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An Arizona Republic reporter was kicked out Friday during an audit of the state’s presidential ballots after taking a photo of U.S. Capitol rally agitator and former Arizona Rep. Anthony Kern (at right) examining the ballots.

Kern’s name also appears on the ballots he was checking. He ran for re-election last year and placed last in the three-way race, losing his seat. He was also listed as Donald Trump’s presidential voter, according to the Republic.

Examining 2.1 million votes cast in Maricopa County only checks the tally for the US Presidency and Senate, races won by Democrats.

Kern insisted that Trump’s defeat was fraudulent. While still a representative, he signed a “joint resolution” with his fellow Republican lawmakers in an attempt to invalidate the state’s election results.

Kern was pictured in the crowd during the Jan.6 siege in Washington, Arizona Republic reported.

More than 40 Democrats in the Arizona State Legislature have called on the Justice Department to investigate Kern after the Capitol siege. His “own social media posts strongly suggest” that Kern was “present during the riot in Washington, DC on January 6, and actively cheering on the crowd, both before and during the attack on the Capitol.” indicates the letter.

He then “blamed the antifa,” the letter notes.

Kern refused to return his cell phone so that investigators could examine his emails and texts related to his trip to Capitol Hill that day, Newsweek reported.

Kern has denied any wrongdoing.

The CEO of Cyber ​​Ninjas, the Florida-based company the Arizona Republican Senate hired to handle the audit process, told reporters last week that workers were screened to ensure that there was nothing on their social media or other details that showed strong opinions in a way. or another. “

But Cyber ​​Ninjas itself is run by founder Doug Logan, a proponent of the “Big Lie” conspiracy theory that the presidential election was stolen. Months before the process began, Logan retweeted messages claiming that an audit would find hundreds of thousands of new votes for Trump.

Election and civil rights organizations are so alarmed that they have written to the Department of Justice for federal observers fearing the ballots will be damaged, stolen, altered or lost.

Evicted reporter Ryan Randazzo tweeted that he was initially cleared to go to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum recount location an hour late. He witnessed a confusing mix of boxes filled with ballots that were examined with no obvious organization.

But then Randazzo tweeted that he was kicked out after posting Kern’s photo.

A spokesperson for the recount operation said Randazzo was kicked out for taking a photo of a ballot.

“He tweeted a tweet that included a photo of a ballot. We are extremely careful based on the judge’s decision. He does not want the images of the ballots to be made public, ”said in Arizona Republic Ken Bennett, a former GOP secretary of state who served as the state Senate liaison. Republican for the controversial process.

But political reporter Jermey Duda tweeted that reporters had agreed not to photograph the ballots with discernible markings. He said there was no agreement not to photograph the faces.

The results of the audit will have no effect on President Joe Biden’s victory in the state by a 0.3 point margin, which has been officially certified for a long time. But claims of new votes for Trump could undermine faith in a legitimate election and lead to further unrest.

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