While the third-party security consultant “Cyber Ninjas” continue to review Arizona ballots alongside volunteer election auditors in the Wesley Bolin Building in Phoenix, some members of the Arizona GOP have become quite vocal about their disapproval and disappointment amidst the post-election spectacle. After a statement made by former President Donald Trump in which he claims, “The entire Database of Maricopa County in Arizona has been DELETED”, Maricopa County recorder Stephan Richer, a Republican, tweeted his misgivings about the situation, calling the former President “unhinged”. He goes on to say that these claims are “as readily falsifiable as 2+2=5” and that they must be called out as such. The persistent claims of a fraudulent election come even after the results have been investigated and confirmed three times by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. Since the statement was released The New York Times has reported that a number of other state Republicans have made public statements condemning the audit and pointing out its procedural flaws through the hashtag #RealAuditorsDont.
This clash over the validity of the Cyber Ninja election audit is representative of a much larger issue facing the GOP in 2021; loyalty to former President Trump. With massive popularity among the republican base and rumors of a 2024 campaign many republicans are hesitant to condemn anything he’s put his name on, but as several republicans become increasingly vocal about their disagreements with Trump, a rift is opening in the party. This is something to look for in the coming midterms, and of course in the 2024 primaries.
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