And yet in Mar-a-Lago, Trump is still complaining about his election loss. In Washington, Republicans just booted Liz Cheney, who said Biden was legitimately elected, from her congressional leadership post.
And in Phoenix, Arizona, they’re still counting – or technically, auditing – ballots.
What is the audit?
Republican audit backers theorise that if they can find substantive evidence of fraud then it means Trump really won Arizona. If Trump really won Arizona, maybe he really won other states he narrowly lost. And if he really won enough other states, then he really won the election.
All this requires extreme logical contortions, but it’s what they’re rolling with.
It’s also worth noting that the Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which ran the county’s election process and reviewed its results, stands behind their original tally and has had no interest in participating in the process.
So who is doing it?
The process by which the Senate chose the company is opaque, and extra costs are being covered by right-wing fundraising.
Already, Cyber Ninjas – which is paying individuals $15 an hour to conduct the audit – has made some basic mistakes, such as allowing blue pens to be used on the ballots. Blue ink is used to vote so this could potentially alter voters’ intentions.
The company also has been accused of leaving ballots and computers unsecured.
Cyber Ninjas owner Doug Logan is a Trump supporter who advanced conspiracy theories about 2020 election fraud last year.
Media access to the review has been limited, but one reporter spotted a former Arizona Republican officeholder, Anthony Kern, among those participating in the ballot-counting.
Kern attended the 6 January pro-Trump rally in Washington and was seen outside the US Capitol while some Trump supporters ransacked the building later in the day.
What are the auditors looking for?
They’re also looking for somewhat more, shall we say, unusual evidence of malfeasance. They’ve been holding ballots up to ultraviolet light, photographing them with high-resolution cameras, analysing folding patterns on the paper as well as its thickness and colour, and looking for traces of bamboo fibre.
Wait a minute, Bamboo fibre?
Brakey is quick to say he doubts such fraud is real, but the investigators apparently want to leave no stone unturned, untested and unsubjected to ultraviolet light.
As mail-in Arizona ballots are matched against registered voters, multiple votes cast by the same individual would have been flagged.
How is any of this legal?
A court did prevent the auditors from attempting to match the signatures on mail-in ballots with voter files out of concern over infringing on voter privacy, however.
Cyber Ninja contractors also abandoned plans to contact voters in-person to verify their ballots after the US Justice Department threatened to sue over concerns of voter intimidation.
What does Donald Trump think about all this?
Trump has also been demanding that the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, provide “large-scale security”, such as the police or national guard, for the auditors.
Security? Is this dangerous?
For instance, they worried that a nearby chemical storage area could be sabotaged by leftists as part of an orchestrated attempt to breach the counting area.
This hasn’t happened.
What do other Republican politicians think?
Given that polls show a majority of Republicans think Democrats stole the election, members of the party who are in favour of the audit are on solid political ground.
Some Republicans, including in Arizona, may be having doubts, however.
“It makes us look like idiots,” Phoenix-area state senator Paul Boyer told the New York Times. “Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous.”
And what do Democrats think?
The judge did require Cyber Ninjas to turn over copies of its procedures and training manuals – a move the company initially resisted, asserting that it needed to protect its “trade secrets”.
So, if none of this counts, what’s the point?
Few Democrats believe this, of course. They fear that the point of the audit is to simply sew further doubt about Biden’s victory – and pave the way for Republican state-level efforts to enact new voting restrictions that disadvantage their candidates and voters in the name of “ballot security”.
The audit was supposed to wrap up at the end of this week, but only about 10% of the ballots have been counted so far. The tally will now be suspended while numerous high-schools use the arena for graduation ceremonies.
Organisers say it could be completed in July.
Meanwhile in Virginia, the results for the Republican nomination for governor took days longer than expected because several candidates expressed concerns about ballot security and the impartiality of party vote-counters.
The Arizona audit may be less a cause of growing distrust in elections than a harbinger of what’s to come in American democracy, where every election is viewed with suspicion and every result subject to seemingly endless challenges.