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Arizona

2020 Election Fallout

Based on the false narrative about voter fraud spread by Trump and his allies, election denialism has raged on in Arizona since the 2020 election. 

  • Key Republicans—including then GOP State Chair Kelli Ward—attempted to subvert the results by submitting fake Electoral College documents to Congress as part of the Jan. 6, 2021 certification process. 
  • Republican state senators led by then Senate President Karen Fann demanded a partisan forensic “audit” of the results in Maricopa County. 
  • Funded by taxpayers to the tune of $5.5 million, the audit was primarily conducted by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based company that has since gone out of business but was managed by Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist Doug Logan, who was also part of a coordinated effort to overturn the 2020 election results in three other swing states. 
  • In the end, the discredited Cyber Ninjas audit in Maricopa County failed to surface any evidence of systemic fraud, and the results showed that Trump lost to Biden by a larger margin than initially reported.
  • In January 2022, the Maricopa County Elections department released a report titled Correcting the Record in which it rejected each of the 76 claims made by Arizona Senate Republicans regarding the 2020 election results. “Despite all evidence to the contrary, false allegations continue to persist and damage voter confidence,” the report stated.
  • In May 2022, Maricopa County elections officials rebuked then Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) for issuing a report the previous month as part of his campaign for a U.S. Senate seat that was “full of false innuendo and misrepresentations” about the 2020 election. “When election integrity is challenged, we have the collective responsibility to investigate and report our conclusions thoroughly and honestly. We have. You have not,” county leaders wrote. “The 2020 election was fair and the results indisputable. Rather than being truthful about what your office has learned about the election, you have omitted pertinent information, misrepresented facts, and cited distorted data to seed doubt about the conduct of elections in Maricopa County.”
  • In June 2022, the FBI subpoenaed then Senate President Karen Fann’s records related to the Cyber Ninjas audit as part of its probe into state-level interference in the 2020 presidential election. 
  • In February 2023, Arizona’s new Democratic attorney general released information her predecessor had hidden from the public, revealing that investigators in the AG’s office had long ago concluded that nearly all findings of the audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County commissioned by the state Senate were unfounded. As part of his political calculus in his bid for the GOP Senate nomination, Brnovich withheld that information and ultimately left office without releasing it.
  • In May 2023, the Justice Department’s special counsel subpoenaed the Arizona secretary of state’s office requesting records related to lawsuits filed by Ward and the Trump campaign alleging that election machines in the state had erroneously rejected ballots from voters (lawsuits that were ultimately tossed out by Arizona courts). 
  • In July 2023, former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) told CNN that FBI agents had interviewed him in conjunction with the special counsel’s investigation into the 2020 election. As part of their subversion efforts, Trump and senior advisers had pressured Bowers to decertify the Arizona’s electors for Biden, which he refused to do. 
  • In April 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal brought by Senate candidate Kari Lake and extremist State Rep. Mark Finchem (who lost his 2022 race for Arizona secretary of state) that challenged the state’s electronic voting machines. 

In April 2024, Arizona’s attorney general indicted a number of Trump’s closest allies and all of the state’s fake electors on charges of conspiracy, fraud, and forgery related to keeping the former president in office despite his loss at the polls. Among those indicted in the case are Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, and Christina Bobb; his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows; his legal strategist Boris Epshteyn; and campaign operative Mike Roman. The former president is also named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.