Washington, D.C. — On the heels of Arizona’s embarrassing election audit results proving what the public already knew — that there was no widespread voter fraud, Donald Trump lost the election, and Joe Biden won — government watchdog Accountable.US called on the politicians pushing for a similar dubious audit in Michigan to explain why they want to continue wasting taxpayers’ time and money.  

“The Republican sham ‘audit’ in Arizona was about keeping the Big Lie alive, plain and simple. By just calling for an audit, these lawmakers know it will inject doubt into the system and soothe the twice-impeached former president’s ego. As we saw in Arizona, even when an audit proves what we already knew — that Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election — Trump and his allies won’t believe it. It is shameful that Michigan partisans like Steve Carra and Kristina Karamo are still trying to go down the same tortured road,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Haven’t they done enough damage to our democracy?”  

Accountable.US recently released a report revealing that among the top corporate donors of the Michigan politicians pushing for election audits and peddling baseless 2020 election conspiracies include those connected to extremist groups and with histories of anti-vaccine rhetoric. 

The watchdog posed the following questions to the politicians pursuing audits in Michigan: 

  1. Even after the Arizona audit affirmed Joe Biden won the state, Donald Trump and his allies still won’t accept the results. Doesn’t this prove the audit was never about so-called ‘election integrity’ but pushing Trump’s Big Lie?The results of Arizona’s election audit were clear: despite Republicans’ fear mongering and rampant efforts to spread disinformation, auditors found that Joe Biden actually won the 2020 Election by an even wider margin over Donald Trump than was previously known. Ultimately, the audit found that “‘[T]here were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official canvass results for the County… and there is no reliable evidence that the paper ballots were altered to any material degree.’”Despite this, Trump and his allies have barreled ahead with plans to further examine Arizona’s election results outside of Maricopa County and called for “better” audits in states including Michigan, completely unphased by reality and unwilling to accept the audit’s results. For the twice-impeached former president’s supporters, actual evidence of voter fraud is secondary to their goal of keeping the Big Lie alive and in the spotlight.
  2. Michigan lawmakers have been hesitant to back audits, with State Representative Steve Carra even admitting it’s “tough to say” whether a majority of Republican members of the Michigan state house support the audit effort. So why are you continuing to push the Big Lie in Michigan?While lawmakers like Steve Carra and Kristina Karamo, who Trump has endorsed for Michigan secretary of state after she pushed for an election audit, have been loudly calling for further examination of the 2020 Election results, other lawmakers have been slow to publicly back the efforts. Even Carra admitted that it’s “tough to say” whether a majority of Republican members of the Michigan state house support the audit effort.Without any reasonable proof of fraud to fall back on in Arizona’s audit and no clear widespread support for a similar effort in Michigan, the writing is on the wall for a Michigan audit, and the motivations behind politicians still pushing for it are clear: continue spreading Trump’s Big Lie in order to further undermine our democracy.
  3. How much will this sham audit cost Michigan taxpayers?According to Forbes, in addition to the $5.7 million Trump-supporting groups shelled out to make the audit of Maricopa County votes happen, the Arizona state Senate allocated $150,000 for the project. With the voting machines subpoenaed by the Senate decertified and thus unusable for future elections, Maricopa County will also reportedly have to allocate an additional $2.8 million for new voting machines prior to the midterm elections next year. Reporting in the Arizona Republic shows that overall, taxpayers footed the bill for at least $425,000 of audit costs by early September.In Michigan, the price tag of a potential audit remains unclear. But if it’s anything like the efforts pursued Arizona, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin, taxpayers would likely be left footing at least part — if not all — of the bill for the entire sham audit in their state. These audits aren’t cheap, and taxpayer costs quickly add up. Politicians must explain exactly how much of Michiganders’ hard-earned money they are willing to put towards a sham election audit to confirm the results of an election that are already known.

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