January 19, 2022

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Cyber Ninjas, Derided for Arizona Vote Review, Says It Is Shutting Down – The New York Times

3 min read

“Many people in positions of power, they fed into this, for they simply turned a blind eye,” he added. “They’ve listened to the loud few and told them what they want to hear, and that’s the easy thing to do. But here, we don’t do what’s easy. We do what’s right.”

Right or not, some say, the county’s demolition of the Maricopa County review is unlikely to change much. In the view of some experts, the review’s findings were less important to its supporters than the simple fact that it was being conducted.

“It’s entirely a Republican base motivator,” Chuck Coughlin, a Phoenix pollster, campaign consultant and onetime transition director for former Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, said in an interview. Almost all of the state’s Democrats, a solid majority of independents and a fifth of Republicans dismissed the review from the start, he said — but for the remaining Republicans, it has been political catnip.

“These fake reviews were never designed to identify problems,” said David Becker, the executive director of the nonprofit Center for Election Innovation and Research. “They are designed to be part of a long con” that whips up voter outrage for personal and political profit.

Karen Fann, a Republican and the State Senate president, said in a statement on Thursday that the goal of the review was “identifying and implementing improvements in our election process,” and that Maricopa County had “finally” admitted it erred.

“Maricopa County took an important first step with us yesterday,” she stated, “and we look forward to their cooperation in improving election in our elections.” The near-total debunking of the election review by the county went unmentioned.

Others said Ms. Fann would face steep hurdles to achieve that goal. In Wisconsin, Texas and other states, Republicans have insisted that audits of 2020 election results were needed to restore flagging faith in elections. But on Thursday, an ABC News/Ipsos poll concluded that 20 percent of Americans were “very confident” in the nation’s ability to hold honest elections — and that Republicans, at 13 percent, had far less faith than either Democrats or independents.

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