Recount efforts are continuing in other states after Arizona. Here’s the latest
A Republican-led recount in Arizona confirmed Joe Biden’s win, but politicians in other states are pursuing their own audit efforts
Some Republicans in Arizona are still pushing for additional election ballot recounts in their state and beyond.
A Republican-led review of ballots in Arizona’s Maricopa County failed to find evidence that voter fraud affected the outcome of the election and again confirmed that President Joe Biden won the county in 2020,
On Tuesday, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement that the report released last week “raises some serious questions” about the election and promised his office would conduct a review. Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, a Republican running for secretary of state, has called for neighboring Pima County to conduct its own review.
Gov. Doug Ducey is among the Arizona Republicans opposed to continuing recounts, though he said trust in the election system has been eroded and needs to be addressed.
“The outcome stands and the 2020 election in Arizona is over,” Ducey tweeted last week.
Biden actually picked up an additional 99 votes in Maricopa County as part of the recount, while former President Donald Trump lost 261 votes. Still, Trump said in a statement it was “a big win for democracy and a big win for us” and he’s pushing other states to conduct their own recounts.
Here’s how recount efforts and proposals are playing out in other states:
A bill that would require Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to appoint an independent third party to conduct a “forensic audit” of 2020 election results was pre-filed ahead of next year’s legislative session. The recount would begin in April 2022, last 60 days, and occur in only the most heavily populated precincts, thus targeting urban, liberal parts of the state.
Trump won Florida in 2022, and the state’s Republican Secretary of State Laurel Lee, a DeSantis appointee, said in July the election was “accurate, transparent and conducted in compliance with Florida law” and that her office was confident in the integrity of the vote.
On Monday, Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin called for a 50-state audit because, “To protect Idahoans’ electoral rights, we must guarantee through an audit that not only Idaho’s elections are secure but the other 49 states are conducting their elections fairly as well,” McGeachin said in a statement.
Republican lawmakers in the state Senate voted to subpoena election records earlier this month. The records, from the Department of State and from county election directors, are due Friday. At the first hearing about the recount on Sept. 9, the only witness, a county election board chair, testified that “nothing was found” wrong with the election when the county conducted its own audit, according to BuzzFeed News. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said earlier this year that the “sham election audit” was a “disgrace to democracy.”
Trump sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott last week calling for a “forensic audit” of the election even though he won the state. Hours later, the Secretary of State’s office announced audits of Harris, Dallas, and Tarrant counties, which Biden won, and Collin County, which Trump won. Audit documents call for a partial manual count of votes in the counties, but note the counts are already completed or underway, and required under Texas law. A second phase in spring 2022 will examine other election records, including voter lists.
Asked on “Fox News Sunday” if the audit was a waste of money that would contribute to undermining confidence in the state’s elections, Abbot said there are audits of every aspect of government, and audits of elections are “fundamental to our democracy.”
Wisconsin Republicans have launched three ongoing investigations into the 2020 election, according to Wisconsin Public Radio. A taxpayer funded $700,000 effort is expected to wrap in October, and the retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice leading the investigation said he’s open to issuing subpoenas. The state conducted a partial recount last year that confirmed Biden’s win, and the Trump campaign spent $3 million to pay for recounts in Wisconsin’s most Democratic counties that found no evidence of fraud.