Arizona state Sen. Paul Boyer (R) apparently has regrets about backing his fellow GOP senators’ push for a shady audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election ballots to boost ex-President Donald Trump and his allies’ bogus conspiracy theories about voter fraud.
“It makes us look like idiots,” Boyer told the New York Times in an interview published on Sunday. “Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point.”
The audit, which is being partially bankrolled by Trump loyalists aiming to delegitimize the election, has been plagued with controversy since its inception, beginning with the Arizona GOP senators’ decision to tap Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity firm led by another pro-Trump election truther, to run the review.
There have been indications that the audit is being shaped by MAGAland’s bonkers conspiracy theories, including an analysis of the ballots looking for bamboo fibers, a recognition of one conspiracy theory claiming that tens of thousands of ballots were shipped in from Asia.
The review has caught the attention of the Justice Department, which sent a letter to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R) last week outlining its concerns that the ballots being examined were “not being adequately safeguarded by contractors.”
The DOJ also criticized the auditors’ plan to knock on voters’ doors to verify the addresses they had listed when registering to vote,” telling Fann that “Such investigative efforts can have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future.”
After receiving the letter, Fann told the department that the plan for “physical canvassing” would not move forward.