Recounts and recalls surely are trying Republicans’ patience

After four months of trying to tally one county's results, Arizona Republicans should be at their wit's end. Instead, the recount has inspired Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to join the fray.



September 15, 2021 - 10:40 AM

Contractors working for Cyber Ninjas, who was hired by the Arizona State Senate, examine and recount ballots from the 2020 general election in Phoenix, Arizona. (Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images/TNS)

Before the polls had even opened Tuesday morning, Larry Elder blamed voter fraud for what he sensed would be a losing campaign to unseat California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election. 

Elder was the top-polling Republican among a crowded field. 

On Monday afternoon, the talk radio host’s campaign website implored voters to sign a petition demanding legislators call for a special session to investigate “the twisted results,” of the election.

Everyone is a victim these days. 

MORE THAN nine months after President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by 7 million votes and 74 Electoral College votes, conspiracy theorists and Trump loyalists continue to claim the election was rigged.

One offshoot of such obstinacy is to undermine the public’s confidence in our elections — big or small.

That loss of faith will result in lower voter turnout in states whose leaders refuse to stamp out such nihilism. What’s the use in participating if my vote won’t be counted?

Once the idea of fraud was planted, Republicans ran with it by saying the election system must be reined in. In the last nine months, the Republican-majority legislatures of 18 states, including Kansas, have passed a total of 30 laws that make it harder for Americans to vote.

Most significant are new laws that shorten the window to register to vote and  apply for a mail-in ballot; limit the number of mail ballot drop boxes especially in dense metropolitan areas, and expand voter purges.

One can deduce from such measures that the 2020 election was rife with fraud. 

Not in the least, averred Scott Schwab, Kansas Secretary of State. 

“Kansas did not experience any widespread, systematic issues with voter fraud, intimidation, irregularities or voting problems . . . . We are very pleased with how the election has gone up to this point,” his office said on Nov. 10, a full week after the election.

IN ARIZONA, however, things are grim. 

Traditionally Republican, Arizona went for Biden by a margin of only 10,500 votes. So yes, an upset, and so close that it triggered an automatic hand recount of randomly selected precincts — which found no irregularities.

Not satisfied, Republicans hired Cyber Ninjas, a private company with no prior election experience, to audit the election results of Maricopa County, the state’s most populous. That was April 23. Plagued by errors and accusations of fraud, the process still has not been completed.