A highly controversial recount of ballots in Arizona has reportedly resulted in Joe Biden furthering his lead on Donald Trump in November 2020, after the former US president’s allies asked for the hand audit.
Cyber Ninjas, the private contractor hired by Arizona Republican-held Senate, was said to have counted 360 more votes for Mr Biden, according to AZ Central on Thursday.
A three-page report was expected to be formally presented to the Republican-held Senate later on Friday, following the months-long audit.
It will likely confirm that Mr Trump lost Maricopa County by 45,469 votes, after the county’s official count found the margin to be 45,109 after November’s election.
However, the report is expected to allege that the election results for Arizona’s most populous county are inconclusive, even after the hand counting of hundreds of thousands of ballots.
The Republicans’ private contractor, Cyber Ninjas, and its sub contractors were paid millions for the controversial hand audit, which came after Mr Trump baselessly alleged that last November’s election was “stolen” and “fraudulent”.
On Friday, hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe appeared to ridicule Mr Trump for the leaked report from Cyber Ninjas, with host Joe Scarborough comparing Maricopa County’s recount to “a group of gnarly bank robbers” who were counting money during a bank heist.
"These Cyber Ninja guys, they come in, in effect to steal the election for Donald Trump and to lie and say the elections stolen and coming up with all the bamboo stuff [and] at the end of the day, Joe Biden gets more votes,” said Mr Scarborough.
“This would be like somebody hiring a group of gnarly bank robbers to go in and do a heist of the bank,” he continued. “It's the exact opposite of the scam that Trump supporters are trying to set up — it really is, seriously, you can't make it up."
Jack Sellers, the board chairman of Maricopa County, told AZCentral said that “the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters.”
It was among the final attempts by Mr Trump and his allies to find evidence of election fraud, and led to a rift among Arizona Republicans because Cyber Ninjas are not a certified auditor of ballots.
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