Arizonians Call for Recount, Audit of Votes at State Capitol Rally

Arizonians Call for Recount, Audit of Votes at State Capitol Rally
Supporters of President Donald Trump demonstrate at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in front of the State Capitol in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 7, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Bowen Xiao

PHOENIX—About a thousand Arizonians converged at the state’s capitol on Nov. 14 to peacefully protest against what they believe to be a fraudulent election process. Many called for a complete audit of the votes in the state as well as a hand recount.

The “Stop the Steal” rally in Arizona was one of many similar demonstrations happening across the country—the largest taking place at Freedom Plaza in Washington, where tens of thousands of people attended.

Karen Wood, organizer of the “Stop the Steal” rally in Arizona, said the purpose of the gathering was to let Arizonians know that everyone has a voice, and to also call for every ballot to be counted.

“We’re not going to tolerate a voting system that has disenfranchised all of the conservative votes,” she told The Epoch Times. “We also believe that there has been fraud in this election, and we want a full accounting—whether it’s audits, whether it’s a recount.

“We are submitting more and more evidence every day. There have been many sworn affidavits sent to the Trump campaign—and that’s not just in Arizona but across America in these swing states.”

The Republican Party of Arizona 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.

Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump in Arizona has continued to shrink, but with few remaining ballots left to tally, organizations that call races joined Fox News and The Associated Press in projecting a Biden win. The difference between the candidates in percentage terms is 0.34 percent as of this writing, which is just over 10,000 v0tes. An automatic recount is triggered in Arizona if the margin is within 0.1 percent.

The Epoch Times will not declare a winner of the election until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.

One of the speakers at the rally, Arizona state Rep. Kelly Townsend, said she came out to support voters who are feeling frustrated and worried.

She said her focus right now is entirely on getting an audit or recount of every vote.

“I think the county supervisor is going to look at that starting Monday with what they can do legally, and we are going to be encouraging them for the sake of voter confidence,” she told The Epoch Times after speaking at the rally.

State Rep. Kelly Townsend stands outside Arizona's state capitol on Nov. 14, 2020. (Bowen Xiao/The Epoch Times)
State Rep. Kelly Townsend stands outside Arizona's state capitol on Nov. 14, 2020. (Bowen Xiao/The Epoch Times)

Townsend said her hands are tied as they’re not in session right now, and it doesn’t seem likely that they will be in the near future.

“I’m increasingly concerned for our democracy in this great republic that we have,” she said. “If we lose faith in our voting process, it crumbles and our country dies. If a simple audit would fix that, then that’s what we should be doing.”

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign on Nov. 13 dropped its lawsuit in Arizona seeking a review of ballots that were cast by overriding the tabulating machine’s rejection of the vote. The lawsuit claimed that votes were rejected because poll workers had told voters to press a green button to cast their vote even after the tabulator had rejected it due to defects or irregularities on the ballot.

Holly McNorton, who lives in Phoenix and came to the rally to show her support for Trump, said she believes “there’s some skullduggery going on, and it needs to be sorted out.”

“These votes should be audited,” she told The Epoch Times. “Everyone who is for a free and non-corrupt election should support an auditing of votes every time.”

Deloris Andrade, another Arizonian who came to the rally, also believes there should be a recount and that it needs to be done by hand with “real transparency.”

“I tried to look for my vote, and I couldn’t find it,” she told The Epoch Times. “I was one of those people who went to the poll to make sure my vote counted.”

Mike Farley said he traveled 1 1/2 hours to attend the rally at the state capitol.

“I came out to make sure that we get our message out about the inconsistencies that we’re seeing in this election,” he told The Epoch Times.

“I have very serious concerns with the number of provisional ballots and how they’re being handled. It is now within 10,000 votes, so it’s very, very close. We need to have a very transparent, thorough hand count to make sure there’s no illegal votes canceling legal votes.”

Bowen Xiao was a New York-based reporter at The Epoch Times. He covers national security, human trafficking and U.S. politics.
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