This is the lead from Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
If you’re inclined to believe that facts matter, then the results of Arizona’s long-gestating review of the 2020 election results reaffirmed what was already known: JOE BIDEN won the election and DONALD TRUMP lost.
But in a political environment often divorced from factual reality, the so-called “audit” — we hesitate to use that word even in quotation marks — didn’t need to prove anything to be a success. Its findings were ultimately beside the point: The mere existence of the investigation validated the idea that the most outlandish claims about the election should be taken seriously.
Understood from that angle, it makes sense why “Friday’s flawed report from the Republicans investigating Arizona’s 2020 election isn’t changing minds or dampening enthusiasm among election conspiracy theorists,” as Zach Montellaro and Meridith McGraw report in a sweeping look at the trend. “Instead, the movement keeps gaining traction in the Republican Party.”
— Texas announced its own Arizona-style investigation of the 2020 results in four counties some eight hours after Trump issued a statement requesting one. More from the Texas Tribune
— Wisconsin’s review is well underway. There, “taxpayers are paying former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice MICHAEL GABLEMAN $680,000 to review the state’s 2020 election using an office created by Assembly Speaker ROBIN VOS,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
— Pennsylvania “now stands to become ground zero in the movement to ‘audit’ the election,” reports the Philly Inquirer. Earlier this month, Republicans in the state Senate voted to subpoena state records of “all 9 million registered voters’ nonpublic personal information, including the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers,” to verify who cast ballots and whether they were properly registered.
— In Michigan, RNC election integrity director JOSH FINDLAY told the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference on Friday that the GOP will drastically expand its poll watching and election litigation efforts in 2022, invest in better training for its poll-watchers, and file suit earlier and more aggressively. More from the Detroit Free Press
“Republican candidates up and down the ballot in state after state are adopting former President Donald Trump’s phony claims about fraud and stolen elections,” Zach and Meridith write. “And in Arizona, Republicans said … that the report made it necessary to consider more restrictive voting rules in future elections.”
All of which helps to explain why Trump hailed the Arizona audit results — which, to reiterate, showed him losing by a larger margin than the official tally — as a “big win for democracy and a big win for us.”
“Voters are demanding it,” Trump spokesperson LIZ HARRINGTON said. “It’s the number one issue of concern we hear.”
And meanwhile, Fat Nixon is just lying about the results from the fraudit in the Terrible Sand Kingdom of Arizonastan where he claims that they found 40K votes for him:
Guys, they are stealing 2022 and 2024 right now.
Republicans won’t stop using the Big Lie to undermine elections just because the Big Lie has been repeatedly, thoroughly, completely, embarrassingly exposed: it doesn’t matter to them one bit.
We need election reform, and we need it yesterday.