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Pro-Trump Republicans flock to site of partisan audit of Arizona ballots

Lawmakers and Republican officials from at least seven states have visited or plan to visit the site of the ongoing partisan poll review in Arizona as former President Donald Trump continues to spread the lie that his loss was the result of fraud.

The Republicans who made the trip are among the most pro-Trump in their states, and the visits come as far-right media figures and lawmakers have joined the former president’s call to expand these exams at locations outside of Maricopa County.

Thursday, a Washington Post reporter Point Colorado State Representative Ron Hanks visits the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, where the Republican-backed review of Maricopa County election results has been going on for more than a month. Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase, who just lost her candidacy to be the GOP candidate for governor of her state, also visited the facilities on Thursday.

“Thank you to AZ Senator Wendy Rogers for the warm welcome,” she said. tweeted Wednesday with the hashtag “#auditeverystate”.

The GOP-controlled Arizona State Senate authorized the review of the ballots and hired a private company called Cyber ​​Ninjas to conduct it after President Joe Biden overthrew the state for the first time in decades.

Alaska State Representative David Eastman visited the Colosseum this week. Georgia State Sens. Burt Jones and Brandon Beach made the trip Tuesday looking for a “plan for a statewide forensic audit” in Peach state, according to a conservative radio host.

Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones visited on Wednesday, criticize Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, for his failure to do the same.

Randy Pullen, spokesperson for the review and former Arizona GOP chairman, told NPR that Nevada GOP officials visited the current tally on Monday while Wisconsin lawmakers may surrender this week. Auditors did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

The series of appearances follow a visit last week by a trio of Pennsylvania state senators – Doug Mastriano, Cris Dush and Rob Kauffman, who then called for a similar review to take place in their state. Their visit was followed on Friday by Trump calling on the Pennsylvania Senate to “perform a full forensic audit” of the 2020 vote or “there is no way” the GOP State Senate leaders “could be never re-elected!

Trump’s statement came after a key Pennsylvania Republican said his chamber would not initiate a new audit, saying Republicans there, as is the case with legislatures across the country, are standing by. focus on changing election laws after last fall’s vote.

“The PA House of Representatives will not allow any further audits on previous elections,” said state representative Seth Grove, who chairs the Pennsylvania state government committee, tweeted. “We are focused on fixing our broken election law to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

Mastriano, Eastman, Vernon Jones, Hanks, and Chase all participated in pro-Trump events in Washington, DC, which preceded the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill.

The visits to Arizona come as efforts to review last fall’s election persist in several swing states, with more than 2 million Maricopa County ballots reviewed at its center despite previous audits failing having found no evidence of fraud.

“I think people in other parts of the country should look at what’s going on in Arizona as an example of what not to do,” Bill Gates, a Maricopa County supervisor, told NBC News. helps supervise elections. A longtime Republican, Gates is one of the journal’s most vocal GOP critics.

Voter fraud in US elections is extremely rare. Trump’s top cybersecurity official called the 2020 election “the safest in American history,” while then Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department did had found no evidence of widespread embezzlement.

In Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and other presidential battlefields, post-election audits or recounts – in some cases, multiple of those reviews – confirmed Biden’s victory. But those who still question last fall’s vote say those recounts didn’t go far enough.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said scrutiny of the partisan vote in her state effectively creates a roadmap for Republicans elsewhere to undermine election results they don’t not like.

“They’re definitely writing the playbook here in Arizona to bring this type of, I don’t want to call it an audit, but in other states,” Hobbs told NBC News in a recent interview. “And it is dangerous. It continues to undermine the integrity of our elections. We are now more than six months after the 2020 elections. We know they were secure and that the results faithfully reflected the will of the voters.”

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