Former President Donald Trump added his vote to the growing demand for an audit of the votes cast in Pennsylvania last year, inspired by a partisan attempt to reverse the results in Arizona.
Three Pennsylvania state lawmakers this week visited the Arizona State Fairgrounds, the site of a former basketball arena, where a 2.1 million ballot hand count is underway.
They are the last Republicans to make the trip as part of a growing movement to reverse Trump’s defeat.
The former president on Friday described them as “great patriots” and demanded that the Pennsylvania state senate set up its own audit.
“The people of Pennsylvania and America deserve to know the truth,” he said.
“If the Pennsylvania Senate leadership doesn’t act, they will never be re-elected.”
Controlling the electoral vote in Arizona has become a magnet for Trump allies who see it as a model for recounts in Georgia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Arizona Senate Republicans used their subpoena to confiscate ballot papers, counting machines and electronic data to check last year’s election results
Former President Donald Trump said, “The people of Pennsylvania and America deserve to know the truth. If the Pennsylvania Senate leadership doesn’t act, there’s no way they’ll ever be re-elected.
Pennsylvania Sens. Doug Mastriano and Cris Dush, and Rep. Rob Kauffman visited Arizona on Wednesday.
They met with local lawmakers before accompanying Doug Logan, the head of Cyber Ninjas, who leads the audit, for a tour of the audit site.
Mastriano told WEEO radio, “We’ll pass the information back to the Senate leadership, we’ll inform them along the way, and hopefully we can come up with an approach here to make sure everyone in Pennsylvania can have some peace of mind.” they have one vote and it counts.’
Trump lost Arizona by about 10,000 votes. He and his allies claimed that fraud cost him the state.
Arizona Senate Republicans used their subpoena power to access ballots, counting machines and electronic data in Maricopa County, home to about 60 percent of Arizona voters, for an audit.
However, the recount has been criticized as chaotic: auditors searching for watermarks were told by state election officials that the ballots had not been watermarked; reports suggested they were also looking for traces of bamboo as evidence that the papers had been smuggled in from Asia.
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are being examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company Cyber Ninja,
Rep. Matt Gaetz is one of the high-profile Republicans who traveled to Arizona and called for his audit to be used as a model for other disputed states
But for a steady stream of Republicans, the audit is seen as a model for what could be done in other closely contested states.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they found thousands and thousands and thousands of voices. So we’re going to be watching that very closely,” Trump recently told a crowd in Mar-a-Lago.
“And then you look at Pennsylvania and you look at Georgia and you go to Michigan and Wisconsin.”
Still, people close to Trump have advised the former president not to get too closely involved.
They would rather see him looking ahead and building a policy platform for next year’s midterms, rather than backwards.
“It’s not something we want to make a lot of noise about right now because Arizona might be a big citizen,” one said recently.
But after weeks of silence, Trump is beginning to show more interest, praising Pennsylvania lawmakers and demanding a similar review in a state he lost by about 80,000 votes.
In the meantime, some of his most talked-about — and most controversial — supporters have come a long way before the Arizona recount.
Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz stopped on their America First tour two weeks ago.
“We are here in Arizona to stand in solidarity with the election audit in Arizona,” Gaetz told a crowd of several hundred Trump supporters, adding that he hoped this would be the start of a larger movement.
He said, “I am confident that Arizona will be the launch pad for election auditing and electoral integrity efforts in this great country.”