Maricopa County officials celebrated the draft report’s release as vindication of their official election results.
A hand tally from a controversial review of the 2020 election results in Arizona’s largest county closely tracked the official canvass, according to a draft copy of a report expected to be delivered later on Friday.
The tally from the review, which was backed by the Republican-controlled state Senate but has no bearing on President Joe Biden’s long-official victory in the state, found Biden defeated former President Donald Trump in Maricopa County by about 45,000 votes, a slight increase of Biden’s margin from the official count.
The review in Arizona has played a central role in Trump’s mythology that he won the 2020 election. Since leaving office, Trump has repeatedly spread the lie that he did not lose the election, and has sought to undermine confidence in the American democratic system.
County officials from Maricopa, whose county board of supervisors is controlled by Republicans and whose top elections official is also a Republican, celebrated the draft report as vindication of their election results.
“You don’t have to dig deep into the draft copy of the Arizona Senate/Cyber Ninja audit report to confirm what I already knew — the candidates certified by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General — did, in fact, win,” board chair Jack Sellers, a Republican, said in a statement. “This means the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflected the will of the voters. That should be the end of the story.”
POLITICO reviewed copies of a draft report circulated by the Maricopa county recorder’s office and the Arizona secretary of state’s office, both of whom have consistently opposed the effort in the state. Arizona media outlets — including the Arizona Republic, KJZZ and the newsletter Arizona Agenda — all previously reported on various drafts of the report.
A spokesperson for the secretary of state said the office can’t speak to the authenticity of the draft, and declined to share how the office received a copy of it. But a spokesperson for the effort told the radio station that their draft was “not the final report, but it’s close.” Requests for comment from POLITICO sent to a separate review spokesperson and Doug Logan — the head of Cyber Ninjas, the firm contracted by the state Senate to run the effort — were not immediately returned early Friday morning.
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