On Friday, Arizonans supporting conspiracy theories about election integrity — which are apparently just never going away now — gathered outside their state Capitol building in Phoenix, demanding a redo of this year’s elections. Trump himself has already called for the same thing after several Republican candidates lost in statewide races in Arizona this year.
There is, of course, no real evidence supporting the idea of a need to redo the election. Trump has singled out Maricopa County, where there were problems with ballot-scanning machines on Election Day, but there was no evidence of any kind of conspiracy to meddle with the equipment, and voters who encountered a faulty machine at their polling place still had other options to vote. They weren’t completely shut out, and there has been no widespread destruction of ballots recorded. Beyond procedural headaches that local officials quickly worked to address, there’s just nothing there — although that’s clearly not stopping these people after the defeats of Senate contender Blake Masters, candidate for governor Kari Lake, and Secretary of State hopeful Mark Finchem, among others.
The gathering on Friday in Phoenix followed a similarly styled protest in Maricopa County where attendees walked around a local elections building seven times in reference to the Biblical story of Jericho. Like the earlier gathering, the Friday protest in Phoenix — which took place at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza — also saw predictable chaos. Footage circulated depicting someone carrying a large Confederate flag who was at odds with those in charge who were trying to get him to leave. The brief clip shows what might be around a dozen people involved in the argument. Predictably, it also doesn’t seem as though there were all that many attendees. One wide shot of the scene shows just a few dozen people.
There was a list of speakers for the Phoenix event, including a Republican state legislator and conservative media figure Joe Oltmann, who was involved in originating false accusations of involvement in election fraud against then-Dominion Voting Systems exec Eric Coomer, who was subsequently among those facing threats to his safety and life from believers of the conspiracy theories and filed defamation litigation over the sweeping lies. Dominion has itself sued others over the election-related lies. A photo from amid Oltmann’s talk shows around at least four dozen people, although it doesn’t depict the whole crowd. Check out footage from Phoenix below:
Controversy today at the protest outside the AZ Capitol to demand a new election on Dec 6. A guy showed up with a big confederate flag. Organizers are trying to get him to leave and he is arguing it’s not racist. pic.twitter.com/g4Q5xO0Oi6
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) November 25, 2022
Image: Brett Davis/ Creative Commons