Arizona Lawmaker Townsend Calls for Audit, Recount of Vote

Arizona Lawmaker Townsend Calls for Audit, Recount of Vote
Ballots are counted at the Maricopa County Election Department after the US presidential election in Phoenix, on Nov. 5, 2020. (Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)
Bowen Xiao

PHOENIX—Arizona state Rep. Kelly Townsend says 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 building and also outside the Maricopa County Elections Department, where the ballots are being still counted.

 A poll worker sorts ballots inside the Maricopa County Election Department in Phoenix, Arizona on Nov. 5, 2020. (Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)
A poll worker sorts ballots inside the Maricopa County Election Department in Phoenix, Arizona on Nov. 5, 2020. (Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)

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 spoke about having no receipt at all that their ballots had been counted. Townsend said she is contacting the county recorder's office for answers.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden remains in the lead in Arizona as of the latest ballot count on Nov. 12. Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump continues to shrink—to 11,434 from 11,635—but with few remaining ballots left to tally. Organizations that call races joined Fox News and The Associated Press in projecting a Biden victory.

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 won't 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 state's largest county. 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 also has 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 Nov. 12, 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 showed 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."

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly described the Arizona recount law. The Epoch Times regrets the error.
Bowen Xiao was a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.