A key GOP election official in Maricopa County, Arizona, has now spoken out against rhetoric surrounding an ongoing so-called audit of the presidential election results there, insisting that those running the audit are pushing “defamation” and “unfounded allegations.”
The official, Stephen Richer, serves as Maricopa County Recorder, meaning that — as described on the Recorder’s office website — they are “responsible for maintaining voter files for more than 2.6 million active registered voters in Maricopa County.” Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann (R) has alleged that “databases” were “deleted” from among materials subpoenaed by the state Republican authorities who are running the Maricopa audit, but Richer — who is also a Republican — and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chair Jack Sellers (another Republican) are rebuffing these claims.
On Twitter, Richer commented as follows, discussing claims from Fann:
‘Enough with the defamation. Enough with the unfounded allegations. I came to this office to competently, fairly, and lawfully administer the duties of the office. Not to be accused by own party of shredding ballots and deleting files for an election I didn’t run. Enough.’
Enough with the defamation. Enough with the unfounded allegations. I came to this office to competently, fairly, and lawfully administer the duties of the office. Not to be accused by own party of shredding ballots and deleting files for an election I didn’t run. Enough. https://t.co/dfNp09tCtz
— Stephen Richer (@stephen_richer) May 14, 2021
In a concurrent statement, Sellers bluntly insisted that the allegation that county officials deleted election-related files is “not true.” Going on, Sellers also called that allegation “outrageous, completely baseless and beneath the dignity of the Arizona Senate.” Noting that the outside contractors hired by state Republican leaders to help with handling the audit are clearly “in way over their heads,” Sellers insisted that the audit, as it stands, is “not funny” but “dangerous.” Indeed — the effort pointlessly keeps the long answered question open of whether the 2020 presidential election was secure. Despite rounds and rounds of security checks across the nation, no meaningful evidence of systematic election fraud has ever emerged.
Notably, the Arizona Republican leaders running the sham audit in Maricopa County aren’t the only ones providing oxygen to the metaphorically flaming rigged election lies. In the House, Republicans voted just this week to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her position in party leadership after she consistently rebuffed Trump’s false election claims. Cheney, for her part, has shown no indication that she intends to suddenly stop condemning the lies just because of criticism from fellow Republicans.