Arizona Senate audit liaison and former Secretary of State Ken Bennett promised in video posted over the weekend that every vote casted in Maricopa County will be carefully reviewed.
“In the November 2020 election, there were 2,595,272 eligible voters to vote and there were 2,089,563 who voted,” Bennett said in a video tweeted Saturday.
“And we’re going to verify every d*** one of them.”
His figures, which match the official Maricopa County tally, translate to approximately 81 percent of registered voters casting a ballot in November’s general election.
We had a very successful week and we aren’t going to stop until every damn ballot is verified! pic.twitter.com/G4dqA7ppsC
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) May 2, 2021
By way of comparison, there were 2,121,716 eligible voters in 2016’s general election and 1,608,875 ballots cast for a 74 percent turnout.
In 2016, former President Donald Trump won the county (which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area) over Democrat Hillary Clinton by approximately 44,500 votes or 2.8 percent.
In 2020, President Joe Biden won Maricopa by 45,100 votes or 2.2 percent of the vote.
Despite Biden’s victory, Republicans carried every countywide office in Maricopa, save for sheriff (which the incumbent Democrat held), including flipping the county recorder and winning the open treasurer seat.
Biden won Arizona overall by 10,457 votes (0.3 percent), the closest margin of any of the swing states that went for him.
Trump has weighed in on the audit multiple times since it began, most recently in a video posted over the weekend from an event from his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago.
“Let’s see what they find. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found thousands and thousands and thousands of votes, so we’re going to watch that very closely,” Trump said.
“And after that, you’ll watch Pennsylvania and Georgia, and you’re going to watch Michigan and Wisconsin, and you’re watching New Hampshire — they found a lot of votes up in New Hampshire just now,” he added, suggesting a potential domino effect.
“This was a rigged election, and everybody knows it,” Trump said.
This appears to be Trump at Mar-a-Lago telling his customers that the bizarre Arizona recount will be the first domino to fall in apparently somehow undoing the election? https://t.co/OPeck4o8Wh
— Philip Bump (@pbump) May 1, 2021
Despite numerous allegations of voting irregularities, no court has ruled that there was widespread fraud that affected the results of the 2020 election.
A news release from the Arizona Senate Republicans in late March said the audit will include scanning all 2.1 million paper ballots cast to look for irregularities, conducting a full manual recount, investigating the registration rolls to ensure only eligible voters voted and performing a forensic audit of the electronic voting machines and systems used.
The audit was originally slated to be completed by May 14; however, Bennett, who served as Arizona’s secretary of state from 2009 to 2015, has signaled it may go longer.
— Maricopa Arizona Audit (@ArizonaAudit) May 1, 2021
Bennett told KTVK-TV the audit may need to pause for a few days or move to other locations within the venue, the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, to make way for Phoenix high school graduations scheduled for the weekend of May 15.
“We can come back after that for as long as we need,” he said.
Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward — who is not involved in the audit, but monitoring its progress — said, “They want to do it, and they want to do it right.”
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) May 2, 2021
“This audit is to give the Arizona voting public assurance that our elections are secure, fair and honest,” she said. “Who doesn’t want that?”