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Criticized Arizona election audit to show Biden won more votes than Trump

Criticized Arizona election audit to show Biden won more votes than Trump
For months, Cyber Ninjas has been conducting an audit in Maricopa County, Ariz., and recounted ballots by hand after repeated and debunked complaints that widespread fraud cost Donald Trump the 2020 presidential election.  File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The results of a lengthy, costly and widely criticized Republican-led audit of election ballots in Arizona's most populous county are set to be released Friday -- although a draft report indicates that they will show an even larger margin of victory for Joe Biden over Donald Trump.

The audit, ordered by Arizona Senate Republicans months ago and given to Cyber Ninjas, is expected to show that Biden defeated Trump in Maricopa County in last fall's presidential election.

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According to a draft report obtained by multiple news outlets, the audit found about 100 more votes for Biden than the official results did.

Thursday night, Maricopa County said in a tweet that the audit confirmed Biden's victory.

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"This means the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters," Maricopa County Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement.

"That should be the end of the story. Everything else is just noise."

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In its report to the Arizona Senate Friday, Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, a cybersecurity company with no experience in running electoral audits, is expected to minimize the actual vote count and instead raise questions about who voted and how the election was conducted.

Arizona Republicans have been pursuing selective audits of the 2020 election since late last year and, at times, have endorsed conspiracy theories that say votes cast in the state were fraudulent and that the election was "stolen" from Trump.

Dozens of lawsuits, recounts in multiple states the U.S. Supreme Court and Trump's own government said there was no widespread election fraud and that Biden was the legitimate winner.

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Arizona is one of several key battleground states that were won by Biden and propelled him to the White House. The 2020 election was the first time Arizona voted for a Democratic candidate since Bill Clinton carried the state in 1996.

The audit has been criticized since the beginning and denounced as another partisan attempt to sow doubt and division about the election results. Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan was a supporter of Trump's "Stop the Steal" movement in the weeks after the election.

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This week, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that a similar audit will selectively be performed in three Texas counties that were carried by Biden. It will also recount votes in Collin County.

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