PHOENIX—Arizona state Senator-elect Kelly Townsend said there should “absolutely” be an audit and an accurate recount as soon as possible in the state, adding that voter confidence for many has been damaged.
Townsend, a Republican who serves the 16th Legislative District, said she has a “long list of things that are questionable” and that hundreds of Arizonians have contacted her over perceived irregularities and concerns over the integrity of the state’s election process.
“We need an audit and a recount—there are too many uncertainties and until we do that, I don’t think there’s enough confidence to have a healthy election in the future,” she told The Epoch Times. “We need to reassure the people that their vote counted because right now it is chaos.”
Townsend said she has “no faith” in the state’s election process, adding that “the vote should not be certified under these circumstances.”
“The biggest issue is voter confidence,” she added. “If you don’t have voter confidence you have big problems—and we don’t have voter confidence.”
Thousands of Arizonians have rallied peacefully across downtown Phoenix over the past week over what they see as a lack of transparency and a fraudulent and corrupt election process. Voters have gathered at the state’s capitol and also outside the Maricopa County Elections Department, where the ballots are being still counted.
One of the concerns brought up to Townsend was that when voters dropped off their ballots into a wooden box, or a cardboard box, there was no tabulation of their ballot in front of them and they had no record of them actually voting. Others also talked about having no receipt at all that their ballots were counted. Townsend said she is contacting the county recorder’s office for answers.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden remains in the lead in Arizona with the latest ballot count on Thursday night. Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump continues to shrink—from 11,635 to 11,434—but with few remaining ballots left to tally. Organizations that call races joined Fox News and the Associated Press in projecting a Biden win.
According to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, just 10,315 ballots are left to count, including about 1,000 in Maricopa County. The difference between the candidates in percentage terms is 0.34 percent. An automatic recount is triggered in Arizona if the margin falls within 0.1 percent or 200 votes, whichever is the smaller number.
The Epoch Times will not declare a winner of the election until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.
The Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit in Arizona over alleged rejected votes in Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona. The campaign stated that some in-person votes were disregarded because of improper guidance from poll workers.
An Arizona Superior Court Judge has ruled to keep evidence provided by the Trump campaign unsealed in the lawsuit, while agreeing to redact any identifying information.
The Republican Party of Arizona has also launched a lawsuit seeking a hand count of votes by precinct, as opposed to by voting center, arguing that this could yield a more accurate sampling of vote tallies. The lawsuit seeks to enforce a hand count by precinct, arguing that this is required by state statute.
Trump’s campaign early on predicted that the president would win the state and its 11 Electoral College votes.
On Thursday morning, Trump himself pressed for an audit of Arizona’s vote tallies.
“From 200,000 votes to less than 10,000 votes,” Trump wrote on Twitter in reference to a local news outlet that shows Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden’s lead in the state slowly dwindling. “If we can audit the total votes cast, we will easily win Arizona also!”
It’s not just in Arizona where concerns over the integrity of the election have popped up.
“In other states it looks very similar,” Townsend said. “It’s suspiciously similar. Everywhere you turn there are things that are collapsing voter confidence.”