Reading Time: 2 minutes Joe Biden: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (source: Joe Biden); User:TDKR Chicago 101 (clipping)Donald Trump: Shealah Craighead (source: White House)Сombination: krassotkin, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Reading Time: 2 minutes

I know you’ve all heard it, but…

A partisan, Republican-instigated review of the 2020 election result in Arizona failed to turn up any evidence of widespread fraud, a major blow to Donald Trump and other conspiracy theorists who celebrated the effort.

The investigation, which lasted several months, confirmed that Joe Biden did indeed beat Trump in Maricopa county, the state’s most populous county, Doug Logan, who led the review, told the Arizona senate on Friday. In fact, a hand recount found 99 additional votes for Biden and 261 fewer votes for Trump.

Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm leading the review, said in a presentation Friday afternoon to the Arizona senate that the discrepancies were “small”.

“The ballots that were provided to us in the coliseum very accurately correlate with the official canvas numbers that came through,” he said.

Despite that finding, Logan, who has spread election conspiracy theories, outlined what he claimed were anomalies in the count. Several of them were immediately debunked by Maricopa county officials, who fact-checked his presentation.

Shiva Ayyadurai, a failed US senate candidate who has espoused election conspiracy theories, gave another presentation filled with misrepresentations about the county’s process for verifying signatures.

Looks like it was money well-spent, eh!

Even though the review was sanctioned by the GOP-controlled Arizona senate, it was funded by $5.7m in outside money, much of which came from conspiracy theorists, including $3.2m from Patrick Byrne, the former CEO of and an additional $1m from a non-profit founded by Michael Flynn.

Election experts have widely panned the review, which they say was rooted in shoddy practice around a pre-determined effort to show there was fraud. Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican election lawyer, told reporters on Thursday that Trump allies were “desperate for a win”. In Maricopa county, he said, they had unprecedented access to look under the hood of an election. If they were not able to prove fraud there, they were unlikely to prove it anywhere else.

Republican efforts to conduct similar reviews are under way. Republicans in both the Wisconsin and Pennsylvania legislatures are moving forward with similar investigations into the 2020 race. And on Thursday, Trump called for a review of the 2020 race in Texas, a state he carried in 2020 by nearly six points. Texas officials said on Thursday they were beginning such a review in four of the state’s largest counties – three of which voted for Biden last fall.

Experts worry that the reviews suggest a new normal, where the losers of elections simply refuse to accept the results.

Trump is a bad, bad loser. He’s a cheater and a loser. He cheats t golf because he can’t win, he whinges in every context when beaten fair and square and claims foul play when there is none. It’s his MO and he’s been doing it for years. Go away, Trump.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...