Political pilgrimages are nothing new in Arizona, where Republican politicians have long enjoyed photo ops in front of the Mexican border wall. But now the draw is at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, the site of a former basketball arena where a Trump supporter who promoted electoral conspiracies oversees a hand count of 2.1 million Maricopa County ballot papers.
Recent visitors are Pennsylvania Sens. Doug Mastriano and Cris Dush and Rep. Rob Kauffman. They met with Arizona lawmakers at the Capitol before traveling to the audit site for a briefing from the auditors.
“We’re going to bring the information back to the Senate leadership, let them know how we’re going, and then hopefully find an approach to ensure that every person in Pennsylvania can be sure that they have a vote and” it matters, “Mastriano told a radio host from WEEO-FM.
Pennsylvania lawmakers and other members of their delegation spent about 20 minutes on the arena floor, where volunteers counted ballots and took photos. Doug Logan, the head of Cyber Ninjas, the company that ran the audit, showed them around.
Mastriano then spoke to conservative media outlets but ignored journalists from the Associated Press and other mainstream news sources.
When asked by a reporter if he would like to see a replay of the Arizona audit, Pennsylvania, Dush said, “Without question. Absolutely.”
As Trump and his allies claimed without evidence last year that his Arizona loss was marred by fraud, the Arizona Senate GOP used its subpoena to gain access to all ballot papers, counting machines, and hard drives full of election data in Maricopa County, home of Phoenix, and get 60% of Arizona voters.
They handed everything over to a team led by Cyber Ninjas, a small consulting firm with no prior voting experience for hand counting and analysis of vote counting machines and data.
The effort will not change President Joe Biden’s victory, and election experts have pointed to major flaws in the process. But it has become a model for Republicans in other states hoping to find evidence of conspiracy theories.
“I believe Arizona will be the launch pad for electoral testing and electoral integrity efforts in this great country,” said Gaetz. He listed the swing states where Trump lost in 2020.
Greene said the stage was why she and Gaetz chose Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, as the second stop on their America First rally tour.
“Matt said, ‘Did you follow the Arizona audit?” “Greene said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve been following it.’ He said, ‘Let’s go to Arizona.’ I said, ‘Count me.’ “
Mastriano has become a one-man force in Pennsylvania conservative politics, leading anti-mask protests last year, pressing for Trump’s re-election loss to be overturned, and surfacing outside the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 riots.
In November, Mastriano organized a hearing in Gettysburg with Rudy Giuliani and a phone call from Trump claiming the president claimed the election was rigged and urged state lawmakers to overturn the outcome.
All three visiting Pennsylvania MPs were among the 64 Republican lawmakers who signed a letter asking the state congressional delegation to object to the Pennsylvania electoral college voting for Biden.