What the Devil won't tell you
Let Mayes' AG victory put an end to GOP's destructive election frauds
Arizona Republicans need to take their losses like grownups
So the recount in the 2022 Arizona attorney general's race is over and Democrat Kris Mayes won even though Pinal County's recounting of the votes cut her margin of victory in half.
She won by 280 votes after leading by less than 600 votes after the original vote tally was certified.
Rightwingers like Charlie Kirk are saying "Aha! See? Fraud!" Losing Republican candidate Abe Hamadeh went on a tweet-i-cane whining "They don't care about democracy. They only care about power."
I agree. Whudya mean a Republican-controlled county just happened to "find" 277 net votes for the Republican candidate? It was one county and half of what he needed magically appeared on voting rolls controlled by Republicans. Are we supposed to buy that?
Mayes took office Monday, and was formally sworn in on Thursday.
I demand her first act in her new office be to investigate the recount and conduct an audit to see how much of this GOP skullduggery has been going on over the years. We also should look at the 2018 and 2014 elections to see how many fraudulent Republican votes were cast for Gov. Doug Ducey. Were the results flipped? Was Fred DuVal really actually elected governor? Was Terry Goddard the winner of whatever the hell race he ran for in that year?
Has anyone seen Steven Miller and Count Chocula in the same room?
What? We're not allowed to ask questions? We're being muzzled, silenced and stifled? What don't they want us to know?
I heard Augusto Pinochet used Ticketmaster and a time-traveling DeLorean to change election results in 2014. That's right. Big Oil and the military industrial complex used Chilean flux capacitors to install Ducey as governor. I heard it because I just read that sentence out loud.
Annnnd ... sceeene ...
The other side of election fraud
What do you think about that, Abe? Why do Arizonans just have to accept late votes for you, but reject them for Mayes?
It's time to shut this election B.S. down. Republicans like Hamadeh, Kari Lake and Mark Finchem rode it to electoral defeat this past election. It's time to expose the self-evident hypocrisy if they want to keep playing the trick.
No way in hell or on Earth would Republicans have just sat back if Mayes had gained 277 votes from deep-blue Pima County. They'd have lost their minds. So how do we know the election got closer at all if we can't trust the system? How do we know those votes weren't planted?
Let's say after the recount Hamadeh won by 100 votes after new ballots were added in Republican-controlled counties. I suppose people are just supposed to say "Oh, OK. Fair is fair."
Too little attention is paid to this part of the whole election fraud mind duck that Republicans like Hamadeh have been trying to put over on us. It's the idea that only one can stand accused of cheating.
Those of us in the real world seem to always take the bait. It's time we stop. Don't treat fraud claims like statements that need to be debunked, thereby accepting a whiff of the premise.
The thing about claiming fraud is that anyone can do it. Nobody should. It's not hard to say "They cheated." No one has to invoke Doc Brown's fictional capacitors from "Back to the Future." One side just has to decide they are going to reject any numbers they don't like because they didn't win.
Democrats, don't let Republicans chase you around the yard like they are little brothers holding a snake. Democrats try to disprove election fraud with facts, as if the charge holds some legitimacy. They won their close elections the same way Republicans won theirs – or is the right saying they've never won a fair, close election.
The media is allowed to do more than transcribe. Don't ask MAGAs if they are ashamed of themselves. No. They aren't.
If voter fraud is so prevalent, how can we trust any close Republican election victory? Probe them. Don't let them off the hook.
God knows they want to say "because we are the only true Americans." Lead them there. That's the beating heart of election "denialism."
Make them say that or something close to it because it's the only answer that follows the assumption that their tight losses are fraudulent but their narrow victories are mandates.
Maricopa, Mohave and Cochise counties have either stood accused of or nearly confessed to running fraudulent elections. They are all Republican counties. Are we to believe the GOP can't be trusted to run elections? I suppose Democrats should just take over. No? Kingman voters wouldn't like that?
No election is perfect. Goddard failed by inches to avoid a runoff in 1990 and Fife Symington came from behind, winning that contest easily. The election wasn't perfect. In 2014, Martha McSally's 167-vote victory wasn't perfect. Donald Trump's 77,0000-vote national win in 2016 didn't follow a flawless election.
Charles Barkley had an applicable response at the ready during the 1992 Olympics when the U.S. fielded a basketball team that included him, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan.
Other countries complained that it wasn't fair to put so many professional demigods on the court. Barkley's just waved it off: "Why don't they take their ass-whuppin' like people and go home?"
Exactly, Sir Charles.
Democrats have been taking their whuppins in Arizona since the 1950s. They've gotten pretty good at going home.
Move on with GOP
Honestly, most Republican leaders not named Abraham, Kari or Mark are more than ready to move away from the steal-and-squeal crowd. It's not because they have shame. Remember the fraudit of 2021? Whining about the call at the plate is turning out to be a political loser.
I need to point out again that the 2022 election should have been the best for Republicans in years. Instead it was their worst performance in decades because of all this election chicanery.
Taking a close election to court is fine. That's a right that people have. Democrats in 2020 lost House seats in Iowa and New York by a total of 215 votes. Both losers filed suits. However, they had actual ballots they thought should be added to the totals and in that a path to actual victory. The Arizona fraud squad just had accusations of something that could be fishy.
Judges in Iowa and New York state said "no."
That was basically that.
Anyone is allowed to sue in courts to seek redress. Just come with actual evidence of decisive fraud or real votes to be considered for addition to the total or rejection based on law.
Don't like court opinions? Welcome to the club, gang, we'll teach you the handshake.
The rest of us shrug and move on because that's what adults do.
Know what else adults do? They assess what they did wrong and do it right next time. I got a whole list I made up for Republicans.
Start with taking part in – and not bagging on – early voting.
A simple proposition
The process of voting is pretty simple. A citizen walks in and presents a ballot and an election worker checks their name off a list. If the name is previously checked, the ballots are set aside for verification. It's kind of fool proof.
Could it be hacked? Possibly. Cybersecurity and election integrity are different. One can be addressed with adequate investment and training. The other just requires a crybaby.
Stuff happens at the margins. We still accept the results because marginal errors are part of life.
They're having elections issues in Florence. They were the last to post their count. They apparently posted the recount numbers online week before officially announcing them. Huh?
Suddenly adding 500 votes out of 145,600 votes cast in Pinal County represents a sizeable screw-up in modern elections. Yet it's still just 0.25 percent of the vote.
The country has come a long way since Lyndon Johnson and Coke Stevenson's 1948 Texas Senate primary, when huge margins materialized for Johnson in Jim Wells and Jim Hogg counties. What do we expect from a state with two counties named Jim?
I accept Pinal County screwed up honestly because elections in Arizona are run by people who strive for high turn out and accurate counts. They don't have an agenda.
Yet Abraham, Kari and Mark act like not having an agenda is to be against them. Only people who share Donald John Trump's agenda are righteous actors. No one else can be trusted.
Puh-lease. Grow the hell up.
I never liked the term "election denier." A better term is "election destroyer."
It's real simple: If I'm going not going to accept the results of an election loss, then the other side doesn't have to either.
Both sides can use it as a pretext to start stealing elections in imagined retribution. In that case, why have them at all?
Just put one party in charge and it might as well be the one calling themselves the only true Americans.
Blake Morlock is an award-winning columnist, who worked in daily journalism for nearly 25 years and is the former communications director for the Pima County Democratic Party. Now he’s telling you things the Devil won’t.