A hand recount of the ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona has confirmed that Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election to President Joe Biden in The Grand Canyon State’s largest county.
The audit was supposed to last a month, instead, it has taken several months to complete and was funded partly by taxpayers.
Cyber Ninjas, the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate’s lead contractor, presented their report on the state’s presidential election to the Senate on Friday, according to The Arizona Republic.
A draft of the document began to circulate Thursday night showing the results of the review’s somewhat chaotic hand count of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County, home to the city of Phoenix. The tally in the draft document showed a net gain of 360 votes for Biden over the official results.
The report showed only a less than 1,000-vote difference between the county’s certified ballot count and the contractor’s hand count.
The hand count shows Trump received 45,469 fewer votes than Biden. The original county results showed he lost by 45,109, according to The Arizona Republic.
Trump indicated in a statement on Friday that the report found “significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!” The fraud, he wrote in another statement, is “many more times than the so-called margin of “victory.'”
The report minimized the ballot counts and election results and instead focused on issues that raise questions about the election process and voter integrity.
Election experts noted the Cyber Ninjas had never conducted an election audit and found several problems in its report.
“Unfortunately, the report is also littered with errors & faulty conclusions about how Maricopa County conducted the 2020 General Election,” Maricopa County officials said on Twitter.
Maricopa County Board Chairman Jack Sellers said the overall results in the draft report confirm “the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters.”
“The one thing we’re going to get out of the review is this: Our elections were safe, secure, and accurate, and (former President) Donald Trump lost Arizona, period,” Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo told reporters outside of county headquarters in Phoenix on Friday. “And there is nothing else we can do and nothing else any of the election experts can do to change the minds of the folks who can’t accept the fact that their candidate lost.”
Meanwhile, some within the GOP are pushing to replicate the Arizona audit in other swing states where Biden won. Pennsylvania’s Democratic attorney general sued Thursday to block a GOP-issued subpoena for a wide array of election materials. In Wisconsin, a retired conservative state Supreme Court justice is leading a Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 election, and this week threatened to subpoena election officials who don’t comply.
None of these reviews can change Biden’s victory, which was certified by officials in each of the swing states he won.