

Have we reminded you that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is majority-Republican and the chairman is a Republican?

The Board brings receipts throughout to show what a fucking idiot the "Cyber Ninjas" really are. They preface their receipts by saying that "Your various questions about our election procedures reveal a serious lack of understanding of election law," we guess to remind everybody reading that there are both stupid questions and stupid people, and they're having to respond to both right now. They demonstrate their commitment to being thorough in answering the stupid questions of stupid people with statements like "Because it is obvious that your contractors have no understanding of these matters, a brief tutorial is in order ... "

And then they give tutorials! With diagrams and pictures!

As the letter nears its close, the board sends its regrets that it will not be attending a meeting Fann called for later today. It's not that they're washing their hair, it's more that ...

We will not be responding to any additional inquiries from your "auditors". Their failure to understand basic election processes is an indication you didn't get the best people to perform in your political theatre. We have wasted enough County resources. People's tax dollars are real, your "auditors" are not.

And then the letter comes in for its big, gorgeous finish. Just going to paste the last few grafs right here and bold some really funny parts:

Our state has become a laughingstock. Worse, this "audit" is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic.

Your "auditors" began the "audit" unaware that using blue pens on ballots could harm them, and apparently would have distributed blue pens to those conducting the recount of ballots had a reporter not informed them. It has gone downhill from there. Your "audit," which you once said was intended to increase voters' confidence in our electoral process, has devolved into a circus.

You are using purple lights and spinning tables. You are hunting for bamboo. These are not things that serious auditors of elections do.

You are photographing ballots contrary to the laws that the Senate helped enact, and you are sending those images to unidentified places and people. You have repeatedly lost control of your twitter account, which has tweeted things that appear to be the rantings of a petulant child—not the serious statements of a serious audit.

None of this is inspiring confidence. None of this will cause our citizens to trust elections. In fact, it is having the opposite result. You certainly must recognize that things are not going well at the Coliseum. You also must know that the County's election was free and fair, and that our Elections Department did an outstanding job conducting it.

Unfortunately, this has become a partisan issue, and it should not be one. It is time to make a choice to defend the Constitution and the Republic. As County elected officials, we come from different political parties, but we stand united together to defend the Constitution and the Republic in our opposition to the Big Lie. We ask everyone to join us in standing for the truth. The November 3, 2020 general election was free and fair and conducted by the Elections Department with integrity and honor.

Regardless of your intentions when you decided to subpoena our equipment and ballots, this cannot really be what you envisioned. You, Senate President Fann, are the only one with the power to immediately end it. We implore you to recognize the obvious truth: your "auditors" are in way over their heads. They do not have the experience necessary to conduct an audit of an election. They do not know the laws, nor the procedures, nor the best practices. It is inevitable that they will arrive at questionable conclusions.

It is time to end this. For the good of the Senate, for the good of the Country and for the good of the Democratic institutions that define us as Americans.

"You are hunting for bamboo." They coulda just ended there.

Would've still been awesome.

[Washington Post / ibid.]

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Evan Hurst

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